Book Club: The Country Girl

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Author: Cathryn Hein
ISBN: 9781489242488
RRP: $29.99
Publisher: Harlequin
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Cathryn Hein is an amazing Australian talent who writes glorious rural love stories with lovable animal characters. I am a fan of her work so was excited to put my hand up for The Country Girl. She is an author I always want to read and I am looking forward to this one, and one day actually catching up on her back catalogue.


The Country Girl is another one that is sure to tug at the heartstrings, I also have a suspicion there will be some steamy scenes and moments that will make you giggle. I just wish my holiday was offering a lot more opportunities to curl up with my book.

The Synopsis according to the Harlequin website:

Can this love story find a new beginning?

After landing a major cookbook deal, star food blogger Tash Ranger swaps city life for the family farm. But Tash’s homecoming is bittersweet, for now she can no longer avoid seeing her best friend Maddy, who was severely injured in a riding accident. No one knows that Maddy and Tash had a deep falling out and with every visit Tash must pretend to be the friend everyone believes her to be.

Patrick Lawson, Maddy’s fiancé, battles despair and hope daily as Maddy lies imprisoned in her body. When Tash returns to Castlereagh Road with her joy and boundless appetite for life, he realises finally what his loved ones have been trying to tell him for months – that Maddy wouldn’t want him to throw his life away. It’s time to move on. But letting go is no easy feat.

Can these two friends step out of the shadow of Maddy’s tragic life and accept love, or is the past forever destined to dictate their future?

Cathryn Hein loves to hear from her readers and she can be found on Twitter, Facebook and her website.

The Country Girl is published by Harlequin and is available now through Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Harlequin 20 of our Beauty and Lace club members will be reading The Country Girl  so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

21 thoughts on “Book Club: The Country Girl

  1. Took me a few chapters into the book to get to know the characters and I was absolutely hooked!
    I was busting to find out or know when Tash and Patrick were going to finally get together. It was a really well written book and I just loved the reality of it and thought Tash`s “Pa star” was beautiful as he really did care for her so much. I loved how Tash baked and filled her friends and family full of love with her food and even had a tear or 2 in this book which takes a darn good writer to make me like this.
    I didn’t want this book to end as I read it in 3 days because it was a page turner, I would highly recommend this book to anyone that loves authors like Rachel Johns and JoJo Moyes for example.
    Thanks to Harlequin and Beauty and Lace for this beauty as it was thoroughly enjoyed and can now be passed on to my friends to enjoy also 🙂 🙂

  2. There is something about rural romance reading that I just adore. I don’t know if it’s because I am reading places in Australia that I can resound too or if it’s the down to earth farm life country characters. Whatever it is, I love to keep reading them.

    This book is one of those feel good reads where you just want to keep reading to see where everything is going to fit.

    Life can be cruel sometimes and it was, to Patrick and Maddie. Childhood sweethearts who had their life mapped out in their forever and then suddenly due to an accident, life becomes different for everyone who knew Maddie. We learn a lot about Patrick and Maddie in the first couple of chapters and it’s very easy to bond with them and become a part of their lives also.

    Another character that you will endear to is Tash, who is Maddie’s best friend and of course she knew Patrick from school days as well. They all grew up together. Unfortunately Tash and Maddie had a falling out before the accident. It’s always regrets that follow when upsets happen before an event happening.

    Tash is an amazing character to follow. She is this up and coming food blogger and loves to cook for everyone and anyone. Her fridge is always stacked with food. Hearing some of the foods that she prepared made me crave them through the pages.

    You will absolutely fall in love with Tash’s Pa (grandfather). I could just about imagine him and he dotes so much on Tash.

    From reading the book, you know that somehow Patrick and Tash will get together but as you turn the pages, you have to follow how they get closer and how they eventually do become one. Of course, there is going to be sadness as you read along.

    I found the story of Maddie very sad to read because there are so many others in real life that are like her. It is so hard for Maddie’s parents to look after her but they do a marvellous job considering they have another daughter and grandkids to see.

    I found I just wanted to keep reading this novel because I wanted to see if Patrick and Tash were going to be together and how it came about.

