All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: A Nanny Called Alice by Barbara Hannay

on September 3, 2020

A Nanny Called Alice (Outback Brides Return to Wirralong #4)
Barbara Hannay
Tule Publishing
2020, eBook
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

She’s thousands of miles from home and intent on proving her independence…

When Alice Trembath is mugged in the stark Australian outback, she has two choices: return to the US with an ‘I told you so’ from her conservative parents and join the family business, or take a job as a nanny on a nearby cattle station. Despite being wildly unqualified, she accepts the position. She’s a fast learner and besides, she needs the money.

Hotshot businessman Tom Braydon is juggling huge responsibilities. After the death of his brother, Tom took in his orphaned nieces and managed his brother’s cattle station, while simultaneously running his own thriving business in Sydney. Tom desperately needs Alice’s help, even though she has zero experience looking after children or living in the outback. He has plenty on his plate, he doesn’t need the distraction of a romance.

But while Alice and Tom strive to ignore the chemistry sizzling between them and focus on their separate goals, love clearly has other plans.

This is the fourth book in this quartet centering around the small country Victorian town or Wirralong. I have enjoyed reading them all so much, they’ve just been so perfect for the sort of reads I feel like at the moment. They are very feel good, low angst and drama.

In this one, Alice is a young American woman who has undertaken the trip of a lifetime to explore Australia, a place her grandfather visited many years ago. Unfortunately for her though, when her rental gets a flat tyre, the people that stop to ‘help’ her actually steal the car and leave her unconscious. She’s rescued by Tom Braydon and his two nieces and they take her to get seen by a doctor and to report her crime with the police in Wirralong. As Alice is currently minus money, clothes, her passport and basically everything else with no where to stay and Tom is busy caring for his orphaned nieces who are 5 and 8, juggling his engineering business that he runs out of Sydney and also, taking care of his late brother’s farm. He’s in desperate need to some help so it makes sense for Alice to stay at the farm and help him take care of Freda and Ivy, and free up time for Tom to devote to the other things he is juggling.

This one was a quick read but still felt really well fleshed out and quite in depth. Alice is naturally distrustful of Tom when he stops to help her after she’s already been assaulted but it’s the girls that convince her she won’t be in any danger. When she moves in to help them whilst awaiting her new paperwork, Alice does manage to bond quite quickly with the girls, who are both still in shock and grieving after the loss of both their parents. Tom lived in Sydney before his brother and his brother’s wife passed away so he’s had to uproot his whole life and come and accept responsibility for two children that he probably only saw occasionally, given he had left the family farm and had an entirely different career. He’s doing his utmost best to keep the farm running, to keep his business going and to provide love, support and stability for his two young nieces but it’s really more than one person can comfortably achieve. He’s very grateful for Alice’s help in things like meals, getting the girls to school, grocery shopping, picking them up, supervising homework and doing bedtime routines.

Alice and Tom both know the grief of losing someone. They also understand duty as well. Alice came to Australia to have an adventure, despite her parents not really wanting her to come, she had to do it. She had barely gotten started when she was mugged and had her rental stolen and now she finds herself becoming very comfortable on the farm – too comfortable. Not only does she love the two girls but there’s a strong attraction between her and Tom. But this isn’t why she came to Australia and she knows that eventually, she’ll have to go home to America. This isn’t her future, no matter how much it feels like she might be able to imagine it.

I loved the way this portrayed Alice’s growing relationship with the young girls. It’s not all smooth sailing – both of them are so young and they’re really struggling with the loss of their parents. Freda, the elder, in particular, has mood swings where she can be very helpful or very not and for both girls, it can be a delicate exercise because sometimes, the most innocent-seeming thing can upset them as it dredges up a memory or feeling that only they know about. But Alice is kind and patient and it becomes obvious soon that what was supposed to just be a temporary thing while she awaited some documents, is going to have some very long-lasting effects – not just because of the two girls, but because of the feelings she’s come to have for Tom as well. Alice needs to figure out what she wants the most…and have the courage to go after it, no matter what.

I’ve really enjoyed my time in Wirralong and I’m definitely going to return to this town as I track down the books that have been previously set here! I have quite a few to catch up on and I think that’s going to be just a fun a journey as this one was!


Book #168 of 2020

A Nanny Called Alice is book #61 of The Australian Women Writers Challenge 2020

One response to “Review: A Nanny Called Alice by Barbara Hannay

  1. Leif Price says:

    That’s an excellent review! I will definitely add this to my reading list!

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