Feature book: Breaking the Drought
Jenna McLean is an editor for a top woman’s magazine in Melbourne. She has a check list for the perfect match for marriage. After all, love and lust should not come into marriage, it is a partnership and they must have things in common. Jenna learnt the hard way with her father leaving when she was very young and a series of stepfathers and special friends; she did not want that to happen to her. She wanted a happy marriage with a family. But when Simon, her fiancé, who did tick the right boxes dumps her for another woman, Jenna is a bit disillusioned with life. So when her best friend, Brooke, invites her to attend a match-making ball in the country, Jenna reluctantly goes not expecting to have any fun as she really needs to work while away.
Luke Tanner has grown up in the country town of Barlow in Victoria. He is a sheep grazier with a wonderful family, but farm life is not what Luke has chosen. He has other plans and goes off to Melbourne to university and gets engaged to a city girl. When tragedy strikes and his fiancé leaves, Luke needs to move back to the farm and change careers to take over the running of the farm and care for his pregnant sister-in-law, Maggie. Luke has always been the fun guy in town, part of the fire brigade, cricket team and footy team, but he has changed a lot since the accident and falling for anyone is not on the agenda. He is afraid of hurting people he loves and he has a lot of guilt to get over.
When Jenna arrives in town and Luke spots her in her Jimmy Choos, there is an instant attraction. To Luke, Jenna is another city girl and he is determined to stay away, but he is also a gentleman and offers help. Jenna is certain that no farmhands, shearers or country guys will check all the boxes on her list. Brooke of course is pointing out how good looking these guys are. Jenna comes across as quite abrupt, but does have a good look. When Jenna meets Maggie, she gets the wrong impression instantly.
With it being hot and the town in drought and in the fire season, the ball gets going and both Jenna and Luke are hoping but also not wanting to be paired as partners at the ball. There are a few wrong impressions during the evening but neither one can ignore the electricity between them and as Jenna has been billeted at the Tanner’s farm, they are together a lot. One thing leads to another and this spark is too big to be ignored.
This is a really good story. Luke has a lot to overcome and when a bushfire and a birth bring him and Jenna closer, but also push them further apart, Jenna is determined to put it all behind her. But again Jenna needs Luke. This one will have you smiling as they both open up and give in to their love. I highly recommend this debut by Ms Ireland.
Reviewed by Helen S
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.