Book Club: Come Rain or Shine

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Author: Tricia Stringer
ISBN: 9781489241160
RRP: $32.99
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Come Rain or Shine is the latest offering by talented South Australian Tricia Stringer, this is the sequel to last year’s A Chance of Stormy Weather. Stormy Weather was reworked from an early self published book and as such Come Rain or Shine started life as Due Date, self-published in 2008.

This is a sequel, it follows the events and the characters from A Chance of Stormy Weather BUT I’m quite sure it would stand on it’s own merits if it was read on it’s own or first.

Paula and Dan have moved forward with their lives and are into the next stage of their marriage, impending parenthood. They have worked through the issues they were having and have promised no more secrets.

It wouldn’t be a full length novel without some tension and stress, and there’s no shortage. Life in the bush is lived at the mercy of the weather, and it’s still been pretty dry so there are a few farmers struggling. Dan and Paula are doing okay but they aren’t completely out of the woods.

An overheard conversation in the doctors office was enough to make Paula wonder about their position as Dan became more tired and distant. It seems their promise of no more lies may not be being upheld. Paula knows that there is something going on but no-one wants to let her in on the secret.

Stringer deals with many issues facing farmers in Come Rain or Shine and one of the biggest is the matter of succession when it comes to the family farm, and as such the family business. Wills are important for everyone, and whenever I read about one it reminds me how important it is that I get one in place, but when it comes to a family business it becomes even more important.

Succession planning is not always limited to just immediate family so it can become quite a minefield, especially if it wasn’t transparent from the outset.

Partnerships, insurance, wills, succession planning are all major considerations in a business, and issues facing not just Paula and Dan but also their neighbours.

Paula is settling in to life on the farm and taking all of the new challenges in her stride. She has taken on accountancy customers from home, she’s working on her cooking skills to feed the shearers, she’s helping out around the farm and has even worked out how to improvise when the plumbing comes back up the gurgler.

There are moments of humour and all of the characters we have grown to love are back. We see a different side to Aunt Rowena, she still has her moments where she and Paula clash but you can see that she really does have all of their best interests at heart and she has faith in Paula; her love for Dan and her ability to step up to the plate on the farm.

All in all another engaging read by Stringer that I quite enjoyed. It irks me that again the bulk of the tension is caused by a lack of communication and could easily be solved by a conversation. Okay, it wouldn’t have been an easy conversation but it certainly would have then created a united front and a family that can work together to find the best solution. Dan had valid reasons for behaving the way he did but it still irks me, the stress of not understanding what’s going on far outweighs any stress caused by situations that arise, in my opinion anyway.

It seems that Stringer may have given us all there is to tell about Dan and Paula Woodcroft, for now, but I would be interested to check in on them a couple of years from now and see how they are all going. I’m sure there are some secondary characters who could feasibly flesh out a story of their own.

Come Rain or Shine is book #44 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2016.

Available now from Harlequin, Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Tricia can be found at Tricia and Facebook.

Thanks to Harlequin 20 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading Come Rain or Shine so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

20 thoughts on “Book Club: Come Rain or Shine

  1. I’m pleased that I read Chance of Stormy Weather before reading Come Rain or Shine, the sequel, but, like Michelle, I’m sure there is enough detail through snippets for it not to be essential. I thoroughly enjoyed Come Rain or Shine even though I wanted to shake Dan much of the time and throttle Rowena periodically.
    The complete lack of understanding from Dan about how difficult life on a farm could be for someone who has no experience whatever of farming life as is the case with Dan’s young wife, Paula, was irritating. Love will conquer all – but when openness is compromised, no matter what the reason, love won’t conquer all. Dan should have learned from his original mistake (covered fully in Chance of Stormy Weather) that keeping secrets doesn’t work, but he didn’t and he’s fortunate he didn’t lose his wife and marriage.
    Paula is a strong, lovely young woman whose knowledge of farming, seasons and the Australian bush is limited, to say the least, but she loves Dan and puts her heart and soul into the marriage and Dan’s farm. He doesn’t do nearly enough to assist, in my opinion – he forgets to alert her that shearers are due and she is expected to feed them! He loves Paula with all his heart but doesn’t initially see the need to include her completely.
    Rowena is a product of her environment – Dan’s Father’s sister, who raised Dan from the age of 3 when his mother was killed and his father grieved for the rest of his life. Rowena means well and is devoted to Dan but would have liked him to choose a country girl for his wife, which is completely understandable. She does come to appreciate Paula and tries as hard as she can to make Dan involve Paula in everything and not keep anything from her.
    Come Rain or Shine is easy to read and does give excellent information regarding the challenges of farming. I enjoyed it but it didn’t rise to the greatness I expected of it. It is well worth reading and a sequel would be excellent, I believe.
    Thank you most sincerely, Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Mira for the opportunity to read this good Australian novel.

