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Posted July 17, 2010
This is a nice little Australian romance set in a rural community, and is a departure from the author's other books, which are romantic suspense. In some ways reading this was like reading a category romance (just to give you an idea of what to expect), but for me it was more inventive than any category book set in Australia I have read.
Rilee and Trey fall in love pretty much straight away after meeting at a rural dance in Australia. It's only after they rush into marriage that Rilee finds out some truths about Trey that send her running. The story picks up eighteen months later when they are brought together for the wedding of Rilee's best friend and Trey's brother.
One thing I usually dislike about rural Australian stories is that the characters tend to have a great big chip on their shoulders that leads to them going on and on about how city people are stupid/ugly/mean/generally bad. So what I liked about this story was that Rilee is like that to a certain extent, but she gets put in her place. After half a book of being a snob she comes to realise stereotyping works both ways. She's so fast with the insults when it comes to Trey and her perception of him, and she has to eat her words as she realises being different doesn't mean being worse, and also that people are full of surprises. Trey was a very patient man!
Another problem I usually have with stories like this is that they are almost always one of two extremes. They're either written with some sort of fantasy outback setting, where everyone is rich and posh and absolutely nothing like real Australians. Or else they only show the crude side of rural society, with everyone constantly drunk and doing dirty and immature things. I'm always either grossed out, or reading a category book that paints a sickeningly sweet and perfect image of the country.
This book finds a nice balance between the two, making the characters so much more appealing, and making me care more about the story.
I liked how things were revealed as the story went on. There is a mystery surrounding Rilee and Trey's relationship and we don't know who knows what about what happened between them. We don't even know exactly what happened between Rilee and Trey between the beginning of the book and the present - eighteen months later - until a little while in. We just know they've come back together after a long time, and they never healed what drove them apart earlier on.
My criticism? The editing. In the first romantic scene we're told about the heroine touching the hero's 'waste'. There are a few things like that through the story (loose/lose, desert/dessert, intension/intention). It's a problem I've noticed with just about every book I've read from these smaller publishing houses, and I wish they would do something about it because it's not the fault of the authors.
This is a genre that is becoming quite popular in Australian fiction, and there are books out there of varying quality. This is a short little story that did exactly what it should do - create some nice images of the bush; give us an interesting relationship with conflict and a satisfying resolution; and kept me entertained for a couple of hours. Now I can't wait for the author's rural romance book coming out next year!
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Posted July 19, 2010
The Cattleman's Runaway bride is somewhat a different genre from her other works of romantic suspense. It is a sweeping rural romance with characters that shine as soon as they make an appearance. I was hooked until the last page. The Cattleman's Runaway Bride shows the strength of the heroine as she faces obstacles and makes decisions. With a whirlwind marriage, and sudden separation, Rilee's strong will has her re-evaluating the love she has for her husband.
The descriptive scenes will put your mind in the novel. I saw the property, the characters as well as the magnificent sunsets vividly. The ending of the story touched my heart when Rilee reconsiders her actions; I actually shed a few tears. Therefore, if a novel does this to a reader it tells you the author knows how to captivate a reader's heart.
A lovely read for those who love to indulge in romance, especially a contemporary rural romance.
Posted July 18, 2010
This is a lovely little rural romance with characters that become your friends and underlying issues that you dont have to live in rural Australia to have experienced.
Who hasn't felt frustrated when life seems to have been taken completely out of your control? For the main character - losing her family property and along with it her hopes and dreams for the future-- she could have easily thrown her hands up in the air and given up, but she is determined to pick herself up and dust herself off. It's this never give up attitude that makes her such a wonderful role model for not only young women, but people in general. There is so much about this story that could have easily lowered the story line to become a bitter, dark drama, but with strong characters and a positive attitude, it goes to show how as in life, you can turn a negative into a positive with the right attitude.
A lovely romance and a feel good theme running through the plot makes this a great read and a must read for anyone who enjoys a romance set in Australia.