All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

The Goodbye Ride – Lily Malone

on May 26, 2013

Goodbye RideThe Goodbye Ride
Lily Malone
Self-published
2013, eBook
Copy courtesy of the author/freebie from Amazon Kindle

Olivia has one goal in mind and that is buying back her brother’s beloved Ducati motorbike. Their father forced her brother to sell it years ago and now that the person who bought it wants to sell it in order to fund an overseas trip, Olivia has scraped together every cent she can muster to put in a good offer. They’re asking too much, but she’s confident she can secure the bike for the amount she has.

What she didn’t count on was some competition.

Owen Carson has recently returned from a stint working in Antarctica and he offers more than Olivia can afford for the Ducati. Despite a verbal agreement with Liv, the father of the owner sells the bike to Owen for the higher offer and Olivia can’t hide her devastation. She wants this bike back so badly – she plans to use it to go for a tribute ride to her late brother up to a place he loved, a final goodbye.

Owen is intrigued by Olivia and he makes her an offer – if she helps him prune his aunt’s vineyard, he’ll sell her the Ducati for her best offer, the one he trumped. He needs some help and after talking to Olivia, he realises that she knows what she’s doing. Olivia agrees to spend a couple of days working with Owen and in return, she gets the bike she wants back so badly. What she didn’t bank on was the rather heady attraction that she develops to Owen – which seems to be more than returned. But Owen doesn’t seem the type to stay and he also has a secret that might drive a wedge between him and Olivia.

I read and enjoyed Lily Malone’s Harlequin Escape title His Brand of Beautiful so when she contacted me to offer me a chance to read her self-published novella, I was happy to accept. The Goodbye Ride is about a sister who wants to honour her deceased brother by purchasing back his most prized possession so that she can use it in her own way to say goodbye. Her brother was killed in a car accident and since then, her family has somewhat fallen apart. Her mother cleans the house obsessively (more than obsessively) and Olivia’s dad, who was not exactly tolerant of his late son’s chosen lifestyle has asked Olivia for some help. The only link Olivia seems to have to her brother is his former lover Ben, with whom she’s going to undertake the memorial ride. Ben has his own bike but Olivia wants Luke’s bike to ride.

I really enjoyed this read from start to finish! Olivia is so desperate to get back the bike that it’s hard not to feel sympathy for her when she fails and her devastation is so obvious. She and her brother seemed very close and it’s obviously been a struggle for her without him and the changes it has brought upon her life, such as having to move back in with her parents. When she sees Owen for the first time, driving a hotted up ute, she makes a judgement based on that alone. She sees him as another country yobbo who probably just wants the Duc to roar around irresponsibly on. When Owen catches up with her after she fails to get the bike, she realises then that she may not have been right.

Owen is such a fun character – he’s recently back from Antarctica and has a habit of wandering around in a T-shirt and shorts (in the middle of winter in South Australia) which Olivia finds baffling. When he hears her story, he offers her the bike back in return for helping him which is an offer Olivia cannot refuse and the two of them work together in the vineyards for several days, chatting, sharing things about each other. Olivia overhears Owen’s cousin insulting football players on TV using a homosexual insult which offends her because it’s what her brother faced when he was alive and I liked the way in which this issue was addressed. It’s not uncommon to hear that shouted at the footy or in groups watching football when players do something clumsy or ineffectual – most people don’t even realise they’re saying it or who could possibly be around them that might be deeply offended by it. How did that sort of thing become common and why is it thought to be okay by some people? Even Owen tries to make excuses for his cousin “he doesn’t mean anything by it” – well people seldom do, given it’s screamed at people they don’t know the first thing about. But they do still do it and it is wrong. It was interesting to read about that from the point of view of someone who had a gay brother.

The romance in this is sweet and sexy at the same time. Owen is lovely and I adored the way that he listened to Olivia and made her feel good about herself. He also has a secret which he fears will make Olivia judge him or look at him differently but… (and this is the kicker) he still tells her. I’m a big fan of no secrets, even when the character thinks that what they have to say may impact upon them negatively. Owen is remorseful for his past actions and his honesty is appealing and I feel that means a lot to Olivia. I also really appreciated the character development of Olivia’s father (who only appears briefly at the end) a probably stereotypical Aussie bloke, a fire fighter who struggled with the fact that his only son was gay. He makes real steps towards the end of the book to let go of this. A lot was done with this character in a short amount of time, but it wasn’t unbelievable or cheesy. It rang very genuine – it seems that Olivia and Ben undertaking the memorial ride together had some extra benefits as well for Olivia and her family.

The Goodbye Ride definitely gave me more than I expected – it’s a cute romance with an exploration of some deeper issues underneath the surface. It’s currently free on Kindle (although I’m not sure how much longer that will be). You can buy it here.

8/10

Book #136 of 2013

AWW2013

The Goodbye Ride is the 59th novel read and reviewed for AWW2013

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2 responses to “The Goodbye Ride – Lily Malone

  1. What a lovely review. I have this book already and now I know I must find time to read it sooner.

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