  2. Come Rain or Shine by Tricia Stringer is another well written Australian Rural Romance.
    We follow City Girl Paula who marries Country Boy Dan.
    Nearly one year into their marriage, Paula, now pregnant,
    finds herself adapting to a different life to what she knew.
    Dan’s Aunt Rowena raised him and is moving on with her life,getting married and moving to the City.
    She has handed the Farm’s Books over to Paula who is running her Accountancy Business from the farm
    while learning to cook Pasties,the local delicacy, feed Shearers and help Dan around the farm when needed.
    Life is different but good.
    Dan is getting very tired and becoming more distant and Paula cannot understand why.
    Why is the baby’s sex and due date so important?
    Tricia Stringer has touched on the difficulties of farm life, Drought, Bushfires, Mental Health
    and Depression.
    Come Rain or Shine is a light hearted book but with substance.
    It will touch you deep inside.
    I read it in just over a day as I couldn’t put it down.

  3. ‘Come Rain or Shine’ is another ripper book by Tricia Stringer!
    Come Rain or Shine is a sequel to A Chance of Stormy Weather following on Paula and Dan’s story. If you enjoyed A Chance of Stormy Weather you’ll love Come Rain or Shine.
    Paula having been born and raised in Sydney is proud of how well she has adjusted to her new life living on the land during the first year of her marriage.
    I found this aspect of the book interesting as someone who has grown up on a farm and now runs a farm with my husband it’s interesting to read a different view point of how the ‘norm’ for farmers can seem like such a foreign concept to someone new to the farming life.
    Paula is pregnant with her and Dan’s first child and entering into her first harvest and summer on the farm, all new challenging things she must take into her stride.
    There farming district has suffered from a poor year and declaring there area a drought is being bandied about.
    Dan starts to become tired and distant, worrying Paula, they had made a promise to always tell each other everything. Is it the poor year on the farm troubling Dan or is there something else?
    As the story progresses we find there is an issue with Dan’s late fathers will, not wanting to worry Paula, Dan decides to keep the information about the will from her. As the problems mount up Dan becomes more worried and distant.
    Dan’s Aunt Rowena is also troubled by the will and trying to work out how they can get out of there dilemma, why is the due date and sex of Paula and Dan’s baby suddenly so important to Rowena?
    As a bushfire grips there district putting all there hard work at risk, Paula finds out Dan and Rowena’s secret, a secret that poses a threat to everything she has grown to love. Can Paula help them find a solution or is it too late.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, you felt like you were there on the journey with Paula and Dan, there were twists and turns to keep up with making the book hard to put down. Being pregnant myself with my first child i could relate to the little extra tibits about being pregnant for the first time. All these extra little bits of information added to the meat of the story.
    Stringer has done a great job of describing life on the land and captures perfectly the long days put in at harvest time, with wives effectively becoming ‘harvest widows’ , of everything revolving around the weather and events including birthdays that are just at the wrong time of the year!
    Thanks to Harlequin and Beauty & Lace for the chance to review this great book.

