Author: Janet Gover
The Wild One is the second Coorah Creek book and I managed to miss it when it was released late in 2015, now that the next volume is ready to release I had to go back and catch up.
The small mining town is such a tight knit community where everyone knows everyone, and look out for everyone.
There are two national parks in the area, the smaller one is Tyangi, not so famous but utterly gorgeous. The new park ranger is a military veteran looking for a fresh start, somewhere he can outrun his nightmares. Things are going okay until the orders come down from his supervisor to rid the park of brumbies, an order he hates but can’t see a way around.
Rachel Quinn is a photographer, once in fashion and modelling but now preferring natural beauty for her work. She happened to be passing through Coorah Creek and headed out to Tyangi National Park, just in time to see Dan taking aim at one of the brumbies.
This sets into motion a brumby rescue mission that ends up saving a lot more than just the brumbies. This was a beautiful story to read and quite good timing because recently there has been quite a lot of publicity for a brumby cull in NSW. I have never seen brumbies in action but watching TV footage they are just such majestic creatures, it would be such a shame to see wholesale slaughter on this large a scale.
Dan is against the slaughter but if there is no other option he would prefer to be the one, only because he’s a trained sniper and knows he could take a clean shot. He would hate to see someone else come in and leave the horses to suffer. This was a hard attitude to come to terms with really because I can’t even imagine bringing myself to do something like that, especially if I didn’t believe in it.
Janet Gover writes beautiful romances and damaged characters, she also manages to fit a whole cast of damaged characters into one book along with two romances.
The brumby rescue mission is a brilliant idea, if they can find people to help them. Dan and Quinn have the passion for the mission but no knowledge of horses. Lucky it’s hard to keep anything quiet in Coorah Creek and hotel owner Trish Warren can help steer them in the right direction for help.
First they are sent to newly relocated Carrie Bryant, a brilliant jockey until a racing accident left her seriously injured. Her physical wounds have healed but she still has a long way to go before she can get near a horse. Carrie insists on seeing the brumbies before agreeing to help.
Local property owner Justin Fraser comes from a long line of horse breeders, Fraser horses have always been impeccably trained and in high demand but things aren’t quite what they used to be. Justin is determined to turn it all around but isn’t quite sure how.
This unlikely team are all haunted by the past and used to relying on themselves. They aren’t very social but being thrown together on this mission sees them forming bonds that are hard to be broken.
The mission to save the brumbies sees them sharing parts of themselves that they have not shared before, and that act of sharing begins the healing and starts to see them all take steps forward – steps toward a brighter future and back into the society they have been pulling away from.
Gover explores the issues of brumbies in the national parks, and also goes a little way to explaining how some of them come to be there. The Tyangi brumbies arne’t all truly wild, some of them escaped their homes in a bushfire and have been living in the bush since.
There are also fascinating themes of loss, PTSD and horse breeding. This was a captivating novel on many levels and it was lovely to head back to Coorah Creek and see what was happening with the characters I feel in love with in the first book.