Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Series: Outback Brides
#1 Maggie’s Run by Kelly Hunter
#2 Belle’s Secret by Victoria Purman
#3 Elsa’s Stand by Cathryn Hein
#4 Holly’s Heart by Fiona McArthur
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Tule authors have done it again! They’ve created a community – Wirralong – populated it with great characters and have written entertaining romances based there, each by a different author and involving different main characters but sharing many of the secondary ones and events. Each story can be read as a standalone but this is a superb series and I highly recommend reading them all, I’ve loved escaping into this Australian Outback town, getting to know the characters, places and events whilst reading all four books. I hope there will be more books based in this small town in future.
The first story is Maggie’s Run by Kelly Turner and features Maggie Walker who is returning to Wirra Station, the home of her great aunt who had custody of her after being orphaned, though she spent most of her time at boarding school. Maggie is returning to sort everything out before selling up but Max O’Connor is the cowboy-next-door who actually saved her from the wreck in which her parents died and he challenges her to live there for three months . . . and she can’t resist the challenge – or is it just him she can’t resist? This is a story of reexamining the past, coming to terms with memories, making discoveries and being willing to work together for their future. It has plenty of twists to keep things interesting and is a great start to this series.
Belle’s Secret by Victoria Purman is a very different second chance romance and a great addition to the series. The heroine is a wedding celebrant who was secretly married whilst on a conference in Las Vegas but she told her husband her name is Belle rather than Isabella and she left before he woke up after their wedding night, returning home to Australia without leaving him a note or message. He searched for her but couldn’t discover where she’d gone. Eleven months later her husband, Harry, is attending a wedding where she’s the celebrant. . . . This is a heartwarming story filled with angst, turmoil, pain, hope and dreams. Many of the characters from the first story are involved in this story but I still think it would work well as a standalone. I certainly thoroughly enjoyed escaping back to this outback community and have no hesitation in highly recommending this book.
The third story in the Outback Brides series is Elsa’s Stand by Cathryn Hein and this time the heroine is hairdresser Elsa and this story is a very moving one that is also packed with humour and laugh out loud moments. It is so sad when a community judges a child because of what are perceived as their parent’s actions and that’s what happened to Jack, people assumed he was like his Dad and didn’t attempt to get to know him for himself. He is an opal miner and returns home from Lightning Ridge to attend his mother’s funeral. His encounter with Elsa in her hair salon had me giggling and that set the tone for much of the story. Elsa certainly doesn’t judge Jack and is supportive of him. Together they’re a great couple but overcoming his background, facing those who judge him without evidence and a shooting as well as a treasure hunt are all in store in this brilliant read.
Holly’s Heart by Fiona McArthur is the fourth book in the Outback Brides series and concerns to people who grew up in Wirralong, went to school together and were close until someone intervened and then left to study to become doctors. Now they’ve both returned to the small town but for very different reasons. Holly Peterson has returned with her twin nephews who are six years old and are living with her after the tragic deaths of their parents. She’s no longer working as a doctor but is running the Outback Brides Coffee Shop. Ben Briely is also returning but he’s opening a new GP surgery in the town. He’s always loved Holly but she totally rejected him as a teen. Will things be different now? Do they stand any chance of achieving their HEA together? This is an emotive second chance romance with a very patient hero gently cracking open the barriers to let him win his love – so moving! It is a delightful read and a great addition to his series.
I requested and was given a copy of these books, via NetGalley. These are my honest reviews of these book after choosing to read them.