Indie Book Review: Sailor’s Warning by Noelle Greene

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Review:

This is the second book by Noelle Greene that I’ve read, and another one I loved. The characters are so real, no stereotypes here – just complicated, flawed human beings. I particularly liked Rob (the hero) as he is honestly one of the most realistic male characters I have ever read in a romance. Quite simply, he’s a bit distasteful at times due to his arrogance or presumptions, but rather than making him dislikeable it actually makes him honest. We are made from our own experiences, and this can result in poor judgement on our own part. There was a moment early in the book when he meets the heroine when her illness is at its worst, an illness that causes her hair to fall out and strips her of her youth. Rather than feeling pity for her (as I expected) he felt disgusted, and then ashamed of himself. It is a reaction many people have in the face of such sickness, and I was surprised the author didn’t shy away from describing it. There was nothing rosy about the scene, just honest and terrible humanity.

Rob takes a long time to redeem himself, to become honest with his own flaws and expectations for life. While I would call the genre of this novel suspense/mystery romance, there are ample doses of family drama and personal discovery too. The hero and heroine are entirely equal in this book as they both go through their own, intersecting journeys. Okay, I’ve talked enough about the hero, let’s hear about the heroine!

Meri Darrow is a scientist (yay!) whose career and health are in tatters (boo!). She’s one smart cookie, although maybe if she’d read as many Agatha Christie novels as I had she might’ve guessed one of the twists earlier (I swear, some novels are as good as textbooks for the things you can learn). Her character is equal parts fierce and wary, her illness (I’m being vague deliberately) having sapped much of her vigour, but not all! As she recovers, she starts to dig towards the truth of the experiments at her old labs. The subsequent mystery and suspense are so much fun. Honestly, what’s not to like about Sailor’s Warning? It has everything I could want! (Hooray for complex characters!)

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Amazon buy link.

Sailor’s Warning, by Noelle Greene

Book Length: 255 pages

Suspense/Mystery Romance (Adult Fiction)

According to the Blurb:

They want her complete silence. He wants her complete surrender.

He’s ambitious. Meri Darrow has Rob McLain pegged. He’s a fund manager, more interested in profit than innovation. Rob wants the privileged life she rejected long ago, right down to the showy ocean view villa. Cute as he is, he’s definitely not her type. But Meri needs Rob’s help after she is suddenly fired from her dream job developing a breakthrough anti-aging drug.

She’s a lightning rod for trouble. Rob is shocked how much he wants this brilliant but naïve scientist, even though helping her could ruin his career. Then there’s her mysterious illness. This intense attraction scares the hell out of him.

They can’t win. Now Rob is about to lose everything he’s worked for. Meri’s attempts to do the right thing have only brought fear and death, putting Rob and his little boy in danger. The best thing she can do for them is walk away.

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Character Interview with @SusanLattwein ‘s Lily from the Arafura Series

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My first ever character interview is with Lily, the boisterous and excitable sister of protagonist Kat Howard from Arafura.

Thanks for joining me Lily. Now, I’ve gotten to know your sister quite well these past few months, and she is obviously passionately in love with Adam. What’s your attitude to wuv, twue wuv? Are you going to search for it, or wait for it to fall in your lap?

True love? No such thing, babe! My sister, Kat, thinks there is, even love at first sight (I guess Adam is a catch but he’s not as hot as Ben). Knights in shining armour on their trusty steeds don’t exist, just ordinary (some less than ordinary) dudes trying to navigate their boats like the rest of us. Let’s face it, we all have issues. I do love Ben, (you have me worried now that I’m not demonstrative enough in public…). I guess he’s the one, but after watching my dad come out of the closet, well, that kind of threw me, made me careful, you know? I might have to talk to Susan, address that in the third book of the series….

Any previous boyfriends we should know about? Has anyone come close to being ‘the one’?

 I did date a Captain in the army for a couple of years before Ben. He was Hollywood handsome, flew planes, drove a sports car, but he was emotionally distant, reminded me of a tantalising chocolate with a rock hard caramel filling—not worth the effort or the calories. That’s where I learnt it’s not all about looks, and I’m not proud the way I ended it. Looking back, I was a bit of a bitch and have had the odd nightmare apologising to him.  

 ‘The one?’ Ben ticks a lot of boxes. Is there such a thing as ‘the one’, except in fiction?

 Okay, I know you and Ben are together, but your relationship reminds me of the ‘comfortable’ relationship Kat had with her (now) ex. Sorry Ben! Look, clearly you guys have a good, solid relationship but… ROMANCE, y’know?

 You guys seem a little more like really good friends with benefits.

 You can tell me to back off any time. And, I know, here I am, saying romance isn’t my thing either, but I’d rather not be in a relationship at all. Wow, okay, hope I haven’t ticked you off too bad.

 You’re a straight talker like me, Marigold. I like that.

 There’s a lot going on behind the scenes you don’t know about.

