Three out of Five Stars
The Summary: Herding cattle and drinking Australian beer aren’t pastimes that particularly appeal to an ‘indoor girl’ like Clara, but she’d be damned if she’d let her cheating ex-boyfriend have the vacation they were meant to share. So, to salvage some piece of her self-respect after a bad break-up, she finds herself riding a horse along the Oodnadatta Track for five days.
When Clara arrives, she can’t help but feel an intense attraction to Evelyn, the drover who guides their group through the immensely unique landscape between Coober Pedy and the Anna Creek Station. Clara’s never been one for a no-strings-attached fling, but cowgirl Evie becomes increasingly difficult to resist.
In combination with the exquisite outback, soulful horses, and overly cheerful tourists, Evie may just be exactly what Clara needs to escape her own pessimism.
After being cheated on by her boyfriend, Clara decides to take the vacation that had originally been booked as a couples’ vacation in Australia. She goes entirely out of comfort zone for a cattle drive, outback adventure. She’s a bit bitter upon first arriving to the area. She isn’t the biggest fan of the overly positive couple she’s in a group with, but the attraction to their group leader, Evie, is instantaneous.
I was excited to find out that Kara Ripley is a pen name for Sci-Fi author Rebecca Langham. I really enjoyed the length and detail she put in to her characters and settings. This is her first foray into contemporary romance. It was a good starting point for her.
I loved how sarcastic Clara was. She wasn’t just okay with her boyfriend cheating on her. And she wasn’t magically okay with being interested in a woman after so many years, and knowing that she’d be leaving so soon. But sometimes, that’s exactly what you need to get your groove back.
Clara and Evie do have a lot chemistry when they’re near each other. Then when they finally do give in to their attraction, it’s delicious. It drove me a little nuts that it shifted into a fade to black scene but those scenes are extremely difficult to right and takes a lot of practice writing them to feel comfortable putting it out into the world (I’ve got some personal/professional experience with writing those scenes). So I feel and understand the struggle. What was written was excellent done.
This was a quick and easy escape from my day. I was looking for more when I was finished though. There was build-up but it wasn’t enough towards the end. Don’t get me wrong, I liked reading this. It just felt like there should have been more.
All in all, this was a good start to jump into contemporary romance. I do look forward to future books put out under both names, Ripley and Langham.