Men in Kilts

Our friends at Google Play are running a promotion after our own hearts – and to curb our ongoing Outlander withdrawals. For the next week, you can grab some heart-melting, kilt-scorching highlander romances at fantastic prices, including some of our favourite Escape titles.

From best-selling, award-winning author, Frances Housden:

There’s no chieftain that won’t meet his match…

“Housden has developed the characters well and weaves an absorbing story of envy, treachery, lies and second chances.” – Morag, Goodreads (The Chieftain’s Curse)

“I love when true history is blended in with the authors fictional romance, to me a history junkie that’s my favorite combination in my reads! Truly a beautiful tale that reader won’t forget.” – Barbee, Goodreads (The Chieftain’s Daughter)

Buy now!

From hot newcomer Amy Rose Bennett:


A sweeping, sexy Highland romance about a wanted Jacobite with a wounded soul, and a spirited Scottish lass on the run.

“The Master of Strathburn is a fast-paced story with plenty of action, suspense and intrigue.” – Vikki, Goodreads

“Ms Bennett has given us a thrilling romance with an historical background that feels authentic, a couple of chase scenes with cliff-hanger consequences, some clever plot twists, and plenty of passion.” – Jude, Goodreads

Buy now!

From fan-favourite Allison Butler:

Curb your Outlander cravings with Allison Butler’s seriously sexy Scottish heroes!

“I loved seeing a bit of history come to life within these pages.” – Goodreads (The Healer)

“A must read book that is full of seduction, change and acceptance.” – RaeLatte, Goodreads (The Protector)

Buy Now!


Feed Your Reader: Scots and Second Chances


From best-selling author Frances Housden comes a brand new historical romance about a Spanish señorita and a strapping Scottish hero…


Love at first sight is all very well, but sometimes it takes a second chance

Feed Your Reader: first March releases

Released March 5…


One last Chieftain meets his match in the final book in Frances Housden’s best-selling, award-winning series…


Good fences make good neighbours, but in Dulili, it seems like barriers might instead be breaking down…

Book 2 in the new Dollar for a Dream rural romance series

Move to the country for $1 a week… 

Dulili is suffering a people drought. Over the years more people have moved away than have arrived to stay in this old New South Wales farming town, and now only a handful of young families and elderly residents are left. The locals put a plan into action to entice newcomers: offering the town’s empty houses to newcomers from anywhere in Australia.  Who could resist renting a beautiful homestead for a dollar a week?

A Heart Stuck on Hope

Honey Hill House

The Healing Season

Why Valentine’s Day?

by Frances Housden

The 14th of February is all about romance and love—a time of year that people can buy a card covered in hearts and flowers for the person they love without hiding it from public view.

In some places love is always in the air. There is a bridge in Paris, the Pont de l’Archevech, covered in love-locks. Couples can engrave a padlock with their initials and fasten it onto the bridge before turning the key in the lock together then tossing the key to the padlock and their love into the Seine, sealing their love forever. Another bridge in Rome is covered in these love-locks—this one was inspired by a book called I Want You. In Serbia there is another renowned bridge dedicated to love, and there are a few more in places like Dublin and Canada, all devoted to the pursuit of love—the happy ever after romance writers put on paper for their readers. Yet they haven’t named a day after these river crossings (which I feel are more convenient than symbolic).


Bridge Day. Hmmm, it doesn’t have the same ring.

Throughout the world men have declared their love by buying heart-shaped islands and building wonderful buildings such as the Taj Mahal in India, and the Petit Trianon at Versailles, which Louis XV built for Madame le Pompadour to show their love.  Yet there has never been a day named after these grandiose tokens of the heart’s passion.

Palace Day…no, I don’t think so.


That brings us back to St Valentine’s Day. Or should I say the saint previously known as St, Valentine. Some churches still recognise his day as a festival and to be honest over the centuries many areas have laid claim to the real saint, so I’m only going to tell you about my favourite.

So what exactly did Valentine do to earn beatification in the first place?

