Published by Mira on May 1st 2017
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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.