Feature book: The Cattleman’s Ready-Made Family
Tess Laing has been through a lot of heartache over the last three months and has decided to start a new life in the country with her niece and nephew, Krissie and Ty. Tess is determined to be a good mother to them and she will not be selfish as she has been in the past, thinking of her career and not going home to her sister Sarah when needed. Her life is on hold for these two beautiful children who have also been through so much. Tess has taken up a three-year lease on a property at Bellaroo Creek for one dollar a week rent, as part of the Save Our Town scheme to help boost the town.
Cameron Manning has lived at Bellaroo Creek all of his life. He is the owner of a big farm, Kurrajong Station, which is six thousand hectares. After his half-brother takes something from him that leaves him hurt and angry, Cam is resolute in leaving Bellaroo and doing something that he has always wanted to do. He has not spoken to his brother or his mother for ten months and has kept to himself, not getting involved in the town as he had always done. He is determined to not turn into a recluse like his father.
Cam is waiting for the new tenant to arrive at the property that has been rented by his mother as part of the campaign. He needs to speak with her about a mix-up in the lease. When a car drives up and stops, Cam watches for a while and he is taken in by the woman and the two children who get out of the car. Tess greets Cam with a smile and decides he is one good looking man, 6 ft 3ins tall and all solid muscle. But Tess is not here for that kind of fresh start. He introduces himself as their neighbour and things are sorted out about the lease, but she also sees hurt in his eyes. Cam is sure there is more behind Tess’s move to the country and is more than willing to help them settle in, helping them make a veggie garden and picking a puppy for Ty and a chicken for Krissie in exchange for the 40 hectares.
This is a great story as both Tess and Cam help each other overcome things from their past, as they realise they both want to make each other happy, and start falling in love. The journey is a bit rocky. Tess is one stubborn female and seems to enjoy sticking her nose in other people’s business, as does Cam. Tess is good at saying what she thinks and really opens Cam’s eyes to get him to forgive what has happened in his family. Cam makes Tess realise that leaving her music out of her life is not the way to go. The children play a big part and add to the heart-warming story. It is sensual as the pull between them gets stronger after a kiss, and the characters from the town help to make this a book that will be easily read in one sitting. It is hard to put down. I love small country town stories and the way everyone is involved, and the way they help each other. I highly recommend this one.
Reviewed by Helen S
A review copy of the book was provided by the author. All ARRA members who leave a comment will go in the draw to win the book. The giveaway closes on 2 October 2013. (This giveaway is now closed. The winner was Aimee.)