    This is a beautiful book about love, loss and friendships. I also loved how each chapter had a print of vine and flowers at the start. The cover depicts country life so well and is so beautiful just to look at too.

    I’ve noticed lately now how authors mention their next book and give you 2 chapters at the end of the book to read. I find this very intriguing and such a great idea. Absolutely brillant, in fact.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace & Harlequin for giving me such a lovely book to read. It is thanks to you that I get to read more authors that I would not have known about.

  3. A lovely well written story set in rural Australia about a country girl who returns home to achieve her dream. Not knowing that her life will change so much even when achieving that dream.
    Tash swaps her city life to country life with plans this will be short term while creating her blog and recipes. Tash’s friend Maddie had a riding accident which left her and her fiancé Patrick with a life of absolute uncertainty and Maddie is not able to communicate.
    As this story unfolds we see Maddie and her Parents move away, Patrick and Tash’s friendship grow closer and the family and friends around offer support and encouragement. Tash’s Pa features as a main character as he helps her with her filmed blogs, vegetable garden and life knowledge.

    Tash and Patrick grow increasing close and fall in love but what does this do to their future. Can they build on it and share their life together and can Patrick have closure with Maddie.

    A moving story, one I fell in love with as it progressed through their friends, mishap, accidents and growth.

    A lovely read Cathryn Hein. I cannot wait to read more of your novels. Thank you for this opportunity to read this story.

  4. ‘The Country Girl’ by Cathryn Hein pulls at your heart strings. All of Cathryn’s books I’ve read I have loved and The Country Girl was yet again another great read.
    Not afraid to explore some big issues and feelings, you’ll need to keep the tissue box handy for some raw emotional parts that have you really feeling the characters pain.
    Tash Ranger has been living in Melbourne since moving there for uni and is now a successful food blogger on the rise. Upon scoring a major deal to write a cookbook she relocates home to the family farm to write her cookbook and continue her Urban Ranger blog from the farm.
    Tash loves being back home on the farm, but there are also painful memories on returning home, seeing her best friend Maddy who was severely injured in a riding accident two years earlier. No one knows Maddy and Tash had a huge falling out and hadn’t made up before Maddy had her accident, making Tash feel like a fraud every time she visits.
    Patrick Lawson is engaged to Maddy and visits her everyday, there once bright future is gone and as he battles hope and despair his behaviour becomes erratic, making his loved ones worried for him.
    Can they help him see Maddy wouldn’t have wanted him to throw his life away, that it’s time for him to let go and move on.
    Upon catching up with Tash again Patrick is drawn to Tashs kind and loving heart, seeking comfort and reassurance. Tash hates seeing the shell that Patrick has turned into and makes it her mission to help him through his troubles through food and being a shoulder to cry on.
    The more time they spend together the more they both realise there is more than just feelings of friendship on both sides.
    Can Tash be sure though that Patrick is ready to move on from Maddy and is Tash willing to stay on the farm to be with Patrick?
    The Country Girl was great book to read, Hein has done a great job of weaving the story together, you feel like you are there with the characters, there was some raw emotional moments where you really feel for the characters, the extra characters like Tashs Pa really add to the story line.
    I loved the food and cooking tit bits added throughout it added an extra interest to the book.
    Huge thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for the chance to read and review The Country Girl.

  5. Rural romance writer Cathryn Hein returns with a brand new release, titled The Country Girl. Hein’s latest novel was a real treat for this reader, as a big fan of Hein’s work, a new book by an author I know will not disappoint is always a welcome experience. The Country Girl is, put simply, a lovely read from Hein. Romance features prominently, along with issues of trust, guilt and moving forward.

    As soon as I opened The Country Girl I was taken in by the beauty of this novel. The title page, along with each chapter opening, is adorned by a stunning native flower design. The aesthetic appeal of The Country Girl gave me a hint of what to expect in this wholesome country based tale. Packaged within this latest rural fiction tale from Cathryn Hein, is a romance that will tug at your heartstrings. A tissue box is a staple with this novel. Hein’s novel is touched with sadness, raw emotion but it also offers hope for the two endearing leads of this novel.

