The Best Aussie (YA/NA) Romance Reads

We’re talking about romancing the reader this month and today I want to mention some swoonworthy Aussie books that well and truely romanced me.

Summer Skins (Kirsty Eager) — the best traditionally published aussie NA I’ve read. Set on campus at an aussie uni, it’s a boys vs girls prank-fest and so much fun.  Get on it!

Words in Deep Blue (Cath Cowley) — so much more than a YA romance. This book is emotion and feeling and friendship and grief all rolled into a ball that isn’t contained nor repaired by love. Just beautiful.

Pieces of Sky (Trinity Doyle) — another book about grief and friendship and love and loss. This book is an amazing aussie YA with a gorgeous aussie beach setting.

On the Jellicoe Road (Melina Marcetta) — My goodness. Perfect is one word I’d use to describe this read. It moved me in ways that no other book has. It’s a romance and a mystery and so well written I had writer-envy.

Grafitti Moon (Cath Crowley) — It’s quirky, it’s gritty, it all takes place in one single night. And it’s home to amazingly unique characters that I just want to befriend.


The AO&R crew have also written some Aussie romance. Check out the Our Books tab or Goodreads list for more details. I’d suggest Lauren’s Emerald Cove Series, Stacey’s Oxley College Saga, Beck’s Fake, Kaz’s Reluctant Jillaroo, Sharon’s Open Heart Series, Cass’s Lucid Dreaming, or Katie’s Cadence. All are vastly different, yet common in that they hold a romance and an Aussie setting. The rest of the crew have their debut books releasing soon!

What’s your favourite Aussie YA/NA romance read?

Stacey Nash writes aussie YA / NA. Her Oxley College Saga is a series of romances based in the fictional Oxley College on a university campus.To find out more about Stacey’s books or to connect with her on social media (where she tries not to only romance), check out these places:, instagram, twitter, facebook.



Review: Paradise City by C.J Duggan

If you’re an aussie book lover then chances are you’ve heard of Paradise City. It seems to be everywhere I look lately, and it only released this month. Being a curious creature, I just had to pick it up this past week for a read.


There’s bound to be trouble in Paradise . . .

When her parents decide a change will be good for her, seventeen-year-old Lexie Atkinson never expected they’d send her all the way to Paradise City. Coming from a predictable life of home schooling on a rural Australian property, she’s sure that Paradise will be amazing. But when she’s thrust into a public school without a friendly face in sight, and forced to share a room with her insipid, hateful cousin Amanda, Lexie’s not so sure.

Hanging out with the self-proclaimed beach bums of the city, sneaking out, late night parties and parking with boys are all things Lexie’s never experienced, but all that’s about to change. It’s new, terrifying . . . and exciting. But when she meets Luke Ballantine, exciting doesn’t even come close to describing her new life. Trouble with a capital T, Luke is impulsive, charming and answers to no one. The resident bad-boy leader of the group, he’s sexier than any boy Lexie has ever known.

Amidst the stolen moments of knowing looks and heated touches, Lexie can’t help but wonder if Luke is going to be good for her . . . or very, very bad?

Holy cliffhanger, Batman!

Okay, now that’s off my chest I feel much better.

For some reason I went into Paradise City expecting a New Adult novel, and that it was not. Following the story of seventeen year old Lexie Atkinson–a home schooled country girl who moves to the coastal town of Paradise City to tackle the end of year 11–it’s most definitely young adult. And not just because the characters are in high school; Lexie deals with issues of friendship, bullying, rebelling against parental figures, and first romance.

I loved the Aussieness of this book. With year 12 common rooms, lunch passes, and muck up days, it took me right back to high school. Even Lexie’s mentions of things like Samboy chips, Coke, thongs, and Rip Curl pencil cases made me smile with that it’s-good-to-be-Australian feel.

Concept: Teen surfers, a good country girl moves to the big city. Not bad.

Characters: The characters are what made this book. I fell in love with every single one of them, from Ballantine and Boon to Laura and Dean Saville, even Amanda (the hot and cold cousin). They all really sprung off the page, making me feel as if they were real people. With their devil may care attitude, wet collars, and sport loving personalities the Kirkland boys (Ballantine and Boon) were exactly as I’d imagine the popular kids. Laura was everything you’d want in a best friend, while still holding her own at school. Dean Saville I suspect may become a bigger character as the series progresses, but I won’t say too much about him for now. Lexie was the only character that I struggled with a little, because it felt as if she kept jumping between personalities while she figured out who she was; the straight A farm girl or the rebellious city girl.