  4. At first when Istarted this book I thought I had read it before as the characters were so familiar, only to realise I had read A Chance Of Stormy Weather…..thought I was going mad 🙂
    I have also read Jewel Of The North which is part of her Flinders Ranges series and I have to say this girl is good, Tricia is a diverse writer and all her books so far have been wonderful. I even made homemade pasties last night for tea thanks to the character Dara in this book haha, haven’t made them for ages and they went down well and was quite funny to see my 3 boys and hubby wait impatiently for them to cool down just so they could eat them.
    I think this book really showed how it made Paula stronger in having to endure a lot by herself and I couldn’t wait till she actually had the baby as the lead up to it was both intense and exciting.
    I loved Tom as he was such a nice character and am hoping maybe if Tricia writes another book that it would be about Tom getting married to his girlfriend Louise.
    As frustrating as Rowena was, I really liked her and thought of her as a tough go-getter with a great heart but straight up front which took a bit of getting used to. At first I didn’t know what to think of Austin but grew to really like him as well and thought he was so good for Rowena. As for Ted, boy did I dislike him until the fire, that part actually brought tears to my eyes and near the end also made me teary in the part at the hospital with Paula, Rowena and Dan.
    I don’t get teary much in books but this was so good I couldn’t help it. Tricia captured my heart as I really got into this story and loved that I had read the book before it because it took me back to what I imagined the characters, farm and town looked like to me, otherwise when I first read it and didn’t click it was a follow on, it had me imagining a different scene so I adjusted when I finally worked it out.
    Thanks for this fantastic book Tricia, Beauty & Lace and Harlequin, I can always guarantee a beaut read from all of you.

  5. I thought ‘a Come Rain or Shine’ was an ok book to read. I had previously read ‘A Chance of Stormy Weather’ and really enjoyed it and remember thinking that it would be nice to have a follow up on these characters. Well, ‘Come Rain or Shine’ was my follow up. Although, as mentioned previously it can be read as a stand alone book, having read both, I feel that they are both the same story. I was really interested in all of the farming information and I think that Tricia Stringer has done a great job of describing farm life – although I have absolutely no experience of farm life.

    My issue with the story line was that it was the same story as ‘A Chance of Stormy Weather’, being about lack of communication that was supposed to have been all resolved in the first novel. I would have liked this book more if the ‘problem’ was something different this time, maybe something about farming. It could have been about how they were going to lose their farm and then what they did to save it.

    I do thank you, Beauty and Lace for another book to review. I did enjoy the story, but think it would have been better for me if I hadn’t read the first novel. >:o)

  6. Another enjoyable book by Tricia Stringer. There was enough intrigue to keep me interested, and I always enjoy a good country romance story. I loved the fact that some of the issue that country people are facing were highlighted. It gave the book a lot more substance, by making it educational as well (to a degree). I really enjoyed this book, and would definitely recommend it.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Harliquin for giving me the opportunity to review this book. A wonderful read.

  7. As always thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for the opportunity to read Come Rain or Shine.

    Tricia Stringer is one of my favourite writers, and I look forward to anything she writes with anticipation, and this book was no different.

    Come rain and shine, as stated above in the follow on book to A chance of stormy weather, featuring main characters Dan and Paula. Dan has loved his life working on his families farm, after his parents passed away while he was young and he was raised by his Aunt Rowena. Paula is a city girl, who over the past 2 books has been trying to find her feet in the country life.

    As with A chance of stormy weather, I did find this book to be every easy reading. I enjoyed the book, and read it quite fast, but also like a chance of stormy weather, I didn’t hugely like Dan or Rowena. I liked that Rowena was a bit nicer to Paula this time, and seemed to stick up for her a bit more with things like telling Dan off for not keeping a closer eye on Paula.
    Rowena did play a good real life part. There is lots of real people out there that don’t always get along with their in laws, and find it’s a bit of a competition. I also didn’t really warm to Dan again in this book. I know that there was truth in that lots of farmers aren’t often home and are as focused on work as he was, but I felt sorry for Paula on many occasions and wanted to tell Dan off! Many situations she was in alone were very unfair, especially when in labour.
    Usually in a book I really like I love the main characters, especially in a rural romance, you always want them to stay together, but in this, well, I couldn’t blame Paula if she left and went back to city life!
    I just don’t see what was so great about Dan. He seemed too focused on himself and the farm only, and a lot of the times I felt Paula was more treated as a farm hand rather than a wife.

