Thursday, 2 December 2021

Book Review & Giveaway: Once Burnt, Twice Shy by Karly Lane

 Once Burnt, Twice Shy
Karly Lane

Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication date: 30th November 2021
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Rural Romance
Pages: 348
RRP: $29.99
Format read: Paperback 
Source: Courtesy of the publisher
About the book
Recently divorced mother-of-two Samantha Murphy agrees to house-sit for her parents for a few weeks-but when the house involves several hundred acres of farming and livestock, it's a little more involved than the usual job. Sam left the family farm years ago for a more exciting, glamorous life on the Sunshine Coast, but now that her kids have grown up and moved out, she's at a crossroads.

Jack Cameron was in love with Sam when they were teenagers, and she broke his heart when she left town at eighteen. Their lives moved along similar paths-both marrying, having families and getting divorced-but in very different locations. Now that Sam is back, they begin to realise that there are unresolved feelings between them.

As catastrophic fires roar destructively through the local farming community, Sam has no choice but to evacuate her parents' farm. But worse is still to come: Jack is reported missing and Sam is forced to prepare for the worst news.
My review
Karly Lane once again brings her characters into our homes and into our hearts.
In Once Burnt, Twice Shy we get a front line look at the devastating fires that scorched Australia in the summer of 2019 - 2020. A tribute to our unsung heroes, the Rural Fire Service and it's hundreds of volunteer fire fighters who put their lives in danger to save the lives and livelihoods of people everywhere.
 I liked that Karly stayed away from the politics of it all and concentrated on the characters and the community. Set on the mid-north coast of NSW the fires are described as if we are there amidst the action and I could feel the anxiety as Sam readied the farm to leave as the fire approached. Lane passionately communicates the devastation of losing a family home that has been passed down through the generations and the insurmountable amount of work to rebuild; new fencing, sheds, livestock and all this came after a long drough that ahd already caused financial stress.
Most farmers were also volunteer fire fighters working the farm as well as fighting fires. A lot of the farmers find it hard to ask for help. They are hard working and self sufficient, getting on with the job and holding their emotions in.

Karly Lane adds humour which I feel is needed in these stories of hardship. It doesn't take away from the drama it just lightens the book up a bit.
Once Burnt, Twice Shy is however a romance so the main characters and their budding relationship is a large focus in the story. Sam is back home in Burrumba, it doesn't matter how long you've been gone, where you grew up is always home. She is there to attend the family farm while her parents take a much anticipated holiday.
Sam reunites with neighbour and high school boyfriend Jack. It's been 30 years but the spark is still there. Lane raises realistic circumstances as road blocks in Jack and Sam's ongoing relationship. The two main characters in this story are middle-aged with teenaged children which gives for a whole set of drama in a new relationship.
Once Burnt, Twice Shy is an engaging second chance romance rich in issues relevant to rural communities.
Karly's books are my go to! I eagerly await every new release and I feel Karly puts a little of herself in every book which makes it all the more engaging.
5 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


About the author

Karly Lane lives on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. Proud mum to four children and wife of one patient mechanic, she is lucky enough to spend her day doing the two things she loves most - being a mum and writing stories set in beautiful rural Australia.

Challenges Entered: Australian Women Writers Challenge AWW2021

                                   Aussie Author Challenge #Aussieauthor21
 Thanks to Allen & Unwin I have one paperback copy of Once Burnt, Twice Shy to giveaway to one lucky entrant. Australian addresses only. Entry via the form below.
Entries close at Midnight AEST  8th December 2021
This giveaway is now closed and the winner Sharon was announced HERE


  1. Thanks for the chance to win this great sounding book.

  2. I really enjoyed reading one of Karly's books earlier this year, Take Me Home and would love to read this one. Thanks for the chance.

  3. I've read Birds Of A Feather by Tricia Stringer, At The End Of The Day by Liz Byrski and All About Ella by Meredith Appleyard - I love the quality of so many of our amazing Australian authors.

  4. This book sounds excellent especially as it touches on subject matter that is still very fresh in our minfs

  5. I love this genre and this author, would love this book!!

  6. Another Australian author, excellent!

  7. Love all your reviews and your giveaways. Thank you and fingers crossed.

  8. Thanks for this great giveaway.