BOOK CLUB: Water Under The Bridge

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Author: Lily Malone
ISBN: 9781489250469
RRP: $29.99
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Lily Malone is a West Australian author who writes captivating contemporary romances with in-depth characterisation and an intense attention to detail. She is an author who has been on my radar for a couple of years but I have never quite got as far as picking up one of her books.


Water Under the Bridge is the latest release by Lily Malone, published by Harlequin Mira, and it’s the first of a three book series set in the fictional West Australian town of Chalk Hill. The first of three, that’s enough to excite me. It means a whole town of characters that we will get to know, and hopefully love, as we follow their lives through more than one story.

Ella Davenport avoids swimming pools since leaving the world of competitive swimming so when she picks a new career selling property she chooses a town far from the water and devoid of swimming pools.  She’s still learning the real estate trade but is determined and persistent.

Jake Honeychurch is forced to sell his nanna’s house, against all of his own wishes, so he lists it with the rookie and asks way too much. What better way to make it difficult to sell.

This is a contemporary small town story so of course there are developers sniffing around, and their eye is on Honeychurch House. Ella has her hands full negotiating to close her first sale and readers will travel the rocky road of her new career path with her, and all the Chalk Hill residents as she discovers whether or not she can take a chance at a new start.

I look forward to curling up with Water Under the Bridge sometime very soon, but in the meantime 20 of our Beauty and Lace Club members are already reading Water Under the Bridge thanks to Harlequin, so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

Water Under the Bridge is available now through Harlequin and from Angus and Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

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20 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Water Under The Bridge

  1. Wow!!!! the story of Ella and Jake is so romantic but raises questions throughout the whole story like what is she hiding/why did she move/ why is she no longer with her husband and the biggest one who is her sons daddy? And for Jake why doesn’t he want to sell the house/does he really have faith in ella?/whats his story?

    Thankfully all these questions are answered as you go which is what makes the whole thing so captivating, just as you find the answer to one question another pops up and spurs you on to keep reading! If my hubby hadn’t turned the power off to the house to stop me reading I would have finished in one whole night

    All up a wonderful book just the right balance of drama, romance, mystery and wonder. Im so glad I read this story and no doubt ill read it a few more times this year alone!

  2. A big thank you to Beauty & Lace and Harlequin Publishers for supplying the book for review ‘Water Under The Bridge’ by Lily Malone.

    What a lovely story. It was heartfelt and offered characters of substance and realism that the reader could relate to.

    Young mum, Ella Davenport, an ex professional swimmer moves to country WA with her 10 year old son Sam, after separating from her husband. Entering a new profession in Real Estate, and trying to find her feet in a small country town she meets soon to be love interest in Jake Honeychurch, who has his grandmothers old house up for sale. They feel an instant spark. Ella holds an interesting past with emotional hang-ups which unravels throughout the book.

    Ella soon becomes an accepted part of the community but she has wavering emotions once the town unearths her swimming notoriety. The author presents various characters that are likable and you get a sneak peek into their lives.

    The book ends on a happy note for Jake and Ella but I must say I was left feeling so sorry for her ex husband/ex swimming coach Erik who in my eyes gets the raw end of the deal. Steadfast and loyal, he truly loves Ella and Sam but Ella leaves him to find true love. Due to this scenario I couldn’t truly say it was a happy ending.

    A must read.

  3. Water under the Bridge – Lily Malone

    A light fast reading romance set in the Western Australia country town of Chalk Hill. Ella the main female character was once an Olympic swimmer whose career was cut short by an unexpected pregnancy.
    Moving forward we read about the life of a single mum with a rebellious 10 year which asks the questions of why the child’s father is not in their life?
    Working as a Real estate agent Ella meets Jake and a love interest is sparked
    The book Has several other plots anect in a small country town
    The story reaches it’s climax and all the secrets and reasons are revealed
    A Happy Ending? It’s a yes & no answer

    .

  4. Thanks to Beauty and Lace I was able to recently read Water under the bridge by Lily Malone.

    Set in a little country town in Australia it follows Ella, an ex-nearly-Olympic swimmer and her boy Sam as they move for a fresh new start in Chalk Hill. Early on you are wondering why did they move, and what is she hiding – and all your questions are answered along the way in this beautiful book. Ella starts a new job in real estate and her first task is to sell Jakes nannas house.

