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Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the launch of Rachael John’s tenth paperback novel (and twentieth book overall), Talk of the Town, held at the amazing new Boya Community Centre and Library, in the hills of Perth.

Rachael is a gracious and giving person, with a smile that goes on forever. It’s so obvious that she loves what she does with a passion, and I can only hope that her attitude and enthusiasm rub off on me a little when we rub shoulders. 🙂 (And as you can clearly see, we co-ordinated our outfits nicely for the launch.)

Talk of the Town is a small town romance, with a heroine who feels the weight of all of her previous transgressions hanging over her like the Sword of Damocles, and a hero with enough things on his plate that the ping of romance has no place in it:

Lawson Cooper-Jones has two priorities in life – his son, Ned, and the survival of the dairy farm that has been in his family for generations. Despite the best efforts of the town matchmakers and the determined pursuit of local girl Adeline Walsh, Lawson’s heart belongs still, and only, to his late wife.

But when a flat tyre strands Lawson and Ned in nearby Rose Hill, he’s surprised to find a woman living alone in the old general store of the deserted town. Ned immediately forms a bond with the beautiful stranger called Meg, and Lawson is surprised to find himself captivated by her too.

Although shy at first, Meg starts to open up to him about the haunting secrets of her new home and, with Lawson unable to get her out of his head, they agree to investigate the history of the old building together. Soon they find their friendship has bloomed into something more.

But when meddling Adeline makes it her mission to uncover the truth about the newcomer and her real identity is revealed, Lawson and Meg’s budding romance comes crashing down. Can they both learn to forgive in order to claim a future for their damaged hearts?

I read the first part of this book thinking to myself “Yep, standard small town romance – country bloke hero, broken heroine looking for redemption, bitchy townswoman panting after the hero” – but there are a few surprises that changed my mind on this one when I reached a little further into it.

I don’t cry at books. I will blubber like an idiot at the TV or at a film, but books very nearly never bring me to tears. This one – well, an interaction between father and son had tears springing to my eyes. I can’t tell you any more than that because it would ruin it, but I warn you – there are likely to be tears. There will also be open mouthed moments, and spooky feelings between your shoulder blades – did I mention there’s a ghost?

I love Rachel’s way of writing, it’s always so comfortable and, well, Australian. And she has a style that evokes emotions with only a few words – no flowery purple prose here!

This one gets 4.5 stars from me, but because most review sites don’t do half stars, it gets hoicked up to 5 stars 🙂

The community at Goodreads has nothing but good to say about it as well, you can read other people’s reviews here.

At the Harlequin site, you can read an excerpt, or buy your own copy: Click here for that.

Of course, it’s on Amazon as well: Click here to go to Amazon.au

 

 

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