January Reading Challenge Discussion

January’s Reading was to read… the last book you purchased or downloaded in December.

The first book I chose is Watching You by Lisa Jewell. This mystery centers around several key people in Melville Heights, a wealthy neighborhood in Bristol.

Joey Mullin and her husband Alfie have recently moved in with her brother Jack and her pregnant sister-in-law Rebecca. Joey already has a few regrets about her impetuous marriage so is it not too surprising when she becomes obsessed with neighbor Tom Fitzsimmons, a wunderkind headmaster who works miracles with troubled schools.

Joey is not the only person who keeps a close eye on her neighbors. Tom and his wife, Nicola’s teenage son Freddie is also very interested in the people who live around him. He picks up on Joey’s fascination with his father and he is also intrigued by teenager Jenna and her paranoid mum, who is also closely watching Tom.

As if all of this spying isn’t creepy enough, there is everyone’s fascination with middle-aged Tom. Jenna’s best friend, Bess has a crush on him and Jenna becomes concerned that Tom is showing an unnatural interest in Bess. Then there Jenna’s is a strange realization that she and her mum might have crossed paths with Tom before and this adds to her growing fear that there is a predator in their midst.

Watching You is a fast-paced and fascinating mystery that old and new fans of Lisa Jewell are going to love. There is plenty of tension as the mysterious goings on in Melville Heights culminate in a shocking murder. The police attention is firmly entrenched on one of the neighbors who proclaims their innocence. The evidence is stacking up against their suspect, but could someone else have committed the crime? Well, you’ll have to read it and see!

Want to know what Watching You is about? Click HERE to read the summary.

The second book I selected is a Kindle Unlimited pick. While I was at GayRomLit, Australian author N.R. Walter was on one of the panels and I really enjoyed her discussion. One of my friends recommended Ms. Walters’ Red Dirt Heart series, so I decided to download book number one, Red Dirt Heart. And boy, am I glad I did!

Charlie Sutton runs his family’s cattle station in the harsh and isolated Australian Outback. Outside of attending uni in Sydney, he has lived his entire life on Sutton Station and he is the first to admit he would not want to live anywhere else. Charlie is gay but his (now deceased) father’s reaction to his son’s sexuality still reverberates and he remains deeply closeted. However, when American Travis Craig arrives at the Station for a four week course in agronomy, Charlie is instantly and deeply attracted to the ever cheerful young man.

Travis is comfortable in his skin and he is openly gay. He is eager to learn as much as he can and he is a quick learner as Charlie teaches him about farming in the Outback. Travis is surprised by how much he loves the barren yet beautiful landscape and despite the extreme conditions, he fits in with Charlie and the rest of the crew.

Charlie is drawn to Travis and once the two men figure out they are both gay, they give into their attraction to each other. With Travis’s departure date looming, he is understanding of Charlie’s need to keep their relationship secret. But love has a funny way of unexpectedly slipping in and Travis is ready to stay and fight for a future with Charlie. But will Charlie let down his defenses and admit his feeling for Travis?

I LOVED both Charlie and Travis and I am so glad I will get to watch them grow into their romance over the next three installments of the Red Dirt Heart series!

Want to know what Red Dirt Heart is about? Click HERE to read the book summary.

Now, it’s your turn to talk about the book you selected for January’s challenge. Was the last book you downloaded or purchased in December a winner? Or was it a dud? Please share your thoughts with us about your selection.


Check out February’s challenge HERE.

1 Comment

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One Response to January Reading Challenge Discussion

  1. Suze

    Ooh, it’s a few years since I read Lisa Jewell – have to check if the library has this one!
    Also, Red Dirt Heart series is yum! NRW is a favoured author of mine – pretty much buy whatever she writes!!

    I read Exit Through thr Gift Shop by Kim Fielding, last one of the DSP Advent Calendar stories. This year they are all set in warm places, this time Florida. I liked the non-mouse theme park setting – a little tacky, not quite 100% but fun and enjoyable all the same. Rory in the story is better than Rory on the cover seems (too corny) and it is insta-attraction leading to a couple of meet ups. Christmas with Alex’s family is too good to be true as Rory fits in perfectly but it is all good Christmas movie magic. I enjoyed it.