Author: Nicole Hurley-Moore
Lily Beckett is a talented junior designer in Melbourne for an up and coming fashion house, until she is put in a position that leaves her feeling like she has no choice but to quit. Devastated she heads over to see her photographer boyfriend, only to find him in a compromising position. With her life in tatters she flees the city for the country town she grew up in.
On the way she runs into a huge storm and then crashes her car avoiding a kangaroo. It really is not Lily’s day but she is found by local grazier Flynn Hartley, who Lily knows from her childhood.
Violet Falls is a small town and the Beckett’s have been there from the beginning, Lily is running back there to be with her older sister Violet and her niece Holly. She decides to check out the main street shop she inherited while she’s in town.
Lily has always had issues with her body and her self-esteem, and she has always been unlucky in love. This latest farce with the photographer sees her swear off men, or the bad boys at least. The next man she decides to date will be dependable, reliable and probably a little bit boring. But she didn’t count on the sparks with resident bad boy Flynn.
Violet has a wedding coming up and her event planning business is taking off so while hiding from the world Lily decides to stick around for a while and help out. The sisters are extremely close and it has been difficult for Lily to have been separated from Violet and Holly when they moved back to town.
Growing up Lily never really felt she belonged in town but that seems to have changed in all the years she was gone. Now that she’s home things are coming together for her, she is back with the friends that she left behind when she fled to the city with her sister almost a decade ago and she has her work cut out for her with the shop.
Hartley’s Grange is told by both Lily and Flynn, so we get an in-depth glimpse into the workings of Flynn’s mind also. He is carrying quite a bit of baggage from the past and it’s why he has never been a big fan of commitment.
This is the story of Lily’s return home and courageous chasing of her dreams. It is a well written story with a couple of interesting twists that I wasn’t expecting, as well as some predictable plotlines. I want to say it was a nice light read but the baggage both our leads are carrying adds quite a bit of depth.
I went in to this one a little blind, I hadn’t checked it out and I just picked it up when it came in because we are doing the giveaway so it wasn’t until after I finished it that I realised it was a follow up book. I can’t say I was surprised. Now knowing that there was a book before Hartley’s Grange I am tempted to go and chase it up to read it so I can find out more about the characters but I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything by meeting the characters in Hartley’s Grange.
Lily pours her heart and soul into her new venture only to be offered what she thought she always wanted. This could be a real turning point for both of our leads and I certainly found it difficult to put the book down waiting to find out how it would all be resolved.
Hartley’s Grange is a tale of second chances, of finding that person who inspires you to be better and heal what is broken and damaged inside you.
The element of suspense was well drawn out and seamless, it cast suspicion on enough people that the reveal was a surprise. I did expect some suspense in a second area but that never eventuated, so maybe just a case of my mind adding significance to an element that served a different purpose.
Hartley’s Grange is a great read that will help you wile away some hours, though maybe don’t pick it up just yet if you are in a bushfire prone area.
Hartley’s Grange is book #10 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2016.
We have copies of Hartley’s Grange to giveaway to 5 of our lucky readers thanks to Allen & Unwin. If you want to be one of them tell us in the comments below about how you would spend that first night if you had a day like Lily’s – losing your boyfriend, your dream job and crashing your car.
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