It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

A good reading week for me overall. Three books read and two started, one of which is another lengthy book that has been sitting in my TBR pile.

While reading The Mind's Own Place by Ian Reid I wasn't sure if I liked this book . This week I can say that I'm glad I persisted with it. The Mind's Own Place  is one of those books that feels bland until you realise you've reached the end and actually enjoyed it.  

Lyrebird Hill  was another quick read from Anna Romer and didn't disappoint. Michael Arnold's novella, Highwayman Ironside, was also a quick read because of its length and very entertaining.You can read my review of it here.

This week's focus is on Now Face to Face by Karleen Koen and I've picked up another book set in colonial Australia, Heart of the Country  by Tricia Stringer, an Australian author I've not read before.

The book I'm hoping to read next is The Orphan Gunner by Sara Knox.

What I Read Last Week

The Mind's Own Place by Ian Reid

Two women and three men, displaced in different ways by the rapid transformation of Victorian England, travel separately to a small settlement on Australia’s western rim. With them they carry social ambitions and psychological wounds. As their lives intersect in the Swan River Colony, what they encounter is not quite what they expect.
Though fictional, The Mind’s Own Place is partly based on the actual experiences of historical figures: a pair of convicts from respectable backgrounds, talented and enterprising but troubled; two female immigrants, free settlers, not equally fortunate or resilient; and the first detective in Western Australia, who eventually uncovers more than he intends.

Lyrebird Hill by Anna Romer

When all that you know comes crashing down, do you run? Or face the truth?
Ruby Cardel has the semblance of a normal life – a loving boyfriend, a fulfilling career – but in one terrible moment, her life unravels. The discovery that the death of her sister, Jamie, was not an accident makes her question all she’s known about herself and her past.
Traveling back home to Lyrebird Hill, Ruby begins to remember the year that has been forever blocked in her memory . . . Snatches of her childhood with beautiful Jamie, and Ruby’s only friendship with the boy from the next property, a troubled foster kid. Then Ruby uncovers a cache of ancient letters from a long-lost relative, Brenna Magavin, written from her cell in a Tasmanian gaol where she is imprisoned for murder. As she reads, Ruby discovers that her family line is littered with tragedy and violence.
Slowly, the gaps in Ruby’s memory come to her. And as she pieces together the shards of truth, what she finally discovers will shock her to the core – about what happened to Jamie that fateful day, and how she died. A thrilling tale about family secrets and trusting yourself...

Highwayman Ironside by Michael Arnold

England: 1655. A nation reeling from the turmoil of bloody civil war. An island in the iron grip of Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate.The forces of King Charles have been utterly defeated. The sovereign is dead, his supporters beaten, humiliated and scattered. But it is not just former Cavaliers who find themselves hounded by the new regime. Many of those who fought for Parliament have fallen foul of the oppressive rule of the Major-Generals. One such man is Major Samson Lyle: Roundhead, outlaw, fugitive. Forced into exile after a dispute with the ruling elite, he has returned, intent on waging war against those now in command. Skilled with pistol and blade, Lyle takes the fight onto the busy roads south of the capital, forging a formidable reputation as a notorious highwayman. Along with his trusted young ward Bella, and Eustace Grumm, an irascible former smuggler, Lyle dodges the ever-present threat of capture to menace those against whom he has sworn revenge. But when the robbery of a powerful lawyer alerts Lyle to the imprisonment of a former comrade, the Major is plunged into a dangerous game of intrigue and deceit that may finally prove his undoing. And he must tread carefully, for Parliament have dispatched their own man to hunt the elusive outlaw. The villainous Colonel John Maddocks is tracking Lyle's every move, and soon he will come face to face with the Ironside Highwayman.

What I'm Reading Today

Now Face to face by Karleen Koen

The beloved heroine from Koen's bestselling Through a Glass Darkly returns in a passionate, unforgettable, romantic tapestry. A widow at age 20, emotionally devastated and financially ruined by the death of her husband in scandalous circumstances, Barbara Devane leaves colonial Virginia for London to confront her enemies and to pursue a deeply satisfying yet dangerous clandestine love.

Heart of the Country by Tricia Stringer

1846. Newly arrived from England, Thomas Baker is young, penniless and alone. Eager to make his mark on this strange new place called South Australia, he accepts work as an overseer on a distant sheep property, believing this will be the opportunity he seeks. But when Thomas’s path crosses that of ex-convict, Septimus Wiltshire — a grasping con man hell bent on making a new life for himself and his family at any price — trouble is on the horizon.
But Thomas is made of stern stuff and his fortunes take a turn for the better when he meets spirited farmer’s daughter Lizzie Smith, and soon he envisages their future together.
But this land is like no other he has encountered: both harsh and lovely, it breaks all but the strongest. When his nemesis intervenes once more and drought comes, Thomas finds himself tested almost beyond endurance with the risk of losing everything he and Lizzie have worked for… even their lives.

What I Hope to Read Next

The Orphan Gunner by Sara Knox

The Orphan Gunner is an unconventional romance set in bomber command in Lincolnshire during the Second World War. Evelyn and Olive grew up together in the Canabolas Valley near Orange. They are in England at the outbreak of war: Evelyn as a pilot in the Air Transport Auxiliary, Olive in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. They're joined by Evelyn's brother Duncan, a novice gunner in Lancaster L-Love, flying bombing raids over Germany. The raids take their toll on the crew, and the two women are drawn into a plot involving disguise and mistaken identity, to get the exhausted Duncan out of service. The Orphan Gunner explores the seductions of passing, the licence granted by risk, and the selflessness - and selfishness - of sacrifice. The relationship between the two women is portrayed with subtlety and warmth, and an extraordinary sense of historical detail which brings its wartime setting vividly to life.


  1. All new-to-me! Thank you for sharing your reads with us.

  2. Interesting reads, never saw any of them before,but I hope you enjoy them.

    1. I am enjoying my current reads and looking forward to The Orphan Gunner.

  3. Sometimes its hard to stay with a book but in the end often there is satisfaction and enjoyment. Glad you found that.

    1. It was a very good outcome. One that took me by surprise.

  4. Sounds like a great reading week - I hope that continues in to this week. All the books you've shared are new to me.

    Reading With Jade

    1. The Karleen Koen novel will take up much of this week's reading and the Tricia Stringer novel is lengthy too. I'll be very pleased if I finish both this week.

  5. Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres, there's something so exciting about being able to escape to another time!

  6. Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres, there's something so exciting about being able to escape to another time!