    Hein has cast a very likeable couple at the centre The Country Girl. Patrick is the hero of the story. He is a young hardworking farmer, who enjoys playing football for his local club. Patrick is engaged to his childhood sweetheart, Maddie. However, a tragic accident on her horse Khan has left Maddie with a serious brain injury. Since the accident life has stood still for Patrick, despite those around him begging him to move on.

    The other half of Hein’s couple is Tash Ranger. Tash also hails from the area of Castlereagh, but she has swapped life in the country for the city. Tash is a character I immediately warmed to. I loved her bright and bubbly personality. Tash’s overall positive and nurturing outlook on life also struck a chord with me. Tash is an interesting lead, her burgeoning career as a food blogger was fascinating and very current. Tash’s career efforts give room for Hein to include many pages devoted to cooking and consuming food. These were an absolute delight and really made the novel. Plenty of cooking smells wafted from the pages of The Country Girl. I also found myself drooling many times over thanks to Tash’s dishes! It is a shame Hein didn’t include a few of these fantastic recipes in the back of her book for readers to try!

    Patrick and Tash are supported by a bevy of memorable characters. Of these, Tash’s grandfather or ‘Pa’ as she refers to him in the novel, is the most colourful. I loved the gentle interactions between Tash and Pa. I welcomed Pa’s gardening tips and loved how he was involved in Tash’s food blogging videos. Pa is quite the hip grandfather, with a tender heart to match. As with many of Hein’s previous novels, animals feature prominently in the story. There is Khan, Maddie’s horse, who is blamed for her accident. Khan ends up in the care of Tash. Then there is the loveable Coco. All of the animals featured in The Country Girl are wonderfully drawn.

    As this is a rural romance novel, romance is a big theme in this appealing novel. The romance that develops between the leads, Tash and Patrick, is tainted by their reservations about Maddie. However, when these two interact, there is plenty of sizzling heat, tender moments and a genuine love story that develop between the two. Tash and Patrick’s love story is not perfect, nor is it smooth. Plenty of roadblocks stand in the way of their burgeoning romance, along with a good share of relationship baggage and misunderstandings that define their coming together. Hein is an expert in rural romance stories and this one is no exception.

    Hein wraps up her latest novel by taking the reader of quite the tumultuous journey to happy ever after, expect some tears, laughter and that tingly feeling in your heart. The Country Girl features a pathway to love, hope and happiness that I enjoyed following. Hats off to Cathryn Hein, who has again delivered a magnificent rural fiction tale.

    *I wish to thank Beauty & Lace/Harlequin Books Australia for providing a copy of this book for review purposes..

  6. The Country Girl by Cathryn Hein

    Tash makes her living by being a food blogger. She has just has landed a deal to write a cookbook, so she leaves Melbourne to return to her parents farm in far western Victoria. Here she will be able to grow her own food, and source local product to feature In her Cookbook, and on her on line blog.

    She is helped with her garden by her grandfather Pa, who is a wonderful character. He calls a spade a spade, and Tash begins to include Pa in her video blog., where he gives gardening advice and tips. Pa is a bit chuffed about being a Video Star.

    Tash grew up here, and reconnects with friends from her school days. Her best friend Maddy had a serious accident 2 years ago, and now requires full time care by her parents. Maddy has daily visits from her finance Patrick, who is a dedicated but broken hearted man. He sits by Maddy’s bedside and talks about what they had planned for their life together, but due to her injuries, nothing can go as planned. The pain and helplessness is real and raw, and the reader can feel that.

    Tash sees Patrick is struggling with dispair. As food is her thing, she begins to cook tempting treats for Patrick to ease his pain, As Patrick is exposed to Tash’s boundless energy and zest for life, he begins to reaslise that Maddy would never want him to waste his life waiting for her to recover. But he is torn – he is committed to Maddy, he made promises to her, why does everyone think he can walk away from that now when she is so helpless?

    Tash is full of life. Maddy is not. Patrick is in termoil.

    This wonderful book is more than a Rural Romance. It is a sobering window into the life of those who have to make lifechanging decisions based on love but deeply ingrained with guilt. Author Cathryn Hein’s well written and very readable style is touching and believable. Her dialogue is warm and real.