    I loved the story unfolding between Ella and Jake. It was tense at times but the romance flowed. I thought these two were beautiful together and he just fit so well with Sam he was a natural. Of course they have their ups and downs but I think they weren’t so massive that it disrupted the connection I had with the characters as a pair.

    I found the little community and its people were written really well, and you just liked everyone. The characters felt whole and homely and I loved the development as Ella grew and trusted Jake to share her secrets with. I did feel a little sorry for Erik – he was like the odd man out in the end.

    Overall I really enjoyed Water under the bridge by Lily Malone. It was a great, easy to read story that flowed wonderfully. Would definitely recommend it.

  5. West Australian author Lily Malone joins the band of talented fellow West Australian rural fiction novelists, who are all doing great things for contemporary romance. I was first introduced to Malone’s work when I read The Goodbye Ride back in 2014. It has been a pleasure to observe Malone’s writing evolve and her latest, Water Under the Bridge, is a novel that left me in awe. I admired Malone’s combination of solid characterisation, spectacular setting descriptions and the all embracing plot.

    Nothing pleases me more than a new contemporary rural fiction release with romance elements from an author from my home state of WA. I’ve been very fond of the writing of Lily Malone, the author of Water Under the Bridge, for some time now and with this latest book, I feel she easily slides into the ranks of authors such as Rachael Johns, Fiona Palmer and Jennie Jones. Malone’s writing is effortless and so is her ability to deftly combine all the elements that make a successful rural fiction novel tick.
    In Chalk Hill, the core setting of Water Under the Bridge, Malone has issued this reader with a familiar setting, which immediately served to propel me to this novel. Although I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting the exact location featured in Water Under the Bridge, I am familiar with the surrounding region. Lily Malone gets all the finer details of her setting just right in this novel. The locale came across as vivid and colourful. The community that resides in this small town are a likeable and realistic bunch. I loved the sense of community participation and mutual support that came out of this delightful small town. I’m so glad we get a chance to revisit the people and the locale of Chalk Hill again soon, via future books in this series.

    Malone’s strength does lie in her characterisation skills, they are refined. I like the way in which Ella is represented. As the book progresses, we receive a thorough breakdown of Ella’s past, her achievements, her highs and her low points. I admit to being completely absorbed in her character journey, from the very start, to the closing moments of this novel. I liked how Malone fleshed out Ella’s character, showing us her vulnerable moments, her flaws and her admirable traits. Ella isn’t perfect, but who is? That is what is just so great about Malone’s style, it is so grounded. In Jake, the hero of the story, we have a handsome and genuine lead. I also enjoyed gleaning vital details on Jake’s background and I enjoyed following the growth of his character as the book progressed. Other notable characters featured in Water Under the Bridge include Erik, Ella’s loyal ex and Ella’s son Sam. Both make solid contributions to the path of this novel and are well constructed. Rounding off the character set are a bevy of community members, who form the foundation of Chalk Hill. Any reader will find it hard to resist developing a connection to this small town community.

    Romance is definitely the order of the day in Water Under the Bridge and this is an area where Lily Malone truly shows us what she is made of. I really liked how Ella and Jake did have a great immediate attraction thing going on. It never felt forced or contrived. Ella and Jake’s pathway to love is a little bumpy, with a few roadblocks thrown in to liven things up. There was also a fair amount of swaying between feelings for this couple, which is understandable given the strains, as well as baggage they have brought into their potential relationship. If you like a little sizzle in your rural romance novels then this one will more than satisfy. It was in keeping of the style of the book and the relationship, which is always important to me as a reader when love scenes are involved!

    Malone chooses to put the spotlight on a few themes in Water Under the Bridge. There is a good exploration of love, loyalty, emotions, finding your calling in life, starting over, family issues and developing an affinity to a community. Malone also opened my eyes up to the very fascinating professional swimming circuit at the Olympic level and the contentions at the heart of this sport. Equally, I enjoyed learning a bit more about an everyday career, a property sales consultant, operating in a rural based area, it was quite interesting! In addition, Malone draws our attention to the lack of resources and infrastructure in small country based towns such as Chalk Hill, the rural community town featured in Water Under the Bridge.

