Author: Victoria Purman
Victoria Purman is the South Australian author of the Boys of Summer books which I have read, reviewed and loved. So, when I heard that she had a story in the Hot Aussie Heroes series published by Tule Publishing I knew that I had to get my hands on it. I headed straight to NetGalley and downloaded it to read for release day, I got it read but the review has taken a little longer.
My biggest issue with The Millionaire… it’s a novella. Weighing in at a little over 100 pages this is a very quick read, and an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon by the pool.
Ellie Flannery is a journalist on weekend getaway with her best friend when she has a chance meeting with renowned photojournalist Chris Malone on a deserted beach a few hours out of Sydney. First impressions leave a lot to be desired and things are set to get worse before they get better.
Chris is one of Ellie’s idols and coming across him so unexpectedly robs her of intelligent conversational skills and leaves her sounding like a groupie, not a fantastic start when the man is trying to hide away from the world in anonymity. Doesn’t bode well for her professional request of a donation to a charity auction either. The situation escalates rapidly when Malone’s family, and their publicity department, look set to get involved.
I really enjoyed this read, Chris and Ellie are both beautiful characters but they are hiding terrible scars which see them erecting walls against intimacy ensuring no-one gets too close. 100-ish pages is not enough page time to include detailed back stories but Purman gives us enough to understand her leads and even though our first impressions of them aren’t too favorable they have plenty of time to redeem themselves.
The supporting cast were endearing and helped the flow and pace of the story. Ellie’s grandparents, and motivator for Ellie’s charitable pursuits, are just lovely. They epitomise the old married couple, together forever and living off the land; an ideal marriage many of us aspire to.
I think the character who really was the driving force of the story was Ellie’s best friend Bron. She has left the city and her career as a journalist behind to raise a family but she hasn’t lost her journalistic instincts and they are what kicked the story into gear.
Not only does Purman explore the scars carried by the journalists travelling the world to capture the traumatic stories of war and natural disasters but she also shines a light on the life saving work of the Flying Doctors Service and the constant need for financial support to keep them in the air.
Overall a great and satisfying read that I would recommend to all.
The Millionaire is book #6 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2015.