Author: Rachael Johns

Talk of the Town by Rachael Johns

Talk of the Town by Rachael JohnsTalk Of The Town by Rachael Johns
Published by Mira on May 1st 2017
Pages: 416
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four-stars

Lawson Cooper-Jones has two priorities in life – his son, Ned, and the survival of the dairy farm that has been in his family for generations. Despite the best efforts of the town matchmakers and the determined pursuit of local girl Adeline Walsh, Lawson’s heart belongs still, and only, to his late wife.
But when a flat tyre strands Lawson and Ned in nearby Rose Hill, he’s surprised to find a woman living alone in the old general store of the deserted town. Ned immediately forms a bond with the beautiful stranger called Meg, and Lawson is surprised to find himself captivated by her too.
Although shy at first, Meg starts to open up to him about the haunting secrets of her new home and, with Lawson unable to get her out of his head, they agree to investigate the history of the old building together. Soon they find their friendship has bloomed into something more.
But when meddling Adeline makes it her mission to uncover the truth about the newcomer and her real identity is revealed, Lawson and Meg’s budding romance comes crashing down. Can they both learn to forgive in order to claim a future for their damaged hearts?

The Australian small-town, rural romance is always one of a kind for me and getting deep into a story that works is simply a treat that I savour. Rachael Johns has written some books that I liked very much and ‘Talk of the Town’ is yet another lovely read that I’ll probably remember for a while.

It’s not an entirely unpredictable story nonetheless, with a very slow-burn and touches of the paranormal. There’re typical ups and downs in the narrative but the drama and romance that unfold aren’t over-the-top, with very real characters who struggle with daily lives, their emotions and their efforts in rebuilding after tragedy strikes.

Along with Lawson/Meg who help spin the magic of the narrative, the evocative feel of Western Australia and the agricultural community that I remember – along with the gorgeous Margaret River stretch that’s mentioned in there- contribute hugely to stamping the story in my memory.

four-stars

Outback Dreams by Rachael Johns

Outback Dreams by Rachael JohnsOutback Dreams by Rachael Johns
Series: Bunyip Bay #1
Published by Harlequin Enterpises AU on October 1st 2013
Pages: 352
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two-stars

Faith and Monty are both looking for love...but are they looking in the wrong direction? Faith Forrester is at a crossroads. Single, thirty and living on a farm in a small Western Australian town, she's sick of being treated like a kitchen slave by her brother and father. Ten years ago, her mother died of breast cancer, and Faith has been treading water ever since. She wants to prove to herself that she's done something worthwhile with her life. And she wants to find a man... For as long as he can remember, Daniel 'Monty' Montgomery has been Faith's best friend. When he was ten, his parents sold the family property and moved to Perth and ever since, Monty's dreamed of having his own farm. So for the last ten years, he's been back on the land, working odd jobs and saving every dollar to put toward his dream. Now he finally has the deposit. But there’s still something missing... So when Faith embarks on a mission to raise money for a charity close to her heart, and Monty's dream property comes on the market, things seem like they are falling into place for them both. Until a drunken night out ends with them sleeping together. Suddenly, the best friends are faced with a new load of challenges... Monty and Faith are both ready to find a life partner and settle down, but they didn’t expect love to be so close by.

I like the build-up and the sense of rural community relationships, until…

There’s always a moment where the conflict hits its highest point and unfortunately, I found it breathtakingly stupid when it came. From the heroine too, which makes me grimace and hunker down and whimper because I feel the need to excuse for the silliness in my own gender. Seriously? Faith’s desire to have children leads her to break-up with Monty without taking the time to understand the resentment that he’d has for years makes it alright for her to take moral high ground? And everything is resolved the moment Monty comes grovelling? Are her biological clock and her desires eclipsing the beauty of what ‘true’ partnership is?

Ugh.

Because as much as Monty has been accused of selfishness, she is equally guilty of acting as though he is the only entity that’s missing it all.

two-stars