    It is with delight that I recommend Water Under the Bridge to all readers, but those who have a passion for small town rural fiction novels, especially those with a healthy dose of romance, will revel in this new release. I look forward to revisiting the folk of Chalk Hill in the not too distant future.

    *I wish to thank Beauty and Lace Book Club and the publisher, Harlequin Books Australia for providing me with a copy of this book.

  6. Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club, and Harlequin Books Australia for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

    As a former country girl, I always enjoy books set in rural Australia. This one showed some of the characters that you often find in country towns, which made it realistic.

    It was slightly predictable, but was still enjoyable.

    The main character was a single mum who moves to the country to start a new life. She meets and falls for Jake, and there twists and turns as they move through their relationship. I did feel sorry for Ella’s ex-husband and he was such a loving, supportive and loyal friend. Not many people would do what he did for her.

    I recommend reading this book, especially if you enjoy romance novels set in the Australian bush.

  7. I loved this book. It was a great read..I loved the romance of it and the sexual tension.There were a few hiccups on the way and lots of misunderstandings. I liked the setting of a small country town (Chalk Hill) and hope there are a few more in this setting Perhaps Jake’s brothers.? Thanks for the opportunity to review this book.

  8. I’m struggling to find the words for this review. I found the book an ‘ok’ read. I did enjoy it once I got further into the chapters however found the beginning a little less gripping. The storyline isn’t one that has been repeated time & time again which is refreshing in this genre however I just didn’t feel it went into depth enough in parts & certain characters behaviours didn’t seem to be realisitic enough.

  9. Thank you Beauty & Lave and Harlequin for the opportunity to read Water under the Bridge by Lily Malone.

    This is the story of Ella and her ten year old son Sam. They move from the city to the country town of Chalk Hill. She was a top class swimmer, but has not swum at all for a long time. It makes you wonder why she moved to a town away from the water. She also changes her focus to try real estate. Her first job is trying to sell a home for a local which seems to have the price set too high. She is determined to do a good job.

    The client is Jake who seems to be making life hard for her. Even though this is happening she gets to know him and they don’t get on so bad. The more she opens up to people and others realise what she used to do it complicates her life and makes her question the changes she made and secrets she kept.

    I love the romance as it is realistic and things don’t go smoothly. Ella also has an ex who is involved with swimming called Erik. We are taught not to like exes, but Erik shows different sides to himself. Jake has some issues with one of his two brothers which affect the situation also. There are fringe players in the community who I enjoyed reading about as well.

    I love the way the story flowed and can’t wait to read the other two books in the series to get more of the picture. This book is for Australian rural romance lovers, or any people who enjoy a good read.

  10. Water under the Bridge by Lily Malone is set in the rural Western Australian town of Chalk Hill.
    Ella was an potential Olympic Swimmer until her life choices interfeered.
    She has relocated herself and her son to begin a new life and a new career in Real Estate.
    Her first listing is her hope and dream of a new begining.
    Things do not go to plan.
    The Client of the house becomes a love interest and the unfolding romance is beautiful in its simplicity.
    Of course there are hiccups along the way and makes for interesting reading.
    Malone’s writing is easy to read, descriptive and I am looking forward to reading the next two books in this series.

  11. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for giving me this book to read.

    Ella Davenport has decided to move herself and her child to Chalk Hill a nice little country town for a fresh start.
    With a new career selling property her old life as a swimming champion is long behind her.

    Jake doesn’t want to sell his Nanna’s house and he asks the new real estate agent to sell it. He asks for and hefty price knowing that it won’t sell.

    Ella is trying as hard as she can to sell this house but as it’s a small country town buyers aren’t rushing in.

    Lily Malone has written a wonderful Country boy city girl love story with a difference.

    Oh wow I’d never thought of it that way moments popped up every now and then, and there are some very positive messaged in there.

    This is a love story that makes you stop and think with all the cleverly crafted words of wisdom written into it.

    I liked the story of Ella and Jake and how there are so many other little things happening all the time.
    Love doesn’t always flow the way we want it to and there are some interesting things happening to keep you entertained and amused.

