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Feature book: Love at Lost Lagoons

4 November 2020

Love at Lost Lagoons by Isabella Hargreaves

Subgenre: historical romance
Release date: 15 May 2020
Publisher: self-published
Format: ebook
Length: 173 pages
RRP: $4.68 (ebook)

This is the third book in the linked series Stations of the Heart, but it’s quite able to be read alone. I haven’t read the others yet, and it’s obvious at the end that other characters from previous books enter the story, but it all works for the reader. The first book in the series is Lord Muck and Lady Alice—what a fabulous title—and second is Love and Other Addictions. They’re fairly short, so you could easily read each one in an afternoon.

Set in 1879, Love at Lost Lagoons has a spectacular opening. Elizabeth Chesterfield, terrified and alone, escapes in the dead of night from her brother as they journey to his property, throwing herself headlong and on foot into the harsh mercies of the northern Queensland bush.

This instantly raises lots of questions. Why is she so fearful of her brother? What has made her, an English rose fresh off the boat from England, brave the alien Australian bush—at night—in her violent quest to escape? High stakes! Absolutely terrifying. We aren’t told at this stage what’s causing the terror and desperation Elizabeth has, which drives the story forward.

She stumbles into a small homestead tucked away in the bush, hoping desperately to find some food and water. Then she’ll continue her flight down to the coast, and a shipping port. She plans to instantly board a ship and sail home to England.

Unbeknown to her, the homestead is Lost Lagoons, the property of reclusive bachelor Walter Jamison. To say he’s startled to discover a refined Englishwoman roaming around alone miles from anywhere, possibly a thief (?), is an understatement. Cautiously, fearing foul play from her actions, he locks her into his dairy for the night, but—being a hero—provides her with food, water, and blankets.

And the story goes on from there. I loved Walter. He is a reserved but lovely man, fair and just, and full of all the heroic beta qualities any romance reader could wish. I do enjoy a good beta hero! When he hears Elizabeth’s story he agrees to shelter her until the wet season finishes. Then he’ll take her himself to the coast.

The joy in reading this book is seeing how these two conquer their fears, fall in love, and triumph over what turns out to be terrible villainy.

reviewed by Malvina

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

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