All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Blog Tour Review: The Last McAdam by Holly Ford

on March 8, 2017

The Last McAdam
Holly Ford
Allen & Unwin
2017, 292p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

This romantic, irresistibly entertaining novel tells the story of Tess Drummond, who’s been sent to turn around the fortunes of a remote sheep and cattle station her employer has taken over. What Tess hasn’t counted on is coming up against the station’s handsome and charismatic head stockman, Nate McAdam, whose family owned the property for generations…

Passed down through the same family for over a century, the remote sheep and cattle station of Broken Creek has recently been taken over by global agribusiness company Carnarvon Holdings. Now Carnarvon has sent its best troubleshooting manager, Tess Drummond, to turn the property’s failing fortunes around – fast.

When Tess arrives to take the reins of Broken Creek she’s faced with a couple of nasty surprises. For starters, her head stockman, Nate McAdam, happens to be the same gorgeous stranger she hooked up with – and ran out on – a few weeks before.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Nate was supposed to inherit Broken Creek until his stepfather ran it into the ground. Now the last McAdam on the station leads a team of men whose bonds have been forged through hell and high water and whose mission is to see off Carnarvon and Tess so he can take his rightful place.

A genius with farm work – and women – but a disaster in the office, Nate is everything Tess believes a farmer shouldn’t be. Determined not to give in to her growing attraction to him, Tess sets out to do her job, but she soon finds herself caught up in the battle of her career.

The Last McAdam is a rural novel set in southern New Zealand focusing on Tess Drummond, who works travelling around the properties owned by Carnarvon Holdings and coming up with plans to make them profitable. Tess operates under the motto of ‘Don’t Get Attached’. She comes in, she develops the changes needed in order to see profits increase and then she’s onto the next property.

Broken Creek was picked up by Carnarvon Holdings for a song after a devastating incident that they then became liable for. There are three workers left on the farm (and one extra who takes care of the homestead) which is more than it really requires and as Carnarvon is likely to want to bring in its own team,  it’ll just be a matter of settling redundancy offers. She is horrified to discover that one of the workers, Nate McAdam, who also happens to be the stepson of the last owner, is the handsome stranger that Tess almost hooked up with at a wedding a couple of weeks ago. Before she knows it, Broken Creek (and its workers) are doing the one thing that no where else has been able to do since she was a child – get under her skin. Make her want different things.

There was quite a bit about this I enjoyed. I’ve read lots of rural romance novels but they are mostly Australian with a few American ranch-style ones sprinkled in. I haven’t really read much of anything set in New Zealand, let alone a rural and I found that very interesting. The terrain is quite different to here, it being high country and the associating weather issues were not something I would’ve been aware of before this. I loved the farm stuff – I’ve always had an idealistic idea about living on a farm. I know I’m not actually suited to it in reality but the idea of it appeals to me, which is why I think I read so many rurals!

The workers at Broken Creek are all amazing supporting characters that I felt added so much to the story. Especially the character of Stan, an elderly blind man who has lived on the property for decades. He was so lovely and really contributed so much to the story – some moments with him made me genuinely teary! The two younger workers, Mitch and Harry are also fantastic. Each has their own issues, emotional ‘baggage’ in a way and at first there’s an attempt to hide this from Tess so that she can hopefully see what they bring to the property in terms of work and care. Tess has carefully crafted a plan for Broken Creek but the longer she spends there, the more she sees that perhaps it’s not what is best for it after all – it might be best for Carnarvon Holdings but Tess is able to see the potential in Broken Creek and what Nate wants to do. He might be useless with the books but he does know the land.

So I did really like everything centred around Broken Creek and the struggle that Tess faced as well, whether to finally choose to stay somewhere but I do have to admit that I didn’t connect with the romance aspect of this story at all. I didn’t really buy into the…well, anything between Nate and Tess. The hook up at the wedding felt very random, it was quite jarring as it was in the first few pages and they don’t even ask each other their names. And some of their interactions after Tess arrives at Broken Creek to “fix” it are a bit odd – some are almost childish. Nate seems to be a bit of a tormentor, one of those guys who always has a quip and a smirk and there were times I didn’t really see his appeal. There seems to be a lot of denial and avoiding things and pretending and I was just waiting for things to hurry up and actually happen. I’d like to see a book about Mitch in the future though, he was definitely more my sort of guy.

6/10

Book #42 of 2017

The Last McAdam is published by Allen & Unwin and is out now – RRP $29.99

Author website: http://www.hollyford.net

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