It was actually due to the efforts of a priest named Valentine that the day of February 14th got its name. The story goes that during the reign of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in several bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius found it tough to get soldiers, and felt the reason men did not join army was because they did not wish to leave their wives and families. As a result Claudius cancelled all marriages and betrothals to put a stop to this. A Roman priest, and romantic at heart, Valentine decided to defy Claudius’s order and along with Saint Marius, Valentine secretly married couples. When his defiance was discovered, Valentine was brutally beaten and put to death on February 14, about 270 AD. After his death Valentine was named a saint.

I like this version because it’s at the heart of the romances we write. A hero and heroine willing to dare anything, to resist taking the easy way out, ready to challenge anyone who might remove their right to a loving future together. And the story of a priest willing to risk death to make sure they achieve their goal—that ‘happy ever after’ we all dream of achieving.

Happy Valentine’s Day, and don’t forget to tell someone ‘I love you’.


Secret (historical) Baby!

This is the second Secret Baby! post in our series about tropes in romance literature

by Frances Housden

My first six books were all contemporary romantic-suspense, and any secrets were simply part of the intrigue. A writer has to come up with an excellent reason for the heroine to become pregnant in an era where condoms and birth control methods are freely available. Why, I’d have to lock the hero and heroine away in a French chateau—oops, I already did that in Honeymoon with a Stranger.

Then why, you might ask, have I written four secret baby plots out of the six books in my Chieftain series? I don’t need an excuse—writing books set in 11th-century Scotland chucks birth-control out the window, or arrow-slit if you want to be pedantic—but it’s the reason behind the secret that adds another dimension. Any secret adds tension, makes the characters’ lives difficult—but then if they were easy there would be no story.

Like every other trope a writer uses, this one is there to drive the relationship between the hero and heroine—how you tackle that is what makes the difference. A trope shouldn’t be mistaken for a formula; it is simply a tool. The difference comes from what the writer adds to the trope—her voice—each story individual and born from the writer’s life experiences, the good and the bad.

chief-feudIn The Chieftain’s Curse, when I realised Euan was cursed not to have an heir, a secret baby plot became the logical solution to beat the curse. Having already mentioned that four out the six Chieftain books use the secret baby trope, don’t be fooled into believing they are all the same plot—the baby in The Chieftain’s Curse was actually eleven years old before he appeared on the page.

In contrast to the eleven-year-old Rob, the baby in The Chieftain’s Feud is still in the womb and becomes the catalyst that resolves the feud between two clans. And in Chieftain in the Making, Rob goes through his own struggles to claim his children—twins—and discovers how love can turn to hate because of a near-death experience during the birth. When he wants to legitimize his sons’ birth, and prevent them being stigmatized as bastards the way he had been, he has to fight not only their Norman grandfather but the woman he wants to make his wife.

The secret baby plot in Chieftain’s Rebel—out in March—takes a different route entirely, but this isn’t the place for spoilers. What each plot has in common is the conflict and tension the trope adds to the relationship. In my plots the secret is every bit as important as the baby. For writers and readers more interested in historical drama, Downton Abbey is a fabulous example of the way a secret baby can cause friction and tension within a family and create pathos in ways that touch the heart.

edithNo matter which genre of romance you favour, remember that as romance writers, we are all about the Happily. Ever. After.

chiefcurseYears ago, chance drew them together, and tangled their lives in ways they could never have imagined. This time their destiny lies in their own hands, but it will take courage and strong hearts to see it through to the end.

ARRA nominees: Frances Housden

As part of our series about Escape titles nominated for the ARRA awards, Frances Housden talks about her book Chieftain in the Making, nominated for Favourite Historical Romance.

I was surprised and delighted when Chieftain in the Making, book four in my Chieftain series, was nominated for an ARRA award.

chiefcurseBy the time I finished writing The Chieftain’s Curse I knew telling Rob and Nhaimeth’s story was inevitable. I simply had to wait until they grew up. Rob was the secret baby in that first book—the curse breaker—but Nhaimeth simply appeared as if he knew he was needed in the book before I did.

You might have gathered that I don’t plot. My stories evolve, as did the friendship between the two lads, one the lovechild of a chieftain, the other a dwarf whose inheritance was stripped away after his father disowned him. Two friends, different in stature, yet alike in the hurdles they had to climb. As the romance of the Euan and Morag developed in The Chieftain’s Curse, so did the secondary characters’ story; Rob, the secret son of a chieftain, who was looking for an heir, and Nhaimeth, a legal heir barred from claiming his birthright.

