Feature book: Inconsolable
Inconsolable by Ainslie Paton
Foley is a little angry as the story opens. She’s been passed over for promotion at the council, and there is something just not right with her new boss, Gabriella. Foley’s work is suffering, and her team is uneasy due to her clashes with Gabriella. She flats with her friend and local reporter, Nat. Foley has a very poor track record with boyfriends, although she has a good working relationship with Hugh, whom she dated in the past. Her current focus is to help the man living in the cave to move to more suitable accommodation and access any other services he needs.
Drum is an unusual character for a romantic hero. He’s currently living in a cave, working menial jobs to pay for his basic requirements and punishing himself for something that happened in his past. He’s educated, doesn’t particularly value possessions, except from a survival position, and uses his body as part of his meditation. It’s a physical type of meditation and anaesthesia, running on the beach to calm his thoughts. Drum has issues with something in his past, which he feels he needs to serve penance for. Under his scruffy but clean clothing and facial hair, he’s a strong, handsome man.
This is a sort of opposites attract romance where the clothes the protagonists wear mask their characters. Foley wears polite business clothing in her council job, but underneath she’s pierced, has a tattoo and is a little wild, with a big dose of caring for others thrown in. Drum is a scruffy beach bum, a cave dweller on the outside, hiding… well you’ll need to read the book to find out what he’s hiding. It’s a slow-burn romance, and there are issues of mental illness to deal with. The respect Foley shows to Drum illustrates her true character, and Drum’s battle with his mental illness and his concern for Foley’s safety shows his strength of character. There is a long road to HEA, but Foley and Drum have that wanna-touch-but-shouldn’t burn of illicit attraction.
I found Ainslie Paton’s writing addictive as usual. While the characters in this story were very interesting, this book didn’t grip me quite as much as Insecure (Love Triumphs book 1), but that’s about personal preference rather than the book. Regardless, both Foley and Drum are fascinating characters, the pacing of the book is good and the story engrossing. Back room council shenanigans and politics rear their ugly head, as do snoopy reporters and activist groups. A thoroughly entertaining read with some alternative characters. Enjoy.
Reviewed by Gina
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.