    Thank you to Beauty & Lace Book Club and to Harlequin Books for the chance to read this, and to discover another “must have” author. I will be seeking out her other work.

  7. This is a lovely romance themed book which was a pleasure to read. I love the way the characters are intertwined into each other’s lives and each has their own traits and identity. The rural setting seems idealic and makes the perfect backdrop for this romantic novel.

    I enjoyed this book and would recommend it for anyone who wants to be captivated in another setting, where life is challenging but contains its own pleasures and dreams. Definitely a very romantic “carry me away” book.

  8. That Country Girl by Cathryn Hein was an absolutely enjoyable read that I quickly read from cover to cover .
    A lovely novel set in rural Australia “That Country Girl” is a pleasure to read.
    Not only will fans of rural romance novels be impressed by this book but also those that just want to get away into another world for a time will also enjoy it as well.
    Tash ,our main character, is a food blogger who returns to rural Victoria to initially make a cookbook . The novel also involves Maddy her childhood friend who had a serious accident and now requires constant care by her parents and Patrick, Maddy’s fiancee who is a broken hearted man not knowing where his life is heading.
    Altogether this makes a wonderful engaging story that I would definitely recommend.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Books for allowing me to read and review this great novel

  9. The Country Girl by Cathryn Hein is a wonderfully easy book to read.
    It is full of love and passion (not only sexual passion, passion for food!!!!),
    promises and loyalty and the lengths some people will go to
    when they make a promise,
    even when keeping it is detrimental to their own happiness.
    A country girl at heart moves to the city but when the chance pops up
    to move back home, Tash jumps at it.
    Her homecoming is not all roses.
    Her best friend Maddie was seriously injured in an riding accident.
    Patrick is also a childhood friend and Maddie’s fiance.
    Family and friends have been telling Patrick
    he does not have to honour his promise to Maddie of a life together.
    A promise made prior to her accident.
    Can Patrick make the hardest descision of his life?
    Can Tash admit her feelings for Patrick?
    Can Tash and Patrick forge a life together without feeling guilt about Maddie?
    Cathryn Hein has woven a beautiful story that will keep you spellbound.
    I thoroughly enjoy this book and laughed at times and will admit I shed a tear or two.

  10. Food blogger Tash Ranger currently resides in the city, but after landing a major deal for a cookbook, she heads to her family home, located on a farm in rural Victoria.
    Upon returning home, Tash goes to visit her best friend Maddie, who was tragically involved in a shocking horse riding accident, and left severely injured as a result, unable to communicate, and trapped in her own body.
    Only Tash knows that her and Maddie had a falling out prior to Tash leaving for the city years back, and now she carries the guilt of that day and longs for things to be the way they once were.
    Maddie’s fiance, Patrick Lawson, is a friend of Tash’s as they used to attend the same school, and when he hears that Tash has returned home, it isn’t long before the two are reunited.
    Patrick visits Maddie on a regular basis, and feels helpless and sad knowing that the life he promised Maddie will never be.
    He starts to spend more time with Tash, and begins to realise that Maddie wouldn’t want him to put his life on hold for her.
    He begins to develop feelings for Tash, and she realises that she likes Patrick more than just a friend.
    But they both feel shadowed by Maddie’s tragedy, and don’t know if they will be able to make things work between them..

    I liked Tash’s bubbly personality and her passion for food. Reading about the delicious recipes she made throughout the book got my mouth watering more than once!
    Her grandpa ‘Pa Star’ was such a lovable character, and I really liked how he offered Tash gardening tips and I admired his willingness to be featured on Tash’s food blog.
    I also liked her city friends, Ceci and Thom, who continued to offer support and love for Tash even when she moved to the farm.
    Patrick was another character I enjoyed reading about. I did feel that the choices he made were somewhat rushed and not fully thought out but I am glad with how the book ended.

    This is a lovely book about love, friends, and rural life.

  11. I’m a huge fan of Cathryn Hein, so I knew I was already going to the Country Girl.

    Once again Cathryn has written another exceptionally good rural romance novel.

