Author: Mandy Magro
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher/NetGalley
Mandy Magro is becoming quite a prolific Australian author and I have read quite a few of her books now, I think over half but there are still gaps in my reading.
Moment of Truth is set in North Queensland with much of the action taking place on Diamond Acres Horse Sanctuary, the place Alexis Brown and her sister Katie grew up. Mr Brown worked at Diamond Acres and the family lived in a cottage on the property until the night Mr and Mrs Brown died in a shooting that was ruled a murder-suicide. Alexis and Katie moved to Townsville with their grandparents and never went back, but that didn’t mean they stopped looking back. Years of therapy and Alexis still hasn’t managed to move on, she still hasn’t faltered in her belief that it was not her father who pulled the trigger and she has still lost all memory of the events of that night.
An anonymous note arrives out of the blue confirming the long held belief that there was someone else there that night and Alexis is determined to track down the sender of the note and find out what they know. But after all these years is she actually ready to return to Blue Ridge?
There is a lot to love about Moment of Truth, the suspense side of the story is well drawn out and there are some pretty interesting twists that I wasn’t expecting. I really enjoyed the suspense side of the story and I was hooked, always with the one more chapter to try and find out what was going on; trying to discover if Alexis ever recovered her memory.
I am struggling to find the right words because the romance was sweet, if a little predictable, but it was also very repetitive. I think I heard how they felt and the reactions to each other more than I was made to see and feel their reactions and it seemed a little repetitive to me. I am sure there will be plenty of readers who swoon all over it but it got a little over the top for me. I found myself skimming some scenes with a ‘yeah, we get it, you’re connected and the crush never went away and the chemistry between you is electric, I’ve heard it all already just get to the action’. The romance was predictable but I thought it was realistic and I thought it played out in a way that I found completely conceivable.
There are hurdles, as there are with any romance, and there are secrets but some secrets are deal-breakers, and that too was written believably. I think my big issue with the romance was the repetition in the lead up and the predictability but having said that it was still quite a sweet romance and it was one that I couldn’t help but cross my fingers for them. Alexis and Ethan have both done it pretty tough in their lives and they deserve their happy ever after, and it’s quite clear that now they’ve found one another again no-one else will ever be enough.
Diamond Acres is a horse sanctuary and this is what really showed the depth of Ethan, early on he rescues a group of brumbies from an abbattoir and the way he treats them, the care he shows, is amazing. Brumbies are a majestic animal and they are one that certainly evokes very varied reactions in people. Ethan is one of their champions and he treats them well, the respect he has for them is palpable. I love the idea of brumbies but have never been close to one so reading their stories is always interesting. I love to read of the connection people have with horses, and horses with people too.
Mandy Magro is a prolific Australian author whose work I have read more than 50% of and have enjoyed all of them. The story has definite promise and played out well, the suspense was intriguing and unfolded at a good pace with some great twists but the romance was a little predictable and repetitive. Definitely a book I would recommend and I think fans will be thrilled.
Moment of Truth is book #50 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2017.