As always, before I begin writing I do my research into the history of the period. For book four, I discovered that King Malcolm, Rob’s father’s friend, was killed in the battle of Alnwick, which made Rob the perfect age to want to prove he could live up to his father as heir. As my readers will have discovered by now, I like secret babies [ED: this is true – look out for Frances’ ‘Secret Baby’ post in our series on romance tropes!]; this meant Rob had to have been in an earlier battle in the same area two years before, where I had him captured and held for ransom.

article-twin-babiesThe babies in Chieftain in the Making were twins. My mother-in-law had twins and I used her experience as the basis for Melinda, our heroine—the first birth was easy, the second a breach birth. Some readers weren’t too happy that Melinda had an aversion to the second twin, but as an author I try to get into character’s head and Melinda is young and inexperienced—deserted by her lover, with no mother to advise her. She believed her second twin’s birth would kill her. Don’t forget she lived at the beginning of the 12th century. And is it any wonder she wasn’t too happy about being abducted by Rob—a man determined to marry her, determined his sons won’t go through life labelled bastards, the way he had been. On a lighter note, I also used the way my twin sisters-in-law interacted with one another as toddlers to show Rob’s sons love each other.

I couldn’t have written this book without giving Nhaimeth his own well-deserved happy ending. And aye, I had to have gypsies, requiring a lot more research, but then finding Rowena with the gypsies added much more depth to the plot as well as masses of complications—well, she is psychic.

Before I finish, let me tell anyone who read Chieftain by Command that Brodwyn reappears in this book, just in time for the evil genius to redeem herself. Satisfying, but that isn’t the end. The Chieftain’s Daughter is already available online, and Chieftain’s Rebel will be released on March 5.

chiefmakeThe award-winning Chieftain series continues in a novel about duty, determination and the power of love to heal all wounds.

December Recipes – Clootie Dumplings

by Frances Housden

Escape to Christmas Past

It may come as no surprise that I grew up in Scotland, and when the call went out for recipes suitable for the holiday season, my thoughts immediately flew to a recipe my mother used to make for birthdays and Christmas—Clootie Dumpling—always a treat. The problem was that after moving house twice this year, I couldn’t remember where I had put the slip of paper she had written the recipe on.

However, my mother must have been listening from up above for what should arrive in the post yesterday, sent by my great friend Carol Marinelli—Maw Broon’s Cookbook which included the lost recipe. Serendipity! For anyone who never had the pleasure of reading ‘The Sunday Post’ and the weekly cartoon strip of the Broons. I first read the strip when I was little, and it is still going strong in the Post, as well as in books published every second year though maybe you need to be Scottish to appreciate them. That said, Clootie Dumplings taste good no matter your nationality. Of course what made them really special to a five year old was the silver charms and threepenny bits my mother used to wrap in greaseproof paper and stir into the mix that I’m going to translate below.

  • 4oz of shredded suet
  • 8oz of self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 4oz of white bread crumbs
  • 3oz of brown sugar
  • 1 grated apple
  • 8oz of currants and sultanas
  • 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of golden syrup
  • 2 eggs and a little milk around 4 fluid oz

Half fill a large pot and bring to the boil. Scald a large piece of linen—large old-fashioned tea towel—or cheese-cloth, with boiling water then dust it with flour.

Beat the eggs, mix in the syrup and a little milk, and gradually mix into the dry ingredients and fruit. Place the mixture in the middle of the cloth. Tie it tight, but allow for swelling. Place an inverted plate on the bottom of the pan and put the pudding on top of it. Boil for three to four hours. Never let the water drop below half the depth of the pudding. When cooked, dip in cold water, remove the cloth and dry the pudding off in a medium-to-hot oven. Sprinkle the top with sugar and serve with sugar and serve with cream or custard.

My mother always dried the dumpling next to the fire. It used to be lovely to open the door after school and smell it drying by the fire. Being made with suet the dumpling will have a skin holding it together, which makes it easy to slice next day and fry for breakfast.

One last thing, at the top of the page above the recipe, Maw Broon has written, “If ye dinnae like this ye’ll no’ like anything.”

