BOOK CLUB: Christmas in the Countryside

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By Marion Lennox, Amy Andrews, and Meredith Webber
ISBN: 9781489290281
Copy courtesy of Harper Collins Australia

Three lovely short stories about sex, romance and how life’s challenges keep getting in the way.

Christmas in the countryside

From Christmas To Forever? by Marion Lennox is a heartwarming story of a young lady, Dr. Pollyanna Hargreaves who has been born into a wealthy family and although is very much loved, is mollycoddled by her parents and is feeling in desperate need to get out from under their protection. She is strong, smart and wildly independent, if only she was allowed to find her own way.

Polly takes up a locum position at a rural GP practice to cover the Christmas break. All should run smoothly until she finds herself at the scene of an accident and she is winching herself down the side of a cliff to render assistance. Very quickly she is thrown out of her comfort zone and her fiery independence and determination are put to the test.

This is the start of her weeks as a locum and she quickly endears herself to the locals. Is she here for the short-term on her way to achieving her life goals, or has fate got other plans?

Swept Away By The Seductive Stranger by Amy Andrews
Two strangers, an instant attraction and the smooth rocking motion of a train. Felicity and Callum are heading in the same direction, from Sydney to Adelaide on the Indian Pacific. It’s only an overnight trip but so much can happen in that time. Neither of them admits to being a doctor and nurse until an elderly gentleman falls ill and their training is called upon. They work together to help their patient, only to find solace in each other once the drama is over. It’s one night together, the adrenaline is running high, noone need ever know………

This was my favourite story out of the three as it is based in the Clare Valley, an area of South Australia I am familiar with and could relate to. The story was written to keep the reader on edge, will they rekindle their one night stand or is this just a sweet memory for them both. A very enjoyable read.

The Temptation Test by Meredith Webber
Jena “Blondie” is a beautiful model come television host who is helping to produce a documentary about rural hospitals. Her first meeting with Dr. Noah Blacklock, whom she will be working closely with, does not go well as his anger and sexism make for a classic case of ‘foot in mouth disease’. However, the attraction is instant and they do all they can to deny their carnal desires.

This was also a good read but I found the story a bit disjointed. The need to live in a shack to be ‘tested’ for the survival series, both Jena and Noah having romantic histories they aren’t quite finished with, a major domestic incident but the police barely investigate, a major vehicle accident and a patient dying in Jena’s arms, a community of young people in a drug refuge centre and finally the story being tied together by a Christmas parade, There were too many off shoots to the main story which made this a little confusing and tedious to read. The romance at the heart of the story was lovely and made the story worthwhile.

Three beautiful stories written by accomplished Australian authors. Thank you to Harlequin Mira and Beauty & Lace Book Club for the opportunity to read these stories.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Christmas in the Countryside. You can read their comments below, or contribute to the discussion by leaving your own feedback.

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