Series: Chalk Hill #3
Published by Harlequin (Australia) TEEN/MIRA, Harlequin AU, Mira on B07TV8W57G
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For Jaydah Tully, the country town of Chalk Hill has never felt like home. Home is a place to feel loved. Home is a place to feel safe. Jaydah's home life is dark in ways the close-knit community could never imagine.
Jaydah knows that the man she loves has never understood her need for secrets. Brix is a Honeychurch, she's a Tully - her family are Chalk Hill's black sheep. It's better for everyone if Brix stays away.
But Brix is a one-woman man, and when he returns to his home town to help his brother, the first person he sees is Jaydah. Independent. Private. Proud. When things are good between them they are really really good but all too soon they're back in the old patterns, caught in the same argument: Her father. Her family. Her life that doesn't include him.
Underneath her tough exterior, Jaydah is drowning. She has one chance to change everything. Is she brave enough to take the risk and let Brix in? Or will her father keep them apart forever?
Ever since Lily Malone wrote her way into my psyche with ‘So Far Into You’, her releases are what I do keep an eye out for, even if the books after that momentous read hadn’t exactly moved me the way my first book of hers had.
‘Last Bridge Before Home’ isn’t quite the usual romance, but rather, almost a story about a knight in shining armour saving a damsel in distress, due to longstanding and very difficult circumstances that have put both parties in conflict and in situ for fifteen years. But until now, it’s hard to put some words down to describe how I feel about this read that definitely isn’t one that will fall into any proper category of romance: it’s a small-town mix of hidden secrets and loving familiarity, coupled with that unique Aussie vibe that can’t be replicated anywhere else. It isn’t a mystery or a thriller that’s earth-shaking in any way, but instead brings more bread-and-butter issues like disability and support for struggling families to the forefront.
I loved Brix Honeychurch’s unswerving patience and steadfast personality but did have a bit more ambivalence about Jaydah Tully’s family and the subsequent actions she took to wall Brix up for so long. As heartrending and painful as the abuse and horrific manipulation she faced at home were, I couldn’t quite shake off the idea that she’d used Brix and his affection as a way of getting out of her circumstances which seemed a bit more mercenary than I would have liked—pretty much like what her own mother did—though I wondered if there was anything different that could have been done when protecting her family had become Jaydah’s sole priority. Their relationship still felt more transactional than usual as a result and I couldn’t exactly quite get into them as a couple because duty and necessity were was the shiny words that became the dominant theme of the story, even if this was built on friendship with strings attached.
The book is hard to get through at times for a reason (and probably deliberately done that way), with every step onward seemingly being one that’s a test of loyalty and family bonds. Not my favourite Malone book, but it’s rewarding in its own way.