Maw Broon


Frances Housden returns with her best-selling, award-winning Chieftain series in this short novel about a young woman with a strong will and a sharp mind, and the man who has nothing to offer but his heart.

Available now!

Feed Your Reader: November 8 Release

incapableIf you haven’t discovered Ainslie Paton yet, you’re missing out! Love can be a great healer, except when it hurts …

baseThe world’s gone to hell, and her only chance of survival is the sexy, dominant soldier determined to keep her safe …

25327Frances Housden returns with her best-selling, award-winning Chieftain series in this short novel about a young woman with a strong will and a sharp mind, and the man who has nothing to offer but his heart.

Highland Games

by Frances Housden

The early idea for this blog was something with a humorous vein, but for a dark medieval romantic series that began with a ‘Curse’ you can see the irony. It took me until book three ‘The Chieftain’s Feud’ to come up with any sort of high concept for them—‘Game of Thrones’ meets ‘Outlander’.


So back to book one ‘The Chieftain’s Curse. That began with Morag Farquhar, her son Rob and our cursed hero, Euan McArthur. Strangely enough I hadn’t intended their story to be the first in a series yet as I wrote, all these interesting but unexpected characters began to show up. Starting off with Nhaimeth, then Jamie, then Gavyn all of whom—now that I’ve finished the series with book six—have had their own happy ending. Like they say about life—one thing leads to another.


Gavyn Farquhar, ‘Chieftain by Command’ who popped up in the last third of the first book as Morag’s long lost brother, took me and my readers on a wild chase in book two. An adventure that incidentally doesn’t end until book six, Chieftain’s Rebel—confused—how do you thinks it felt writing a series that seems to have a life of its own and refuses to tell you what will happen next?


Of course, considering what I put Jamie Ruthven through in Gavyn’s book, I had to fix it by making him the hero in book three, ‘The Chieftain’s Feud’. And I have to admit he deserved a little love after the villainess trampled on his heart in the previous book. As for the other lads, Rob and Nhaimeth, their turns came in ‘Chieftain in the Making’. I will admit I wasn’t particularly easy on Rob, and as for Nhaimeth—a favourite with readers—I always thought he deserved to have his own sweet romance. That said, weaving all their different threads together into one picture was difficult, but ‘very’ satisfying, especially as this book also managed to point me in the direction of a potential second series.


I had to be very careful with the time-line while using historical facts, waiting until my characters grew old enough to fit the plot, which was particularly true of book five, my November release and Maggie McArthur’s story. If you read book one, you will remember she was the baby born to Morag and Euan at the end of The Chieftain’s Curse. I brought her back again as a tomboyish teenager—more interested in swordplay than needlework—in ‘The Chieftain’s Daughter‘. I will admit I’m not always kind to my heroes and heroines, but I did love writing Maggie’s story. Perhaps that’s why I was slightly easier on her—slightly.25327

In November I will have five books in The Chieftain Series available at all the usual sites through Escape Publishing, with one more book to come ‘Chieftain’s Rebel’, this is Gavyn’s son Rory’s story—‘Chieftain’s Rebel’ out in March. So where do we go from there? I’m not exactly certain but if it’s anything like the other books in my Chieftain Series I’m sure it will be an adventure.

The Chieftain’s Daughter will be released on 8 November, and is available for pre-order now. 

The other Chieftain books are available for download now for your highland pleasures!

Try one of Escape’s Rising Stars of Romance – for Free!

Apple iBooks Australia is promoting the Rising Stars of Romance for the next two weeks, and many Escape Authors are featured. The best part? You can get the first book in one of their series for free!

Most of these titles are also free on Amazon AU. So check them out!

House on Burra Burra Lane – Jennie Jones


Just ten days after her fresh start in the isolated Snowy Mountains, Samantha Walker trips over a three hundred pound pig and lands in the arms of Dr. Ethan Granger — and the firing line for gossip. It was hardly a ‘date’ but sparks of the sensual kind are difficult to smother in a community of only 87 people. Now there’s a bet running on how long she’ll stay and what she’ll get up to while she’s in town.

