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Feature book: Fool Me Once

2 September 2020

Fool Me Once by Karly Lane

Subgenre: rural romance
Release date: 28 Apr 2020
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Format: ebook and print
Length: 232 pages
RRP: $14.24 (ebook); $29.99 (print)

Georgie Henderson’s entire life is nurtured by her love of country, and farming. She knows it back the front, she’s good at it, she’s got the university credentials to carry her on to even better techniques, and her heart is totally in the New England region of New South Wales where she’s spent her entire life (bar her university studies).

However, her beloved family farm, Tamban, was sold off while she was at university. Her father lost all heart after her mother died and drank himself and the farm into an early ruin. Georgie was shocked to visit from university and discover he was financially forced to sell the farm out from under her feet. He’d been hiding the truth from her for years.

It was always her plan to study and return to help her father with Tamban. She was happy to shoulder the burdens for her unhappy father, work hard and live out her heart’s dream where she’d grown up. Tamban was where all her happy memories were, apart from the last few grim years when her father hit the bottle. Tamban was home, her home, and her future.

Suddenly, Tamban was gone and her dreams and her life were in ashes.

These days Georgie manages a cattle property fairly close to Tamban. It’s painful for her to be so near yet so far from her previous life, but she manages the property spectacularly well, full of ideas for the future. Even though life is poignant with the what-might-have-beens, she’s forging ahead. Her love of the land is palpable here, brought to wonderful life by Karly Lane. There are so many great moments when Georgie pauses to drink in the lovely country splendour, even if she is caked in dust and sweat. It is all magic to her and makes it seem magical to us as readers.

In a rare night out, Georgie and her best friend go to a B&S (Bachelor & Spinsters) Ball. Now readers, do you believe in love at first sight? Do you believe that you can look across a crowded, rowdy, drunken room and spot the love of your life? Georgie is dubious, but oh my goodness, that’s exactly what happens when she and Michael Delacourt spot each other at the ball.

Theirs is a wow of a romance! Totally whirlwind, sweep-you-off-your-feet type of romance, which—in a surprise move—lasts beyond that wild weekend. Michael is surprisingly persistent in wanting to keep their romance going, much to Georgie’s delight.

But how can a long distance romance work? She will never leave the farm—and he works in Brisbane. She has life plans to work hard and eventually buy her beloved Tamban back. She can’t see herself moving to Brisbane, and Michael’s business seems too busy and demanding for him to move to the country.

And yet. And yet. He keeps turning up to see her, and quite frankly, Georgie is swept off her feet, so in love. Michael really seems too good to be true.

Then comes a shock revelation about him that changes the whole ball game for Georgie. It totally turns her world on its head, and her life is shattered.

And yet. And yet. He keeps turning up to see her …

How these two walk on their very rocky road to romance makes great reading. Karly Lane also delivers on her love of everything rural. It shines through this fabulous book and makes us city gals so thankful for those on the land. Bravo!

reviewed by Malvina

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

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