 Arafura is Kat’s story, I get that. Secretly, I think it’s ended up that way because Susan has the hots for Adam. She goes for the charming, rugged , playful, damaged types. For authors, types like Ben are boring. The worst that’s ever happened to Ben was getting tomato on his school lunches.

 As for Ben and my relationship – here’s the real deal. You remember the night Kat turned up at my bungalow on the dot of midnight with Adam? Well, Ben was  pressed up behind me at the front door, his hands discretely hidden under my sarong, exploring, doing things that happen in erotic fiction, not romantic suspense. Forget friends with benefits, that man has an imagination with benefits! I couldn’t talk, so of course the whole scene had to be rewritten.

 No there’s nothing wrong with Ben and my sex life, Kat is the prude, or should I say was? I’ve just got to get over my commitment phobia—you’ve made me realise that’s where I might be a little like Lucas? Oh, God no….

Hm, interesting! But  let’s go to another topic now. What was it like growing up in Darwin? Besides stinking hot.

Darwin is so hot and tropical, it’s cool. Temperatures mostly fluctuate between 30-32 degrees Celsius year round.

Kat and I are both only children, so when she came to live with us after her parents died, my best friend moved in and became my sister. Kat was real quiet when she first came, and it took her months to relax. My parents had an open house,  visitors all the time, a great pool, that’s part of the reason Dad wanted to start his  boutique resort. He loves socialising.

We went to school in bare feet, with Jess Mauboy’s cousin actually. There was a huge mixture of cultures in friends at school, no one cared back then where you were from. I liked that. In all honesty though, some kids had scary home lives.

 Darwin was and still can be red neck, but we weren’t in that orbit, thank goodness. You find your own level anywhere, I guess.

 Was trying to rescue your sister as fun as you made it out to be?

I was freaking terrified, Marigold. But with Ben, Dad and Robert there I felt nothing could go too wrong. Call me naive, but Mel’s chilli spray is ace, I keep some in my handbag all the time now.

Yes, rescuing Kat and Adam was dangerous that night, but remember I was waiting in Dad’s boat, not being shot at in the dinghy. I was on a high, and seeing Kat safe and in one piece was a huge relief.

Got any career aspirations? Big dreams?

I’m studying Tourism and Hospitality through Charles Darwin Uni, don’t think Susan mentioned that (it’s all about Kat and Adam, Adam and Kat…not that I mind, I know my place as a secondary character) 

Big dreams? What a scary question. Have kids, with Ben? Maintain a happy, healthy family, a fulfilling relationship with my partner?

I’ve inherited my father’s head for business so may buy him out one day.

Kat wants to help Indigenous kids with their literacy—I’d like to be involved in that although I don’t have a teaching degree (I think teachers, oh and police, are under-valued and underpaid).

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 And the most important question, are you going to get a dog? C’mon…

No way, do you know how often Biscuit is at our place? That sooky mutt has issues the way he sucks up to Ben and Adam. I give him treats and he doesn’t love me half as much as he should.

Kat and my friend, you know Sophie? Her Jack Russell is having puppies, so don’t tempt me…

Thanks for answering my questions, Lily! You’ve revealed a lot, and I’m curious to find out what happens in your future (and I appreciate you didn’t mind me crossing a line there with your personal life). Here’s to more Arafura adventures!

Indie Book Review: Arafura – Unfinished Business (Book 2) by Susan Lattwein

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Review:

This book starts off with a bang, and it keeps on delivering. Nicely paced with good doses of action, drama and romance, I absolutely recommend it. After reading the first book, I knew it couldn’t end there, and the sequel takes everything that was great and builds on it, raising the stakes to a thoroughly satisfying ending. I loved all the supporting characters, who each had their own quirks and stories to tell. Kat’s world was wonderful to dive back into, and the tropical setting of Darwin was as prominent as in the first book. Isn’t it nice to venture into a different part of the world?

While I found it difficult to classify the first Arafura book in terms of genre, this one falls neatly into suspense romance. It’s the first I’ve read of that genre, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and so I’m open to reading more!

Author website: https://susanlattwein.wordpress.com/

My review of book 1

Arafura: Unfinished Business

By Susan Lattwein

Arafura #2

eBook Length: 235 pages

Suspense Romance

According to the Blurb:

Love is patient. Love is kind. Sometimes love is explosive ….

Schoolteacher Katherine is kidnapped by terrorists outside a supermarket one balmy evening after being stalked by an unconnected, odious suitor – a police officer.
Soon Kat is caught up in a plot to wreak havoc in Darwin, her unruly emotions over the man who rescues her, and an ex-fiancé who refuses to move on.
As time runs out, how can they convince the authorities to take the terrorists’ plans seriously?
Arafura – Unfinished Business is a gritty romance with a bit of sex, dynamite, and hilarity – not always at the same time …

This story follows on from Arafura – Blood, the Wet and tears.