The weather here has been snap-frozen like a bag of peas – by Sydney standards, anyway – which means that it’s the perfect time of year to snuggle up inside with cups of tea and cute, cosy pyjamas. I’ve never been much of a fan of cold weather, but there’s something about being able to wear all thick stockings and ankle boots that gets me all excited.

There’s something about this weather that calls for comfort in the form of sweet romances, which is why you may have seen some books in my stories, only to have them disappear and never appear in my Recent Reads. Some, I have abandoned half way through, while other have been put on hold for books that make my spirit soar. After all, that’s the reason you read books, isn’t it?

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

I don’t think I ever grew out of my teenage years. Even though I have a job and a house and a family – plus all the responsibilities that come with them – I still have the same sense of teenage dreaming (and probably humour).

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston was the sweet read that I needed this month. The adorable story follows Sophie, fresh from a break up with her boyfriend, as she agrees to go on ten blind dates set up by her extension family. The dates range from lovely to hilarious (just imagine who your family would pick for you) and put Sophie on a path of self-rediscovery, if you will.

This book was the kind of fluffy, light-hearted read that I’ve been looking for to brighten up the monotony of adult life.

You’ll love it if: you sometimes yearn for the freedom of being in high school and having no real responsibilities.

You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

Mhairi McFarlane is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. I loved If I Never Met You and while You Had Me At Hello wasn’t on the same playing field in terms of drawing me in and getting that character buy-in, it was still an enjoyable read.

You Had Me At Hello is the story of Rachel and Ben who met at university, don’t quite get it right and then cross paths ten years later. The only thing is that Ben is married.

The whole love-interest-is-married thing was a bit of a drag because it’s not something I love to read about, however, the book does explore different marriages and how they handle infidelity (it’s not deep, but it’s still there). There is no infidelity by the main characters, but fair warning that it’s a big theme.

The story was enjoyable and I did like the way it explored the person who you are as a couple and the person who you are on your own.

You’ll love this if: you’ve ever wondered what happened to that university crush.

Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

This is the first book I’ve read from Hannah Orenstein and the first sports-related novel I have read in quite a while. It’s wasn’t too heavy on the romance, focusing almost equally on drama within the sport, but having never been in the gymnastics world, I found it addictive.

The story centres around Avery, who was formerly tipped to make the Olympic team until she suffered a career-altering injury at the Olympic trials. Years later, after the breakdown of her relationship, she moves back home and takes a coaching job alongside her teen crush, fellow gymnast Ryan.

Head Over Heels explores a lot of themes within the sport; the pressure on young gymnasts, abusive coaches, identity within the sport and without it. It also explores self-worth, mental health, friendships and relationships.

While there wasn’t as much focus on the romance element of the book, I still really enjoyed this read which brought some hard truths into a fluffy, light story.

You’ll love this if: you were ever a wannabe gymnast or hardcore Stick It fan.


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