Saturday, 23 March 2019

Book Review: Home at Last (Outback Romance)

Home At Last
Meredith Appleyard

Publisher: Harlequin Australia 
Imprint: Mira
Publication Date: 18th March 2019
Pages: 416
RRP: $29.99
Format Read: Paperback
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher


Flying solo can be harder than it looks ... A warm-hearted rural romance about finding your way home. Flying solo for the first time had been the greatest high of Anna Kelly's life. So when the chance of a dream job as a pilot with the Royal Flying Doctor Service comes up she takes it, even though she has to leave her home in Adelaide and move to remote Broken Hill - a place she had hoped she would never see again.

The bad memories the town provokes remind Anna why she keeps men at arm's length but as her work proves fulfilling, her housemate becomes a friend and a warm community grows around her, Anna is surprised to discover that Broken Hill is starting to feel like home.

But there is no such thing as plain sailing and with errant mothers, vengeful ex-patients and determined exes on the prowl, life is becoming increasingly complicated. More than that, the distractingly attractive Flight Nurse Nick Harrison seems keen to get to know her better, and he has a way of finding a path through her defences. But will he still want her if the truth comes out?


Home At Last was my first medical based romance and also my first book about the Royal Flying Doctor Service. I really enjoyed all the details about the different cases they are called to and the difficulties with medical help in really remote areas. The RFDS is a valuable life saving service and Appleyard brings to the fore some areas we don’t often think about such as the difficulties of shift working, the long shifts and the lack of adequate staff. Appleyard doesn’t shy away from the RFDS cases that don’t have a happy ending; a still-born baby, a suicide. However she treats these cases with the sensitivity and empathy they deserve.

Anna is back in Broken Hill, a town where she spent her last high school years when her father was principal of the local high school. A town she couldn’t wait to leave and a town she tried hard to forget. She has returned to take up a position in her dream job, flying for the RFDS.
Nick is also back in Broken Hill, he has taken a temporary job as a flight nurse, leaving his troubles behind him in Sydney. He plans to work for a few month a and help get his mother back on track with her health and housing needs. Even though Anna doesn’t remember Nick he remembers her, his old high school crush, and his feelings haven’t abated with age, they have only become stronger.

I really enjoyed this budding romance between Anna and Nick. There were a few misunderstandings and hidden secrets to keep the relationship interesting and unpredictable. The anguish level was just right for me (I’m not one for angst ridden, hand wringing romances). Anna was a strong female role, she was a pilot, a male dominated occupation, and she rocked her job. She was fiercely independent, as she had to look after herself from a young age, and had trust issues. It was nice to see how Nick handled this with patience.
Nick also had a lot going on in his life, a recalcitrant mother, a wayward brother, a failed marriage and a house to sell in Sydney.

Home At Last delivered everything I look for in an outback romance; warmth, tragedy, heartbreak, acceptance and forgiveness.

Appleyard has been firmly placed on my ‘must read’ list.

 My Rating   10/10


Meredith Appleyard lives in the Clare Valley wine-growing region of South Australia, two hours north of Adelaide. As a registered nurse and midwife, she has worked in a wide range of country health practice settings, including the Royal Flying Doctor Service. She has done agency nursing in London and volunteer work in Vietnam. After her first manuscript was rejected, she joined a writers' group, attended workshops and successfully completed an Advanced Diploma of Arts in Professional Writing with the Adelaide College of the Arts. And she kept working. When she isn't writing, Meredith is reading, helping organise the annual Clare Writers' Festival, or at home with her husband and her border collie, Daisy. The Country Practice is her first novel

You can connect with the author at the following sites:
Website  ||  Facebook  ||  



  1. A lovely review, thanks for sharing

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

  2. I've never read a medical based romance and this one sounds good. Glad the author wrote the sensitive parts with compassion. Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Hi Veronica,

    This style of 'happy ever after' romances, isn't one of my favourites, however I do read them from time to time, as a lighter hearted break from the blood and guts of my more intense thrillers.

    I have read work from one or two Australian writers over the last few months and I am always looking to expand my author database. Your lovely review and the fact that you consider this story to be worthy of the full 10 stars, has swayed my decision to add 'Home At Last' to my list.

    Added to that, one of my friends actually had a niece who emigrated to Australia decades ago, trained to be a research doctor there and served some of her apprenticeship in the RFDS, makes this a much more personal reading experience. She has since taken up a role as a research doctor at one of the largest institutions, but did enjoy her time in the RFDS and was pleased to have been offered such a great opportunity.

    Thanks for sharing and your lovely review :)