    Was a fantastic book which I did however read over the weekend. I was hooked .

    Thanks beauty and lace and Harlequin for allowing me to review this amazing book!

  12. What a heartbreaking but fabulous book! An insight into how heartbreaking and unfair life can sometimes be, with a large shot of reality for the reader.

    A great read which reminds us to remember how fortunate we are!

  13. The Country Girl by Cathryn Hein is a lovely romantic novel, perfect to enjoy and lift ones spirits.

    We are surrounded by many beautiful characters, their stories well developed and emotive. We read of the heartbreak of Maddy’s accident, her parents struggles in caring for her and Patrick’s love and devotion for the woman he planned to marry.

    Tash is a country girl who has moved to the city for work and experiences the mixed emotions of returning home, to the people she loves but leaving the city life and friends she enjoyed. Will she settle back into country life, the change of pace, fresh air and childhood friendships? Will she forgive herself for the words that were left unsaid?

    I was eager to read of the union between Tash & Patrick and became rather frustrated that they were taking so long, was there going to be a twist in the story at the end? So many teasing moments, such frustration! The relationship Tash has with her grandfather Star Pa is wonderful and so heartwarming; a truly beautiful relationship too.

    The Country Girl is a feel good novel full of love, romance, tragedy, suspense and many giggles. A lovely read by this accomplished Australian author. Thank you to Mira, Harlequin Enterprises, Cathryn Hein and Beauty & Lace Book Club for the opportunity to read this lovely story.

  14. The Country Girl by Cathryn Hein was my book club of the month read. Did I like it? Yes, I did. Was it easy to read? Yes, it was. Was it predictable? Absolutely, so much so it was a little disappointing. Country girl moves to city, makes it big, moves back to the country and falls in love with the boy next door.
    Tash Ranger is a country girl who moved to the city and became a food blogger, she returns home when she secures a cookbook deal and takes her blog from urban to rural. Tash has avoided going home to Castlereagh Road since she argued with her best friend Maddie when Maddie broke Tash and her boyfriend up believing firmly that he wasn’t right for her friend. The rift is made worse by the fact that Tash believes Maddie has it all – beauty and the fiancé that Tash has had a secret crush on for many years. Unfortunately, the rift between the girls becomes frozen in time when Maddie falls from her horse causing an irreparable brain injury.
    Patrick Lawson, is Maddie’s fiancé and is deeply depressed with where his life is heading. He has loved Maddie for so long and with Maddie’s accident everything has gone pear shaped. Maddie and Patrick’s families have been trying to get Patrick to move on with his life but Patrick feels ‘stuck’, that he is letting down the one person he has cared deeply about for a long time. When Tash moves back home Patrick renews his friendship with her but something is different. Patrick starts to have feelings for Tash that he believes are wrong.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Australia for allowing me the opportunity to read this book.

  15. Beauty and Lace has introduced me to some great rural Australian authors and Cathryn Hein will be another author I need to read more from.
    The Country Girl follows the story of Tash Ranger who grew up in the country but moved to Melbourne to go to uni and follow her dreams. She has a cooking blog which has now become so popular she has signed a cookbook deal. She decides to head back to her country hometown to write her cookbook.
    Back in her hometown is her childhood friends Patrick and Maddie who happen to be engaged. Unfortunately Maddie suffered a horse-riding accident and Tash and Maddie just happened to have a falling out not long before this that nobody knows about. Over the course of the story Patrick and Tash become closer but they both feel guilty because of Maddie.
    The Country Girl is a story filled with love and sadness and had me in tears on more than one occasion. I loved the cast of characters and I look forward to reading more of Cathryn Hein’s books.

  16. I loved this book! it was not just because it was my favourite genre but the story was so engaging and characters were so beautifully written. This was the first time I had read a book by Cathryn Hein and I will definately read more in the future.

    Tash Ranger is a country girl at heart who has been in Melbourne for Uni and building up her blog ‘The Urban Ranger’ with plans for a cookbook and building her platform she decides to head home to a back to the country experience for her audience.