    All in all, as I’ve found all of Tricia’s books, Come rain or shine was an easy reading book, which I’m glad I read.
    But overall it wasn’t my favourite Tricia Stringer book, and although I’ll read it if she brings another book out with these characters, I’m not hanging out for that to happen and wondering what is coming next.

    Thanks again for the opportunity, and I’m looking forward to future Tricia Stringer books at Beauty and Lace!

    1. Great review in my opinion, Justine – thanks for your comment on my review. Sometimes I feel that I might expect more from a favourite author than is reasonable but that’s the way it is when you love books, isn’t it!

  8. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for the opportunity to read Come Rain or Shine by Tricia Stringer.
    It was nice to catch up with country boy Dan and his wife, city girl Paula. Paula is learning more about country life all the time and assimilates really well, in my opinion. She is the one with the most changes in her life and she tackles them well.
    She has made some friends, and is still trying to deal with Dan’s aunt Rowena. They get along okay, but it’s a case of a few steps forward, then a few back.
    Paula is pregnant in this book which brings many changes and has a few challenges not being as close to support as in the city.
    In the last book there was a communication issue between Dan and Paula, and unfortunately this happens again. I feel this could have been handled better, but maybe this can be indicative of country life with less support. The support issues becomes a factor in a few ways and shows that we all need to be there for each other.
    There are also legal issues in relation to the farm at play which shows the need for clear wills and talking to family members so people are on the same page. If something happens to someone unexpectedly this can cause chaos for those left behind, which happens here. People also have different ways of dealing with it which causes tension.
    This was an enjoyable read with a nice support network, some of whom I’d be happy to hear more from.

  9. I had not read the prequel to this book but would have liked to, although not necessary as this book stands alone well.
    I really enjoyed the story of Paula and Dan although found myself frustrated at Dan for most of it!
    The author describes farm life well and the reader can get a clear picture of what life would have been like for the characters.
    All in all, a good read and not easy to put down as you want to find out what happens next. Would recommend for sure.

  10. Come Rain or Shine by Tricia Stringer.

    This is the first of Stringer’s books that I have read. I found the book easy to follow considering I hadn’t read A Chance of Stormy Weather which is where the characters of Dan and Paula story begin.

    The story is set in rural Australia where newly married country boy Dan and his city girl Paula are working on a family sheep farm and expecting their first child.

    Written from Paula’s perspective, Paula is trying her hardest to come accustomed to country life, supporting her husband, being hands on at the farm and doing up the old house which they now call their home.

    Dan comes across as not very supportive or even show much interest in his wife or the baby to be. His lack of commitment and understanding is frustrating to read, especially when he holds his Aunty Rowena in high esteem. Tension rises as Dan seems to be under a lot of pressure; Paula is kept in the dark about the family farms inheritance which is a driving wedge between them. So why does Dan not just be open and honest with his wife? What will become of this? Will it make them or break them?

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Australia for the reading opportunity. I enjoyed it and would be happy to recommend.

  11. I have so been looking forward to “Come Rain or Shine” by Trish Stringer and I am really happy to report it didn’t disappoint.

    It followed on well from the previous book and I found myself once again invested in Paula and her new life in the country. Like many of the other reviewers mentioned.. Dan is incredibly frustrating and I found myself cranky at him on Paulas behalf. Seriously men – communication is so important~!

    Issues of Trust are super important to me and as such I felt a little sad as I read this book. Having said that overall an enjoyable read (done in 3 nights!) & I thank you so much for the opportunity to review.

  12. Having read ‘A Chance of Stormy Weather ‘ I was really looking forward to reading its sequel ‘ Come Rain Or Shine’. It did not disappoint! Tricia Stringer continues the story of Paula, the city girl who has married Dan, the country boy and moved to the country. In this book we find Paula pregnant and still trying to get used to her new life. All the old characters are back and some not so very nice new ones. As well as secrets that cause stress and problems for both Dan and Paula.
    A very enjoyable easy read. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Australia for giving me the opportunity to read ad review this book.