Ethan has his own issues — Sammy’s presence in his childhood home brings with it painful recollections of family scandals and a bad boy youth. When the gossip around them heightens, his life is suddenly a deck of cards spread on the table for all to see. Then Sammy’s past catches up with her… and it looks like all bets are off.

(Amazon AU)

In Safe Hands – Lee Christine


She thinks she needs him, but she doesn’t know the secrets he keeps…

Threatened with the publication of naked photographs taken in her law student days, defence attorney Allegra Greenwood enlists the help of former SAS Commander Luke Neilson, unaware of his involvement in her brother’s death in Afghanistan.

In a race to stop the photographs appearing on the Internet, Luke battles a hidden enemy, his growing feelings for Allegra, and his conscience, which demands he protect a fallen comrade’s sister. As the stakes increase and more sinister motives unfold, Luke not only has to fight to save her career, he has to fight to save her life.

(Amazon AU)

Treasured Secrets – Kendall Talbot


From Romantic Book of the Year winner Kendall Talbot comes an adrenaline-fuelled new series with sexy characters, exotic locations, and action-packed adventure.

The last place Rosalina expected the clue to a 700-year-old mystery to lead is back into the arms of Archer, the one man who broke her heart. But neither can solve the puzzle without the other, so together they set off on a new adventure, weaving from Tuscany’s underbelly to Archer’s luxurious yacht in the Greek Islands, trying to ignore the sparks that still fly unhindered between them.

Archer desperately wants to salvage the relationship he shattered years before, but fighting for Rosalina’s love soon takes a back seat to fighting for their lives. They aren’t the only one on the trail for the treasure, and their competition isn’t bothered by ethics and morals to achieve their goals. With evil close on their trail, and Archer wrestling with the remnants of a childhood tragedy, Rosalina begins to wonder if perhaps there are some secrets that were never meant to be revealed.

(Amazon AU)

A Life Worth Living – Amanda Canham


For lovers of Marion Lennox and Fiona Lowe comes a sweet, touching novel about secret desires and second chances, set in the intriguing world of sleep medicine.

Dr Cameron Lewis has been running from his past for a long time, so when a career opportunity opens up in his hometown of Brisbane, he takes it as a sign to move home and pick up the pieces of his life. But his vow to never have a child remains steadfast — it’s the one thing he can’t compromise on.

Nurse Stacey Carter has always craved a family of her own, and, following a bitter divorce and the death of her mother, she finally decides to make her dreams come true. She doesn’t need a man to help, but she can’t help thinking that the new doctor in the Sleep Medicine ward might be the ideal alternative…

(Amazon AU)

Bound By Her Ring – Nicole Flockton


Luciano Morelli has perfected a plan to get revenge on his runaway wife; confronting her at the opening gala for her father’s hotel. What he didn’t plan on was the flaring of emotions the moment he sees her again.

Jasmine Anderson has no memories of her husband. Her only link to him is the wedding rings she wears. Luciano storms back into her life announcing he is her husband, demanding she join him on a business trip or see her father’s livelihood crumble.

Passion reignites as they rediscover what first drew them together. But more than just memories are lost. Can their bond be rebuilt or will secrets infect their already shattered trust?

(Amazon AU)

The Chieftain’s Curse – Frances Housden

8883 (1)

Nominated for the 2014 RITA Award for Best Historical Romance
Euan McArthur is a chieftain in need of an heir.

While still a young a warrior, Euan incites the fury of a witch. She retaliates with a curse that no wife will ever bear him an heir. As he buries his third wife and yet another bonnie stillborn son, Euan can no longer cast her words aside.

Morag Farquhar is a woman in need of sanctuary. With a young relative in tow, Morag flees the only home she has ever known to escape her brother, Baron of Wolfsdale, and find sanctuary in the MacArthur stronghold. Pronounced barren by a midwife, Morag is of little value to her family, but a Godsend to Euan, a lover he can’t kill by getting with child.

Years ago, chance drew them together, and tangled their lives in ways they could never have imagined. This time their destiny lies in their own hands, but it will take courage and strong hearts to see it through to the end.

(Amazon AU)

Insecure – Ainslie Paton


The worst thing a man can do is not be with the woman he loves.

She could have him sacked quicker than licking her lips. He could ruin her reputation with an email.