    Patrick Lawson is hurt, angry and heartbroken after his Fiance Maddy is injured in a horse riding accident – their dreams gone after Maddy’s body is broken.. He made her a promise and he vows to stick to that promise.

    Tash is like a breathe of fresh air and she reminds Patrick what it is like to live again after they clash over Maddy’s horse Khan whom Patrick has a love hate relationship with.

    Surrounding the story is other key chartacters, Maddy’s parents who’s life is on hold caring for their daughter, Pa,Tash’s Grandad and a true bushie, and Patrick and Tash’s parents.

    Can two people that are hurting, Tash feeling guilt after having a fall out with Maddy prior to her accident and Patrick who wants to live again but does not want to hurt Maddy find a way to heal together.

    This was an emotive tale that was easy to read, I wanted it to keep going. I love the back story of what goes into being a blogger as well. Highly recommend it. Thank you Harlequin Books AUS and Beauty and Lace

  17. Love, hurt, mystery, and suspense and anger are some of the feelings I experience whilst reading this book. Once I was a few chapters into this book I was unable to stop reading. I was hooked.

    I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book. Cathryn Hein is a wonderful Australian author and I look forward to reading more from her.

  18. This is the first book I’ve read from this author and I can say I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sometimes I wonder what new spins can be put into the rural romance category, and when I think it’s exhausted, I come across someone new with their own flare for the genre. I found this book very hard to put down once I had gotten into it. Well written, and nicely paced, it’s a must read for those who love a dramatic read.

    Thank you to Harlequin Books and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review this book. I’m looking forward to seeing what else Cathryn Hein has or will publish in the future.

  19. Tash Roger landed a major cook book deal, she decided to swap city life for the family farm.
    but her homecoming did not turn out as good as she thought.
    Tash now to come to terms with her best friend Maddie, after her riding accident which has left Maddie unable to communicate.
    all visit Tash made home she had to pretend that things were still the same with her and Maddie. no one knew of the falling-out that they had prior to Maddie;s accident.
    Patrick Lawson Maddies fiance battles daily hoping and praying that Maddie will recover.
    when Tash returns to castleregh Ranch Patrick finally realises what his family has been saying to him for months.
    Maddie would not want him to waste his life, and to move on.
    but letting go and moving on is not easy especailly if moving on means to Tash.
    Patric is a country boy and Tash is a star on the rise with ambition that could make her unreachable to him anyway.
    can these two friends accept there love or is the past forever destined to dictate the future.
    a very heart felt book, lots of interesting little twists, a book well worth the read

  20. You never really know where home is until you leave and come back seems to be the theme of this book. It’s also about a lot of soul searching and undying commitment.
    Readers are thrown into the world of Patrick Lawson who is struggling with the severe injuries his fiancé Maddy suffered after a fall from her horse, Khan. Patrick is devoted to Maddy and, although he’s not sure she even knows who he is anymore, he can’t bring himself to end their engagement and move on.
    Tash Ranger is enjoying the good life in Melbourne, but has never forgotten her roots in Castlereagh Road. As a renowned food and cooking blogger, she makes a business decision to return home after she lands a cookbook deal and takes The Urban Ranger to the country.
    Patrick and Tash have to come to terms with Maddy’s injuries and Tash needs to deal with the breakdown in her friendship with Maddy before the life-changing horse fall. Can Patrick move on from Maddy and what will the future hold for Maddy and her family?
    Will Tash make the move temporary or will her burgeoning relationship with Patrick encourage her to settle where her heart has always lived?
    Cathryn Hein has written another heart-warming tale that will have readers laughing and crying in near-equal measure and questioning what they would do in a similar situation. Highly recommended.

  21. Cathyrn Hein is one of my favourite Australian rural romance writers & this book did not disappoint.

    It was easy to fall in love with the characters, & read about their lives. How they cope in the situations that are put before them, and how to deal with their feelings.

    Patrick finds it difficult to move on & break a promise he made to his fiancee to love & be there for her forever, even after a terrible accident leaves her unable to communicate & look after herself.

    Tash tries to ignore her feelings for Patrick as she was his fiancees best friend.

    Highly recommend reading this

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