All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Blog Tour Review: Country Roads by Nicole Hurley-Moore

on February 23, 2017

country-roadsCountry Roads
Nicole Hurley-Moore
Allen & Unwin
2017, 303p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

The compelling story of a grief-stricken man reeling from tragedy and a hard-working female farmer dealing with betrayal who may just find love and healing with each other.

Rebecca Duprey is working day and night to keep the family sheep station, Bluestone Ridge, afloat. But Bec’s father, who’s been in a wheelchair since a farming mishap, keeps second-guessing her decisions. Now, to add Bec’s woes, her unfaithful ex-boyfriend has started lurking around, and the adjoining farm she’d hoped to buy has been snapped up by a guy from the city called Matt Harvey.

After leaving his job in advertising, Matt became a bestselling novelist. But since the death of his fiancee in a car accident, he’s had severe writer’s block and is desperately hoping his move to the country will help him deal with his grief and allow him to focus on completing his next book. Problem is, he seems to have started off on the wrong foot with his new neighbour, Bec Duprey.

Bec isn’t quite sure when she started feeling attracted to Matt, but she’s determined not to succumb to his charms. And Matt isn’t sure when his feelings changed about Bec; all he knows is he can’t get her out of his mind. Can Bec and Matt overcome their fear of loss to find love and happiness with each other…?

This absolutely compelling novel deals with betrayal, tragedy, love – and how first impressions aren’t always right.

Author Matt Harvey is new to the small mostly farming town of White Gum Creek. Having experienced a devastating loss he has sold his city pad and bought a small parcel of land complete with a cottage that needs a bit of work, hoping the peace and tranquil surroundings will help with his writers block. Encouraged by his sister to interact with his fans more, Matt is taking the step of vlogging his move and his settling in, sharing the videos online.

Matt gets off on the wrong foot with his new neighbour Bec Duprey. Firstly the land he’s bought she’d hoped to acquire for her family farm and secondly she finds Matt doing things like burning things in a bonfire on a hot and dry day and being careless where he films. The entire town of White Gum Creek definitely needs rain. The land is in desperate need of it and some families are already struggling, either selling off land or stock, or getting out all together. Bec doesn’t want that – and her frugal father’s ways ensure that there’s a safety net of money behind them. But that frugality causes friction when Bec desperately wants to upgrade things, like the farm machinery. Although she now runs the farm, her father seems to have the last say, dismissing her suggestions and ultimately overruling her. She’s frustrated and short tempered, even more so when her ex suddenly begins showing some renewed interest in her.

Matt is interested in Bec pretty much right away and he wants to make amends for doing the wrong thing in the country and kind of improve himself in her eyes so that she doesn’t think he’s quite a fool. Bec seems like the sort of person who doesn’t really suffer fools that much and she wasted no time launching into Matt and telling him what an idiot he was being – where she could’ve perhaps educated him in a slightly less aggressive way. Matt was unaware what he was doing was dangerous, he was not deliberately flouting rules. However he does kind of get her to give him a bit of a second chance and they do become friends with a strong undercurrent of attraction. Bec’s friends and a few of the locals seem a bit keen to play matchmaker as well, drawing Matt into their little social circle.

A lot of the conflict for Bec revolves around her father, who although has been forced to hand the reins over to her somewhat earlier than he would like due to an accident, still makes all the decisions. He dismisses her ideas, won’t let her buy new machinery or equipment and seems to make all of the decisions on his own despite Bec running the farm. This continues on for a lot of the book but then is basically all resolved after one conversation. It was a bit of a low key ending to something that had been such a large part of the story and had probably damaged the relationship Bec had with her father. The whole thing makes Bec’s father look quite unreasonable and like he doesn’t even want Bec in charge or think she can do anything for herself and then that just vanishes. He’s also against the idea of Bec forming a relationship with Matt as well and seems to not mind the idea of Bec reuniting with her former fiance, despite the fact that it’s the last thing Bec wants.

This was a pleasant read – I liked it but I didn’t love it. The conflict felt a little too contrived and although the romance between Matt and Bec was nice, it was just that – nice. There’s a friend of Bec’s that features in this book who has a crush on a reclusive man who sort of befriends Matt in this novel. Their story would be really interesting and I do hope that’s a book that I get to read in the future though.

6/10

Book #16 of 2017

aww2017-badge

Country Roads is book #6 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017

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