Jacinta was the CEO in waiting. Mace was the geek from IT. She had an office suite on the top floor. He worked in cubicle hell.

She had power, influence, her life mapped out. He had big dreams, and an appetite for risk.

They had one hot night written all over them, except the city conspired to turn that night into a weekend of unexpected passion and deep connection.

Will love be enough when Jacinta’s star falls and Mace’s dream takes flight, or will ambition, expectation and insecurity pull them apart?

(Amazon AU)

By The Sword – Alison Stuart


From award-winning author Alison Stuart comes a stirring historical trilogy about soldiers, spies, and the strong women that love them. 

England 1650. In the aftermath of the execution of the King, England totters once more on the brink of civil war. The country will be divided and lives lost as Charles II makes a last bid to regain his throne.

Kate Ashley finds her loyalty to the Parliamentary cause tested when she inherits responsibility for the estate of the Royalist Thornton family. To protect the people she cares about, she will need all her wits to restore its fortunes and fend off the ever-present threat of greedy neighbours.

Jonathan Thornton, exiled and hunted for his loyalty to the King’s cause now returns to England to garner support for the cause of the young King. Haunted by the demons of his past, Jonathan risks death at every turn and brings danger to those who love him. Finding Kate in his family home, he sees in her the hope for his future, and a chance at a life he doesn’t deserve.

In the aftermath of the Battle of Worcester, Jonathan must face his nemesis, and in turn, learn the secret that will change his life forever. But love is fragile in the face of history, and their lives are manipulated by events out of their control. What hope can one soldier and one woman hold in times like these?

(Amazon AU)

The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley – Viveka Portman


In the vein of Portia Da Costa and Charlotte Featherstone, Regency England gets just a bit raunchy in this novella about a gently-raised lady who wants to feel like a woman…

“I have never seen fit in my life to divulge my secrets in a diary, yet now, after today’s proceedings, I do…”

Lady Catherine Bexley is new to marriage and the marriage bed, but surely there must be more to it than this? Her husband is proper and perfunctory — treating her with careful respect but leaving her aching for more.

When she witnesses a gentleman disciplining a maid at a house party, the ache explodes into ravenous desire. She finds herself no longer willing to wait for her husband’s stiff and passionless attentions — and soon develops a naughty plan to finally get what she wants.

(Amazon AU)

Words Once Spoken – Carly Drake


YA meets high fantasy in this lush series debut about a girl who never quite fit in — and the reason why…

Evelyn might not love the confines of her village life, but she takes her small freedoms where she can get them. But everything changes when her parents decide it’s time for her to wed. Suddenly she loses her tunic and breeches, her bow, her horse, and gains rigid gowns, restrictive manners, and carriage rides.

The best way to escape is through her dreams, but as they become more and more real, Evelyn begins to worry that she is losing her grasp on reality. It is only when she makes two new friends that the truth is revealed: she is destined for far, far more than even she could imagine.

(Amazon AU)

King Hall – Scarlett Dawn


A fresh, meaty, sink-your-teeth-in-and-hold-on-tight new adult fantasy series kicks off with King Hall…

King Hall — where the Mysticals go to learn their craft, get their degrees, and transition into adulthood. And where four new Rulers will rise and meet their destinies.

Lily Ruckler is adept at one thing: survival. Born a Mystical hybrid, her mere existence is forbidden, but her nightmare is only about to start. Fluke, happenstance, and a deep personal loss finds Lily deeply entrenched with those who would destroy her simply for existing — The Mystical Kings. Being named future Queen of the Shifters shoves Lily into the spotlight, making her one of the most visible Mysticals in the world. But with risk comes a certain solace — her burgeoning friendships with the other three Rulers: a wicked Vampire, a wild-child Mage, and a playboy Elemental. Backed by their faith and trust, Lily begins to relax into her new life.

Then chaos erupts as the fragile peace between Commoners and Mysticals is broken, and suddenly Lily realises the greatest threat was never from within, and her fear takes on a new name: the Revolution.

(Amazon AU)

Legend Beyond the Stars – SE Gilchrist


Seeking redemption from a mission gone terribly wrong, Captain Alana Knight volunteers to aid a dangerous operation to transport colonists between Earth and alien traders. But on board the spaceship, she learns of a galactic war raging for power. A power that can be transformed into a terrible weapon.

