All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: A Daughter’s Choice by Lee Christine

on August 30, 2018

A Daughter’s Choice (Mindalby Outback Romance #4)
Lee Christine
Harlequin MIRA
2018, 176p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

Mindalby, a small town, a community, a home. But when the mill that supports the local cotton farmers and employs many of the town’s residents closes unexpectedly, old tensions are exposed and new rifts develop. Everyone is affected and some react better than others, but one thing is certain: living on the edge of the outback means they have to survive together, or let their town die.

Lynsey Carter’s relationship with her father is fraught, so when she hears that the cotton mill that is her birthright has closed down (and her father is lying low), she returns to Mindalby to support her mother and seek out answers. She hasn’t been back since high school, since she left her heart behind with Julian Stone. But Julian didn’t want it, or her; he wanted a life in Mindalby.

Torn between family loyalty and duty to the community, between the life she’s built for herself and the passion for Julian she just can’t seem to shake, Lynsey needs to decide if her home–coming is for a visit – or for real.

This is the fourth book in the Mindalby Outback Romance series and it’s the last in the bind up I received from the publisher but I’m pretty sure the series continues on. This was the one that I was probably the most excited about because Lee Christine is the only author of the 4 included in this that I’ve read before. Her romantic suspense Grace & Poole series was really good and I was curious what her contribution to this series would be like.

Lynsey Carter is the daughter of the man that everyone wants to talk to but he’s lying low. Lynsey left almost a decade ago for university and has built a promising career but when she hears of the trouble she returns to support her mother, who is occasionally been targeted as frustrated people want answers. Lynsey’s mother is Donald Carter’s first wife and although they’ve been divorced for years and years, there are still people out there that think she knows something, that she has the answers. Tempers are frayed and people are desperate and that can be a bad combination.

Lynsey returning to Mindalby means that she will come into contact with Julian Stone, her high school boyfriend who still lives and works in Mindalby, running his own highly successful trucking company. Despite that success, Julian isn’t without connections to Lysney’s father and the cotton mill debacle either and he’s just one more in the town who stands to lose from the disastrous mismanagement. He and Lynsey clash upon re-encountering each other as the decade or so since the end of their relationship has allowed a lot of bitterness and resentment to build up – but there’s also still lots of old feelings that seem to be simmering away under the surface as well and Julian is quite determinedly protective of Lynsey, especially when it becomes obvious that there is definitely some sort of threat to her safety.

I really enjoyed the way that Lee Christine wrote Lynsey’s complicated feelings over her father. Despite the fact that he’s quite obviously the person everyone believes to be responsible for the mill closing and that he left her mother for someone else and seems to have played only a very minor role in her life, she still loves him and she wants him to do what’s right for not just the people of the town but also himself. To prove that he can still be a good man and that he hasn’t always been this way. She goes to see him and even though she thinks it’s probably pointless, she still thinks that it’s something that she just needs to do. Lynsey would’ve been a teenager when her parents divorced and it would’ve been something that had quite an impact on her and her strongest support in her teen years was also Julian. The two of them had what seemed like a very tight relationship and I was curious how this was going to be torn apart and if it would be believable – and for me, I think it was. It’s a difficult time, that cusp of adulthood and I think it was orchestrated in a way that felt believable due to the small town upbringing and the way in which Lynsey’s father operated. So I was satisfied with that.

There’s also a bit of a suspense thread running through this book and that gave it a bit of extra oomph for me. I found that although this was a short category length, it still didn’t feel rushed and played out really well overall. I did feel as though Julian and Lynsey got involved again quite quickly without really seeking to resolve some of their earlier issues but because they were adults now, this was managed in a good way and they were able to compromise and move forward. Also there was some nice resolution for the town concerning the mill here, which was good to see.


Book #139 of 2018

{Alternate cover when purchased singly}

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