New Release Book Review: Shelter from the Storm by Penelope Janu

New Release Book Review: Shelter from the Storm by Penelope Janu

Title: Shelter from the Storm

Author: Penelope Janu

Published: January 4th 2023

Publisher: HQ Fiction – AU

Pages: 448

Genres:  Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4 stars

When Patience Cartwright is stranded in her home town, the last thing she expects is a second chance at love…

Fiercely independent naval officer, Patience Cartwright has never had a place to call home, but she knows where she doesn’t belong. After an unhappy childhood and a badly broken heart, she’ll never return to the country.

But to save her career, Patience is forced to accept a secondment – to an environmental team working near the town where she grew up. There she encounters once more the infuriatingly attractive biologist Hugo Halstead – the very man she’s sworn never to forgive.

Given their history, Hugo, as self-assured and honest as Patience is secretive and self-contained, has vowed never to trust her again, but that doesn’t stop him feeling just as helplessly drawn to her complicated mix of courage and fragility as he ever was.

As Patience recuperates from a life-threatening illness in the small country town of Horseshoe Hill, she realises the beauty of the landscape and close-knit community promise something very different to the future she’s mapped out.

But could the secrets she keeps and the shadows of her past, send her adrift all over again?


It is time to get acquainted with Patience and Hugo, the endearing characters featured in Australian author Penelope Janu’s latest rural romance delight, Shelter from the Storm. A tale of second chances, fate, trauma, healing, trust, forgiveness and overcoming setbacks, Janu’s new release is a heart-warming story that is not to be missed this summer season.

Shelter from the Storm follows the life of Patience Cartwright, a strong minded and hardworking naval officer. Patience is a free spirit and she has never really been able to put her two feet on the ground anywhere. Haunted by a difficult and unsettled childhood, along with a grief-stricken heart, Patience knows her home in the country is not a place she wishes to return to in a hurry. However, in an unexpected career move, Patience is required to take on an assignment with a team working on a mission close to her former home. This leads Patience into the arms of Hugo, a talented biologist. But Patience vows to keep well away from Hugo, as she cannot find it in her heart to forgive him for a past mistake. Hugo also grapples with his mixed feelings for Patience. Whilst she infuriates him, his heart aches for her vulnerable side. Can Hugo let Patience back into his heart again? Will Patience finally realise that home is where the heart is?

What a wonderful way to kick off the new year! Shelter from the Storm is the ideal summer holiday pick me up. I always look forward to a new Penelope Janu release and Shelter from the Storm was one book I was very happy to receive for review via the publisher. Shelter from the Storm proved to be a sizzling summer read!

I have to say it was a pure delight to come back to Horseshoe Hill, a previous location choice from of one my favourite rural romance authors, Penelope Janu. Yet again I was immersed in the beauty of this quintessential Australian site, the embracing community fold and the fauna that populates this region. I was particularly taken with the equine therapy sequences and the frog research elements. It was a bonus to learn more about our animal life thanks to Janu’s efforts. We gain a great insight into some vital environmental themes around river habitats in Shelter from the Storm. I found this area of the novel really interesting. Janu’s passion for this area is evident and I appreciated her valuable insight.

Janu has a natural flair for romance stories and the love story featured in Shelter from the Storm is a heart-stopping one. With trust issues, previous heartbreak, emotional baggage but overwhelming chemistry evident from the get-go, readers will be entranced by this one. Expect plenty of tension and saucy moments too. But it is Hugo, the hero of the hour, that steals the show in Shelter from the Storm. I really did feel for Patience throughout the duration of this new Penelope Janu tale. I could understand our heroine’s guarded approach, frustration, opposition and fear of leaping into a relationship. I appreciated the full exploration into Patience’s past issues and her current situation. This relationship and second chance style romance offers guaranteed reading entertainment for rural romance fans.

A fine cast of supporting characters, such as colleagues and family members add to the drama in Shelter from the Storm. The audience will warm to figures such as Hugo’s mum and Patience’s siblings, who are all genuinely great protagonists to meet. Community ties are potent in this novel, drawing the reader in to the very fabric of the local region. With themes of naval pursuits, careers, past secrets,  homecoming, illness, personal health, belonging and support, Shelter from the Storm is a book that will secure your heart and mind for the duration that you spend with this delightful read.

Shelter from the Storm by Penelope Janu was published on 4th January 2023 by HQ Fiction – AU. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Shelter from the Storm, Penelope Janu, visit here.

*I wish to thank Harlequin Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.


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