    I’m so excited that this is the first book in a three-book series as I can’t wait to follow the rest of the story of Jake and Ella and the residents of Chalk Hill

  12. I found Water Under the Bridge an interesting read with a fairly unique storyline as we follow the romance between Ella and Jake. Ella is an ex-almost Olympian swimmer who gave up her career at a young age with the birth of her son. 10 years on she has separated from her husband and moved to the small town of Chalk Hill where she is trying to focus on doing what’s right for her and not everyone else. She takes on the challenge of becoming a real estate agent which is extremely hard with only 1 homeowner willing to let her list their home. The owner turns out to be Jake who secretly doesn’t want to sell the house but needs to list it for his own reasons. A romantic interest forms but ex husbands, children and town dramas constantly put a stall on their relationship as well as their own demons. I enjoyed the story and it really questioned the pre conceptions you often can make about characters. I great read for anyone who likes a rural romance and I look forward to reading more about Chalk Hill’s residents in Malone’s future books. Thanks Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for a good read.

  13. My first read from Lily Malone. I very much enjoyed this book and couldn’t stop reading it. I didn’t want to finish it.

    I loved the storyline and how there were a few questions raised throughout the book that are all eventually answered but left me on the edge of my seat wanting to know more.

    The small country town of Chalk hill was written beautifully and I love the characters and homely/welcoming feel.

    I look forward to reading more books from the Chalk Hill Series. I really hope that there will be more to read on Jake and Ella ❤️

  14. Ella Davenports chance at Olympic gold was ruined by a bad decision.
    Ella chose Chalk Hill for her new career in Real Estate. she meet with Jack Honeychruch in regards to the sale of his Nanas home ella’s first big sale.
    this hangs in the balance because of the breaking news of a waterski park to be build in the area which includes jacks house.
    can Ella throw off the failure of the past and take a chance of a new life of have her dreams been washed away again.
    Lily Malone has a very unique way of capturing the characters and the story lines are great
    looking forward to reading more from her

  15. A truly delightful story centred around Ella, her son Sam and there move to Chalk Hill were hercareer commences in selling property. Not withstanding she was a champion swimmer, the town embrasses her and manages to convince her to assist in re-opening the local swimming pool. A few issues along the way with Sam challenging her at times, getting into trouble and boy attitude which makes them both unhappy. Except they both fall for Jake, whose Nanna’s house Ella has been trying to sell.
    Some issues in Ella’s past need addressing before she and Sam can be really happy and along with a few changes in mind, happiness isn’t far away.
    Lily Malone, I love this story and I than you for your writing skills. Beauty and Lace and also Harlequin books thank you for the opportunity to read this story.

  16. This is the first time I have read one of Lily Malone’s book.
    And it was fantastic!
    So thank you Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for sending me this book to read.

    Lily captured me early on in the novel with Ella’s story.

    I was hooked and addicted

    Thanks xx

  17. “Water under the Bridge” by Lily Malone is lovely tale that I felt moved along at a beautiful pace but did not give me that feeling of not wanting to put it down or read through the night. It is based in the beautiful fictional town of Chalk Hill and is the first in what will be a three-book series based on this delightful town and characters.

    Ella Davenport is the main character of the novel – a woman with a past that she is running from, whilst trying to find her feet in a new career in real estate after being a professional swimmer. She moves to Chalk Hill to start over with her son Sam a moody teenager not happy at his Mum moving them to the middle of nowhere and not having time for him like she use to. As you progress through the novel you are given snippets that tell the story of why her Olympic dream was shattered and why she wants to stay out of the water for good.

    Jack Honeychurch is determined to not sell his Nanna’s house and this is how he meets Ella as the house becomes his first listing. Why does he not want to sell? this is another story told through the novel.

    The book introduces you to the people of Chalk Hill and the place becomes another character.

    Thank you Harlequin Books and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  18. Water Under the Bridge is a good read. Ella Davenport made a bad decision ruin her chance of gold. All she has left is to be a real estate agent to sell Jakes mothers place. He really doesn’t want to sell the house so he sidetracks the negotiations with Ella.

  19. Well written and very enjoyable. As a country girl I can relate to this in so many ways.
    I recommend this to anyone who likes a story of romance with a happy ending, and a few curves in between.
    Thank you to Harlequin Publishing and Beauty and Lace for the advance copy.

  20. What a beautiful love story.

    Water under the bridge is the first novel I have read of Lily Malone, and I look forward to reading more!

    Ella and Jake are both strong characters in this novel who fall in love with one another. But they both have secrets that keep them apart.

    Love, lust, sex and passion ………..

    Thank you beauty and lace xx

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