Series: A Dollar For a Dream #1
Published by Escape Publishing on February 25th 2016
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Move to the country for $1 a week.
Dulili is suffering a people drought. Over the years more people have moved away than have arrived to stay in this old New South Wales farming town, and now only a handful of young families and elderly residents are left. The locals put a plan into action to entice newcomers: offering the town’s empty houses to newcomers from anywhere in Australia. Who could resist renting a beautiful homestead for a dollar a week?
There’s nothing left for Adele Devereux in Sydney: no job, no relationship, no hope, and no diagnosis for her shy, uncommunicative daughter Ali. So she packs her bags, takes her meagre savings, and moves her small family to the country. She never expects to meet Tom Wade, a man facing his own hopeless situation, but whose kindness reaches her daughter in an unexpected friendship. As the small town of Dulili attempts to regenerate itself, Adele finds herself drawn further in to the community – and into her attraction to Tom. Tom is not back in Dulili to build a relationship. He’s there to heal wounds, help his grandmother, and make new plans. Plans that don’t come with his grandmother’s new tenant, part of the Dulili dollar scheme. But as Adele and Ali effortlessly work their way into his thoughts and his heart, he realises that there are two crucial elements that he left out of his long-term plans – the chance to find love and renewed hope for the future.
A small-town renewal programme in Dulili is Adele and her young daughter’s hope for a new start, after being left for broke in the city. Tom Wade’s return isn’t too coincidental as well, in the wake of an accident that is leaving him with nothing at all. Love, or even lust, isn’t even on the menu for him, not when there all the space left in his head is used up for a failing business. However gruff and distant as he may be, Tom is strangely, Ali’s saving grace, just as Adele happens to be his.
Reading about this bond that grows between a ten-cent girl and a rough-around-the-edges giant is the highlight of this book, which I enjoyed as much as the simmer-burn between Tom and Adele. Slow-going but beautifully written, Jennie Jones brings together people who have hit rock bottom and even if she makes no authorial promises about a rosy future, there’s a huge punch of hope for a HEA just yet.