Plot: For me, the plot was a little frustrating. But I’m not a teenager, so perhaps the teen drama that felt really contrived would feel more realistic to a younger audience. Maybe I’m too far removed. There were times when I found myself groaning and wanting to tell Lexie not to be so stupid and have a little self esteem. Also, her whole transformation from nerdy good girl to rebellious, worldly girl seemed to happen in the blink of an eye.


Heat Level: For YA this book was pretty hot. Maybe that’s why I’d thought it was NA. There are a couple of pretty steamy scenes that are described in FULL detail. Not for the prudish. 😉

Comparisons: Modern day Grease with surfer bad boys instead of Greasers. A good girl that crushes on the hottest bad boy in school. A cousin much like Rizo.

Although there were a lot of things about this book I enjoyed, there were some that bothered me. However, it was a good read and I did struggle to put it down at times. I will be looking out for the sequel come September.


AOaR_4star (3)


Stacey Nash


This review was brought to you by Stacey Nash, who is loving this fresh wave of Aussie authors! To find out more about her books find her at, twitter or facebook.

Every Move by Ellie Marney – the end of a trilogy!

Before I even start this review, let me start of by saying that you’re going to read these books.

You just are. It’s a requirement of.


You just have to read them, okay????

Usually I do five reasons to read books. So let’s go with that again.



1) Ellie Marney is Australian (you already know it’s going to be brilliant) and is just so lovely.

2) Sherlock, people. It’s Sherlock but YA.

3) Two books are set in Australia – one city, one rural. Then one book’s in London. The sense of setting is completely incredible.

4) Everything is so real. The characters are SO well-developed and there are no ridiculous love triangles or whatever. This is, of course, because the characters are Australian, and therefore better than any other characters (this is a very objective opinion, I swear).

5) Um, did I mention the totally awesome romance between Mycroft and Rachel? *swoons*

Okay. And now the actual review.

every move

Author: Ellie Marney

Genre: YA crime/thriller/retelling

Published by: Allen and Unwin

Published on: 1st March 2015

Source: review copy (ETERNAL GRATITUDE TO A&U)


After the dramatic events of London, a road trip back to her old home in Five Mile sounds good (in theory) to Rachel Watts, with her brother Mike in the driving seat. But when Mike picks up his old buddy – the wildly unreliable Harris Derwent – things start to go south. Back in Melbourne, Rachel’s ‘partner in crime’, James Mycroft, clashes with Harris, and then a series of murders suggest that the mysterious Mr Wild – Mycroft’s own personal Moriarty – is hot on their tail. When tragedy strikes, Rachel and Mycroft realise they’ll have to recruit Harris and take matters into their own hands…

Right, so, I’m going to try and do this with as little flailing as possible.

Maybe not.

If you haven’t read the first two books in the series, look away now. I’m not saying there’ll be spoilers for the first two, but I’m not saying there WON’T be, if you get my meaning.

Okay, so, in this book, we see a very different side to both Rachel and Mycroft. Rachel has PTSD, and it is portrayed SO, SO well.

Ellie Marney actually wrote a blog post on her own experience of PTSD.

Basically, it’s a very real portrayal of people after a horrific event, which I think is something missing from a LOT of YA. I mean, seriously, you’ve got people fighting Voldemort and whatever, and they keep functioning perfectly fine?

(Harry Potter’s a bad example, because he does show signs of PTSD, but you get my drift)

The characters in this series are probably one of its greatest strengths.

Well, you know, along with the incredible plot that has both elements of the original story and adds to it in a breath-taking, can’t-stop-reading way.

Oh, and also? Harris.

HARRIS DERWENT, let me love you.

This guy. I swear to god. He is one of my favourite characters EVER. He’s funny and genuine and he helps Rachel cope and he’s just BRILLIANT and I’m so glad it didn’t turn into a love triangle.

Also, the news on the grape-vine is that Ellie Marney’s next book will be a spin-off starring Harris which…

It’s sexy, dark and so very real. Ellie Marney will take you to places you’ll never forget.

Have I convinced you yet?


It’s only March, but I have a feeling this will be one of my favourite books of the year.

Though I’m sad to leave Rachel and Mycroft behind, I loved the ending to this trilogy. Now they can sit proudly on my bookshelf until I decide to reread them (it might be sooner than I expect!).

Rating: 5 Wondrous Stars

AOaR_5star (3)

me again

While you’re reading this, Emily’s probably doing an exam. Or maybe procrastinating on studying for one. She’s also trying to finish this draft of her contemporary WIP so she can (finally) start querying.