A Brahminy Sunrise by Maggie Christensen @MaggieChriste33 #Book Review #RomanticFiction #amreading

My Review:

This was an enchanting book. It’s a novella length story but it had enough depth to make it a most satisfying read.

Once again this author has done what she has already proved very good at. She has taken a couple of minor characters from a previous book – in this case from Champagne for Breakfast – and told their story. And, as before, it works beautifully.

The main characters of academic Alex and former stockbroker Jack could easily have been stereotypes – however, they are far from that. Both are seeking new paths following traumatic events in their personal lives and both are rather lost and lonely. Jack, although displaying lots of masculine traits, also has a caring and gentle side – as shown, for example, by his care for his elderly clients. And Alex who is a self-sufficient, hard-working and professional university lecturer also finds time to be a good aunt to her young niece and a good friend to her elderly neighbour and to a former colleague.

But when Jack and Alex first meet it seems unlikely they’ll have any sort of romantic future together despite a reluctant attraction between them. They both have other seemingly more important things going on in their lives which suggest a relationship isn’t going to happen. And it’s this will-they-won’t they that keeps the reader hooked.

The setting of the story on Australia’s vividly described Sunshine Coast added even more interest for me as a UK reader. And as to the significance of the Brahminy in the title – well, it’s a bird – specifically, a red-backed sea-eagle of the kite family – and which is native to Australia. But you’ll have to read the book to understand its lovely, romantic significance. And I recommend that you do.

From the backcover:

Drawn together by fate, can this midlife couple find happiness?

University lecturer Alex Carter is devastated when her partner ends their long-term relationship. Accepting a position at a university on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, she plans to spend time with her family, renovate her beach cottage and forget all about men.

But, as she is making a new life for herself, the past rises up to throw a spanner in the works and she has to make a determined effort to reset her compass.

Shocked by a colleague’s suicide, Jack Russo leaves his high-powered city career and travels north, settling in a coastal town in an attempt to simplify his life. Yet, even here, he discovers, everything isn’t what it seems. When his fledgling handyman business appears to be in danger of collapsing, he is forced to make some hard decisions.

A feel-good story of discovering that there can be second chances if only you can learn to trust again.

A Brahminy Sunrise will be published as an ebook on 15th January 2019 and it can be pre-ordered here if you’re in the UK or from the online store local to you.

I received a free ARC copy of this book with no obligation to review.

‘Beside the Sea’ – turmoil below the surface in a book of icy beauty

Beside the Sea by Véronique Olme

This book is a small treasure– a wee jewel of a book. And that’s just the physical feel of it. It’s a beautiful artefact – feels lovely to hold, looks gorgeous.

As to what’s between the covers of this very slim volume – it’s heart-rending – desperately sad and tragic. I don’t want to give too much away so I’m not going to say too much about the story. Suffice to say it’s about a mother’s love and fear for her children. It won’t take you long to read it but it will stay with you for a long time after you finish it.

The writing is beautiful – icy and precise – and yet, at the same time, the words ache with love.

 It’s no surprise that the book is a French literary bestseller. It has been translated into all the major European languages and has sold more than 100,000 copies in Germany alone.

It’s published by Peirene Press and is the first book, out of three so far, published by them. I first heard about this press on – yeah, you’ve guessed it – the Eight Cuts site. Check them out at http://www.peirenepress.com – even the website is good-looking.

Their mission is to publish contemporary European literature (in English translation) – books that are ‘thought-provoking, well-designed, short’. They only publish novels that are 200 pages or less. It’s a neat idea and neatly packaged. Definitely proof that small is beautiful .

Bye Bye Baby

Review of ‘Bye Bye Baby’ by Allan Guthrie

‘Bye Bye Baby’ is a novella. I downloaded it to my Kindle and read it the same afternoon. It was a great post-Christmas, snowed in, day by the fire, kind of read.

Even though it’s short there are a few amazing twists and I didn’t guess the ending.

The book is set in Edinburgh where Guthrie lives and works.

The main character, Detective Frank Collins, isn’t particularly likeable, but Guthrie still makes the reader sympathetic to him.

Collins has his own problems, including an interesting sex life which is now causing marital problems, and some unusual dynamics in his professional relationships.

It seems at first to be a police-procedural – and it is – but it’s more than simply that. What seems to be a child kidnap and ransom has a lot more to it. There’s something extremely odd going on.  It’s deft, original and entertaining. It’s also very good value for money.

Guthrie has published several full length paperback crime novels – and I’ll certainly be reading more of his work. In fact I’ve just downloaded another of his novellas – ‘Killing Mum’. I just need an excuse to curl up in the armchair – oh good – it looks like rain.

Bye Bye Baby is available as an e-book from http://amazon.co.uk for 86p