Saturday Review




Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published November 20th 2016 by Hachette Australia

Edition Language
Heart of the City #1

Claire Shorten has always dreamed about Paris. When her longtime boyfriend takes her to the Eiffel Tower on a mini-break, Claire is sure that this  is – a dream proposal in a gorgeous, picturesque location. But in one of the most romantic places in the world he asks a very different question. Heartbroken that her boyfriend wants to see other people, Claire isn’t going to let her ex ruin Paris for her. She gets the opportunity to live like a local and help save a failing hotel. The only catch is the surly celebrity chef and restaurateur extraordinary who has methods of his own to turn around the hotel.

Paris Lights is the perfect summer read. Beautiful location with fun characters, this book is a delightful mix of Parisian culture and Australian attitude. Claire may be heartbroken when the romance in her favourite city is damaged a little but she doesn’t let anything get her down for too long. She comes face to face with a younger, handsomer Gordon Ramsay type and (despite his reputation) she doesn’t let him intimidate her.

There is a bit of a Kitchen Nightmares vibe to Louis Delarue and I loved seeing Claire put him in his place when he deserved it. Claire finds she can really help the merry mix of quirky hotel workers using her event planning skills to use. And Louis may be scary and successful but he has met his match in Claire.

The romance in this book flowed at a nice pace considering how the novel started. I was worried Claire would be on the rebound but everything was dealt with neatly without allowing anything to get too complicated. Interactions between Claire and Louis were amusing with them mixing flirty banter and sensual intimate scenes. It was also nice to see the man behind the terrifying reputation as his relationship with Claire developed.

Paris Lights is the kind of book you can devour in a few hours. It’s lighthearted and fun, chock full of romance. It’s very main character focused with the minor characters only seemingly existing to help further Claire’s story but that wasn’t a problem. This is a romantic comedy which delivers on the romance and the comedy.

It was fun to follow Claire as Paris mended her broken heart and showed her just how romantic Paris can be.


Kindle Edition
Published February 1st 2017 by Hachette Australia
Edition Language
Heart of the City #2


Does anyone dream of becoming an au pair? For Sarah Williams – it was a way to explore a new town and all of the joys that come with city life. Those dreams fizzled a bit when she took a job with a family in her homeland of Australia. The dream of living in New York a memory until fate stepped in.

After a glowing recommendation from her former employer, Sarah was swiftly sought after as an au pair in New York. Without a clear understanding of how many children she would take care of or just whom she would be working with, Sarah threw caution to the wind and jumped at the chance to explore the bright lights of New York. Then she meets the Worthingtons……

Hurdle after hurdle is thrown Sarah’s way. It begins to leave her wondering what kind of job was she accepting. Then she meets the ‘Ice Man’ himself – Ben. Apparently there are secrets the Worthington’s are keeping, and no one is bothering to enlighten Sarah. All Sarah can be certain of is she is in charge of caring for Ben’s daughter Grace. Nothing about this job is as it seems. Causing Sarah to wonder what she has walked into by accepting this job.

As Sarah spends her days caring for Grace, she begins to question where the love is from Ben. Secrets lurk beyond the surface, and their unraveling will shock Sarah to her very core.

New York Nights is the second book in the Heart of the City series by CJ Duggan. It’s a journey that Sarah leads us on during her trip to the city that never sleeps. I can’t imagine that being an au pair is ever easy. For Sarah – it is a bit more complicated and exhausting being thrown in the middle of a saga that she never understood the dynamics of. Working for Ben was exhausting and time consuming all while laced with a sprinkle of lust.

What are the secrets that the Worthingtons are trying so hard to keep hidden? (To think I had them figured out…ha) Will Ben ever act like the father to Grace that he should? So far Sarah has had the determination of a bull, but will it hold out? As the realization of those secrets leak out, Sarah questions just how deep her feelings for Ben really are.

As always, CJ has written a fun quick romance that engages you from beginning to end. While this book is part of a series, it can definitely be read as a standalone. I recommend it to any reader looking for a hard fought romance that is tinged with some really unexpected secrets that will leave you rooting for this unique pair


Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published March 26th 2017 by Hachette Australia
Edition Language
Heart of the City #3

When Kate Brown left Melbourne, headed for the wonderful, historical city of London she had grand plans. Walks in the greenest of gardens. Meals in the most rustic of pubs and of course immersing herself in the wealth of riches the city has to offer a fashion lover such as herself.

What she found though, was a virtual prison. Living upstairs in her Nana’s house the tension between the stifling ‘my house my rules’ credo and the virtual necessity of free rent has her cooped up most hours of the day, either hiding in her own rooms, or acting the part of Nana Joy’s live-in slave.

That is, until the obnoxious man who almost ran her over and a forbidden door change her outlook on everything London has to offer.

If you look really closely, you can see more tying the three Heart of the City novels together than simply the premise of a Melbourne girl finding her way in an exotic city, but for all intents and purposes they’re pretty much standalone novels.

Told first person solely from Kate’s point of view, the story finds her learning to spread her wings, confront her insecurities and, of course, get entangled with the arrogant man who drives an Aston Martin that looks like it came straight out of a James Bond movie.

With an engaging style that permeated the whole of the series, I found this book to be the most satisfying of the three as the tensions and secrets, misunderstandings and dramas left me, at the end of it all, with a smile on my face


Author: mccullum001

I'm a 27 year old, who really doesn't know what I want to do...I have the education, but nothing to show for it...Stay Tuned!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s