Feature book: Riverboat Point
Savannah Smith begrudgingly agrees to temporarily leave her less-than-satisfactory life in the city to help her brother, Jax, run his riverboat business on the Murray River. Heading to the remote area, she is thrown in at the deep end. Her brother has disappeared, leaving Savannah with a set of hard-to-decipher instructions and vague references to helpful neighbours and less than savoury ones. But which are which? With so much to do, she reluctantly asks the help of one neighbour, Ethan, still not sure if he’s the okay one or not. He seems to understand much more about what’s required and has many of the skills needed to run the business.
Having grown up in the city, the drastic change to a country life requires a steep learning curve, and Savannah resents her brother’s mysterious disappearance and his inability to answer any of her frantic phone calls. Ethan seems vague too on why Jax needed to leave so suddenly and avoid contact.
With much to learn, and many adjustments to make, Savannah has little time to spare, and the attraction she feels towards Ethan is an added complication. When she finds it reciprocated, she must come to terms with her future. Jobs have been intermittent and unsatisfactory since a car accident left her with serious injuries. The death of her parents in that accident tore her and Jax apart. Maybe coming to the river will give them the opportunity to reconnect, if only Jax would come home!
Ethan struggles with post-army life. Two tours of Afghanistan have left him with nightmares and a need for solitude. His place on the river provides the solace he craves, but Jax’s riverboats bring tourists and noise. Still, he can’t seem to say no each time Savannah asks for his help. She’s doing a great job of trying to manage on her own, but apart from her lack of experience, it’s work that requires at least two people. The more time he spends with her, the more he finds himself confiding in her. When dinner turns into a whole night, he knows he wants more, but he’s reluctantly keeping Jax’s secret, and if he can’t get Jax to tell Savannah the truth, he realises he could lose her. It’s obvious she has been through a traumatic time, and if he gains her trust, only to lose it, it might just be forever.
This is a tender love story set in the beautiful surrounds of the Murray River. When danger strikes suddenly and unexpectedly, it is quite horrifying and not at all what I expected, but at the same time, it is an issue very much at the forefront of Australian society. This is an excellent read and one I’m sure all rural romance enthusiasts will enjoy. I do love finding ones that have a different setting, and the Murray River is a place I love reading about. It’s a long time since I’ve been there, but I loved it. Well done, Tricia. I’ll be checking out those two earlier books of yours.
Reviewed by Rosalie
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.