When the colonists are betrayed and sold, Alana’s mission is re-defined. Nothing will stop her from keeping those in her care safe and finding a passage home. But her new captor is nothing like she expects…

Commander Tarak El Rajan is human, male and equally determined to retain his payload. With his race on the brink of extinction he is under strict orders to transport all females to the planet Isla for research purposes.

In a world of uncertainty, where the wrong decision could mean the death of an entire race, the last thing either of these two soldiers expects or needs is to fall in love.

(Amazon AU)

Out of Rhythm – Shona Husk


They might be one of the hottest up-and-coming bands in Australia, but the members of Selling the Sun have a lot to learn about life, love, sex, and each other.

Coming off a successful Australian tour and prestigious industry award nominations, Gemma Field’s life should be perfect. Instead her parents want her to get a real job, the second album isn’t coming together, and her best friend, Kirsten wants nothing to do with her.

Falling for her best friend was never going to make life easy. After an almost accidental drunken kiss almost six months ago, they aren’t even talking. Gemma can’t even talk about it with anyone – not her family, not her bandmates, not even the one person she used to share everything with. Instead she lives in a space of indecision and pain, and it’s affecting all aspects of her life, including the band.

Kirsten Vincent missed Gemma like crazy, but did she miss her as a friend or as something more? She’s confused and Gemma is hurt, and the consequences of a bad decision will affect more than their personal lives. Will another kiss, a sober kiss, a kiss with intent, do more damage, or could it be the start of something more?

(Amazon AU)

The January Wish – Juliet Madison


From Escape’s queen of ro-magic comedy comes a sweet, emotional contemporary romance about the pleasures of making a wish and seeing it come true.

When Dr Sylvia Greene makes an impromptu wish at the Tarrin’s Bay Wishing Festival, it’s the most out of character action she can think of. Hers is not a life of wishes. Hers is a controlled life of order, plans and preparation…of science and research and diagnosis and treatment. But her past has been weighing on her mind, and decisions made long ago have far-reaching consequences.

A week later, the daughter she secretly gave up for adoption at sixteen arrives in Sylvia’s small coastal town with secrets that can’t be shared. Between feelings of guilt, gossip, and a growing attraction to an emotionally unavailable colleague, Sylvia’s well-ordered life is soon thrown into chaos. She is no longer alone, and for the first time she feels as if her world is open to possibilities.

They say be careful what you wish for, but, for Sylvia, the unexpected consequences may be just what the doctor ordered.

(Amazon AU)

Children of the Mist – Jenny Brigalow


An original paranormal YA about an unconventional girl, an unconventional boy, their extraordinary transformations, and the secrets of the Scottish Highlands.

When skater girl Morven Smith turns sixteen, she develops boobs, acute appendicitis…and a pair of pointy teeth. While she is stunned by her metamorphosis into vampire, her best mate, the enigmatic Zest, is not. For the young werewolf, Morven’s transformation is an answer to his lonely prayers.

But they are unable to celebrate their mutual paranormalcy for long — there are too many dangers, too much suspicion, and too many questions. It’s only in Scotland that Morven can learn the truth about her past. But she discovers more than she bargained for when she meets her birth family — an ancient feud between vampires and werewolves. They may both be Children of the Mist, but only one species can survive.

(Amazon AU)

Beckoning Blood – Daniel de Lorne


A gripping,  blood-drenched saga about twin brothers, the men they love, and the enduring truth that true love never dies  — no matter how many times you kill it.

Thierry d’Arjou has but one escape from the daily misery of his work at a medieval abattoir — Etienne de Balthas. But keeping their love a secret triggers a bloody chain of events that condemns Thierry to a monstrous immortality. Thierry quickly learns that to survive his timeless exile, he must hide his sensitive heart from the man who both eases and ensures his loneliness…his twin brother.

Shaped by the fists of a brutal father, Olivier d’Arjou cares for only two things: his own pleasure and his twin. But their sadistic path through centuries is littered with old rivals and new foes, and Olivier must fight for what is rightfully his – Thierry, made immortal just for him.

(Amazon AU)