  13. I do love the way that Tricia Stringer brings together a story with so much basis in the realities of farming in outback Australia. The sequel to “A chance of stormy weather” keeps with this talent, bringing “come rain or shine” to us to continue the story of Paula and Dan.
    Farming is a hard thing to do, taking a chance on the weather, bringing skills into the workplace and these are highlighted in this book. Even more so is the need for farmers to have tradition and family involved, passing on their own heritage. Follow the story of these two as the past and this family heritage threatens to change everything, and not for the best.
    Paula is learning to live the country life, after settling in in book 1. Rowena, Dan’s aunt, still has her doubts and meddles where she can, all for the greater good of course. But then its Dan’s father that has thrown them into turmoil.
    Fires, farm sales, secrets and babies… this book has it all and is such a pleasure to read. Thanks for the opportunity!

  14. I really enjoyed reading Come Rain Or Shine by Tricia Stringer. Having not read the prequel I thought it might have been a little hard to follow , but this was definitely not the case.
    I love a book set in outback farming Australia as do a lot of people I know.This one certainly does not disappoint .
    Coming from a farming family myself I understand the uncertainties that the weather really does bring to life on the land but believe most people could relate to this story .This is the story of Paula and Dan ( characters from the previous book) .Paula is a city girl who has married Dan and moved to the country and we know find Paula pregnant and trying to assimilate into her new life and family.
    Family plays a huge part in their lives , sometimes good sometimes badly .
    Secrets , stress and meddling family members lend themselves to a hugely enjoyable read that I would certainly recommend to anyone , especially for a lovely read over the upcoming holiday season.
    Thankyou Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for the opportunity to read and review “Come Rain Or Shine” by Tricia Stringer.

  15. I am a huge fan of Tricia Stringers work, and this book, Come Rain or Shine, just puts he icing on the cake for a Chance of Stormy Weather.

    It is very well written like all of Stringers books are.

    This is a beautiful Australian rural romance, one that many will enjoy.

    Thank you Beauty and lace, Harlequin for giving me the chance to read another fantastic novel.

  16. Come Rain and Shine was a romantic story set in Outback Australia. The main characters Dan and Paula are expecting their first child but with the arrival comes secrets and dramas that Dan’s lack of communication and selfishness, makes me feel very frustated towards him.The story was read but I did take awhile to get into it. Unfortunately this was not anywhere near one of my favourite books by Tricia Stringer.

  17. TRICIA Stringer is back with Come Rain or Shine. Although this is a sequel to A Chance of Stormy Weather, I had not read the first book before reviewing the sequel, and there are no issues in reading it as a standalone novel.
    Paula and Dan are expecting their first baby, a year into their marriage, but a secret threatens to tear their family apart.
    Dan’s aunt, Rowena, who also lives on the property and was always a mother to Dan, breaks some life-changing news to Dan, which he must keep secret from Paula. Paula begins to question their marriage when Dan becomes increasingly distant and Rowena is obsessed with finding out the sex of their upcoming baby.
    With the struggles that life on the land brings, Paula worries that Dan could let the concerns of money and running the property affect his mental health.
    As Paula continues to struggle with coming to terms with being a farmer’s wife and running her accountancy business from home, she is also involved in organising Rowena’s pending nuptials. As bushfires rage, though, Paula discovers the secret that Dan and Rowena have been keeping. Could this be the end of their marriage? Will they lose their family property?
    Stringer’s novels grab you and don’t let you go until the last word, and Come Rain or Shine is another stellar release.

  18. I have not read any Of Tricia Stringer’s previously published books. I certainly thought Come Rain or Shine was an enjoyable read on it’s own. I felt that the author touched on many of the difficulties facing rural life, drought, fire, mental health issues and the fact that many families need to travel great distances for medical reasons. I felt frustrated for most of the book by both of the characters, Dan and Rowena and felt empathy though with Paula throughout. Thank you Beauty and Lace Bookclub for the opportunity to read this book.

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