The Country Girl by Cathryn Hein
Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises Aust
Publication Date: 18th December 2017
Format read: eBook
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Bestselling Australian author Cathryn Hein returns with a moving and uplifting rural romance about facing hard truths and moving on in pursuit of life.
After landing a major cookbook deal, star food blogger Tash Ranger swaps city life for the family farm. But Tash's homecoming is bittersweet, for now she can no longer avoid seeing her best friend Maddy, who was severely injured in a riding accident and unable to communicate. No one knows that Maddy and Tash had a deep falling out and with every visit Tash must pretend to be the friend everyone believes her to be.
Patrick Lawson, Maddy's fiancé, battles despair and hope daily as Maddy lies imprisoned in her body, gradually losing his faith in her recovery. When Tash returns to Castlereagh Road with her joy and boundless appetite for life, he realises finally what his loved ones have been trying to tell him for months – that Maddy wouldn't want him to throw his life away. It's time to move on. But letting go is no easy feat, especially if moving on means Tash. He's a country boy and she is a star on the rise with ambitions that could propel her out of reach.
Can these two friends step out of the shadow of Maddy's tragic life and accept love, or is the past forever destined to dictate their future?
As soon as I started reading The Country Girl my heart was breaking for Patrick and Maddy. Patrick and Maddy were engaged when Maddy suffers a tragic accident and is left unable to communicate.
Tash, a highly successful food blogger with a cookbook deal in the works, decides to return home to Castlereagh, her parent’s farm near Emu Springs, where she will film new episodes for her blog, Urban Ranger. The addition of a gardening spot by her cheeky Grandfather has her subscriber numbers skyrocketing. However this is only a temporary stop for Tash. She has big ideas for Urban Ranger and they don’t include staying at Castlereagh.
Old jealousies and tiffs threaten to arise when Tash returns home. However hard it may be Patrick needs to leave the past behind and move on with his life but a promise was made and Patrick is an honourable man.
Hein has created real characters with Maddy and Patrick. Maddy is strong and has a real sense of self, outgoing and fun she is a perfect balance for Patrick who is full of sorrow and grief, stuck in a time lock with no real future in sight. The road is never smooth with plenty of road bumps and misunderstandings which are cause for some very scary moments. Hein’s descriptions of the countryside and the supporting characters give a perfect sense of place and add to the ambience of the story.
The story is fun and the romance is a slow burn. Food and cooking feature prominently in this rural romance and the descriptions of Tash’s delicacies will have you wishing there really was a cookbook in the works.
Cathryn Hein combines her love of romance and her love of cooking to give her readers yet another unmissable rural romance story.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
About the author:
A South Australian country girl by birth, Cathryn loves nothing more than a rugged rural hero who's as good with his heart as he is with his hands, which is probably why she writes them! Her romances are warm and emotional, and feature themes that don't flinch from the tougher side of life but are often happily tempered by the antics of naughty animals. Her aim is to make you smile, sigh, and perhaps sniffle a little, but most of all feel wonderful.
From debut release Cathryn has been a multiple finalist in the Australian Romance Readers Awards and the 2014 awards also saw her in contention for Favourite Australian Romance Author.
Cathryn currently lives in New South Wales with her partner of many years, Jim. When she's not writing, she plays golf (ineptly), cooks (well), and in football season barracks (rowdily) for her beloved Sydney Swans AFL team.
This review is part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie author challenge