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Feature book: Read Between the Lines

18 November 2020

Read Between the Lines by Belinda Williams

Series: Freshwater, Book 1
Subgenre: contemporary
Release date: 30 Mar 2020
Publisher: self-published
Format: ebook and print
Length: 330 pages
RRP: $5.99 (ebook); $32.99 (print)

This is my first Belinda Williams, and it definitely won’t be my last! As the first of the Freshwater trilogy, I’m very happy to know there are two more books to come.

Kat Chalmers lives in what sounds like a gloriously fabulous waterfront flat facing the beach. Oh, don’t we all wish! She’s a nightly news anchor, and she’s absolutely terrific at the job. She has perfect poise on camera, she does killer interviews with her guests, she manages good banter and such with her co-hosts, and is living a good life. She’s quite a celebrity, but she doesn’t trade on her public persona—and in fact keeps her private life extremely private.

There are reasons for that. I can’t tell you too much, but the reasons are rather staggering. High impact reasons. Intrigued? Read on.

Her next-door neighbour—who she never seems to see—is Matt Goodridge, an obstetrician. He’s fairly reclusive and hardly ever home. Those babies don’t keep office hours, do they? After they finally meet in a very funny balcony incident, Kat thinks of Matt as a blond Clark Kent: strong, silent and quiet, but all man. Ooh.

I think I fell in love with Matt when he quotes Mr Darcy, he of Pride and Prejudice fame. Omigosh. That scene is so good. And truly, that scene is the beginning of the end for Kat, too. I mean, she and I are all—Mr Darcy. Swoon.

Both Kat and Matt have a terrific group of friends, supportive, funny, smart-mouthed and absolutely great fun. And psst! I’ve looked ahead and Kat’s girlfriends Jess and Em are the heroines in #2 and #3 in the series. Big tick there.

In the middle of a fantastic and intense romance, Kat and Matt suddenly face some unexpected events that shake them to the core and force them to re-evaluate everything. And I mean, everything.

I really applaud Belinda Williams for the way she deals with mental health issues in this book. In an afterword it sounds like these things raised their head while she was writing and so she just ran with the scenario rather than fight against it.

Everyone knows someone, and in fact probably is someone who struggles with mental health from time to time. The supportive and normalising way mental health is dealt with in the book is excellently done. Take a bow, Belinda.

This is a smart, modern, fresh romance with today’s issues and dramas. I absolutely loved it, laughed a lot, and cried a lot, and have already pre-ordered #2 and #3. Go for it!

And PS, I grew up where I couldn’t quite see but could hear the waves from Freshwater Beach, especially in the quiet of night. That alone was enticement to read the book. Now that I’ve read it, wow.

reviewed by Malvina

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

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