BOOK CLUB: The Stone in the Road

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The Stone in the Road by Frances Dall’Alba is a story of hope, love, and the ability to overcome the challenges life sends your way.

Samdarra Station is a cattle station doubling as a rehabilitation and detox clinic, it is there that Kelly Sheppard meets Patrick Van Der Meeliko. Kelly is a nanny to the station owner’s children, and she has her secrets.

Kelly has been asked to teach Patrick to drive, something she is not looking forward to. She finds him
rather annoying and unsettling.

Patrick has his secrets too. Through hard work at the station, he has been able to defeat his drug
dependency. He feels alive in a way he never has before. The station life is so different from his life in
Boston. Apart from the counsellor, no one knows his last name or about his life of wealth and privileges.

Patrick is drawn to Kelly, she is a universe away from the women he had associated with in Boston.
He even likes the nickname she has given him – “Yanko”.

During a driving lesson, the brakes on the jeep fail, sending them tumbling down an embankment, coming to rest on the edge of a very steep drop. Trying not to move while waiting to be rescued they begin to share their stories.

Patrick went first, sharing why he had turned to drugs to dull the guilt and pain. Just as Kelly began to share her story, the jeep tipped on its side into the void. Patrick is sent to Brisbane for surgery and to recover.

Kelly, whose injuries were less serious, receives a letter from her parents informing her that she has
inherited a property from her grandfather. Not wishing to continue her conversation with Patrick, Kelly leaves Samdarra.

Patrick decides to follow her.

The property Kelly has inherited is overgrown and run down, as she could do with the help she lets
Patrick stay. Unexpectedly the chemistry between Kelly and Patrick develops. Life is perfect.
Kelly’s parents arrive, they share their news and Kelly makes a hard choice.

While Patrick was working at the property, he picked up a dirty stone and put it in his backpack.
Sometime later when cleaning it he realises the historical importance of Kelly’s family history.

Will this stone be able to bring them back together?

This story holds your interest from the first page, it is hard to put down.

Two people who are trying to overcome the guilt from their past, heal and move forward. There is heartbreak and tragedy to make you cry. There is also forgiveness and love as they realise what really does matter.

This is the second book in the Australian at Heart Series. It is not necessary to read the first to follow
the story. The first in the series is The Little Blue Box, where we meet Patrick, his Dad and his sister in Boston, as well as his Australian step-sister. That book too is an excellent read.

The third book in the series is The Silk Scarf and I look forward to reading that too.

Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Poinsettia Publishing for the opportunity to read this wonderful
story.

A selection o f our members are reading The Stone in the Road by Frances Dall’Alba. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

10 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Stone in the Road

  1. The Stone in the Road by Frances Dall’Alba is a beautifully written story about life, loss, survival and ultimately the healing power of love. A real page-turner, Frances Dall’Alba certainly knows how to craft an engrossing and emotionally sensitive story that I could not put down.
    The book is part of the Australian at Heart series, and it is clear throughout the story how living and working on the land plays a significant role in the way each of the characters ‘finds themselves’, and ultimately each other. Indeed, the healing power of the Australian landscape from the wild and dusty outback to the tropical rainforest is key to the story.
    Although it is part of a series, The Stone in the Road nevertheless reads very well as a stand alone novel. The back stories of the main characters Kelly and Patrick are easily pieced together and your gradual realisation of the previous traumas that each of them has faced adds to their characterisation.
    I highly recommend this sometimes tragic but heartwarming story.

  2. ‘The stone in the road’ is another good book by Frances Dall’alba. It is the second book in a series, and although you don’t need to read the first book, it is nice to recognise some of the people mentioned from the first book. It was to read and I found it difficult to put down, especially when ‘something’ happens which made me change my expectations for the ending. I was wrong though and quite happy to be so. It’s well written and not just a regular romance novel. I am really looking forward to reading the third book in the series. Thank you Beauty and Lace for letting me review this book >:o)

  3. Having not read any books by Frances Dall’alba as so many have I was very keen to be able to start this new author to me.
    I was so taken in with this book and read through quickly. At each turn I thought I had the ending sorted only to be proven wrong and was carried on in a different direction. Kelly and Patrick both battling issues found it difficult to get their stars aligned and I was very pleased to be taken along for the ride. Thankyou Beauty and Lace for this opportunity. I recommend this book highly.

  4. This is my first read of a novel by Frances Dall’alba. I did not even know it was the second book in a series…. and I loved it. The characters were interesting and engaging, and I also loved the author’s description of the Australian landscape. I certainly didn’t expect one of the twists in the book.
    I definitely will now read the first book in the series, and look forward to reading more books from this author.

  5. The Stone In The Road is the second book in the Australian at Heart series. As I had read the first I was very much looking forward to reading this and it did not disappoint – in fact, I enjoyed this one more than the first! It seemed a bit more ‘real’ with characters who had significant challenges to face and overcome.

    The romantic storyline between the Aussie Kelly and the American Patrick was a fantastic read, although heart-breaking at times. The descriptions of Australian settings also set the book apart from others. I would certainly recommend to those who like romance or stories about family and acceptance, healing from past pain and being true to self.

    I found this easy to read and interesting throughout – I was always wanting to know what was coming up next for the pair.

    I am looking forward to the next one in the series. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Poinsettia Publishing for the chance to read and review this great book.

  6. I didn’t realize this book was related to another book I had read a while ago called `Little blue box` until I started getting along further in the book where it concerned Patrick’s father and what had happened to his mother. I thought the name Ella, Zane, Catherine, and the place Boston rang a bell and even though those characters were not a big part of this story, I soon clicked that this was Patrick who was the son of Ella’s biological father and I familiarised myself with those characters again. It was nice to know Patrick in a very different light though as he was just brilliant in this book, and I found it very hard to put down so read it in a few days.
    This book was set in outback Queensland and each character captured me as I immersed myself deeply into this book and had a great sense of everyone. Kelly had built up her walls and had her secret pain to bear and Patrick (Yanko) had his torment to deal with too from his past.
    There were shock surprises, gains, and losses that had me reading on to want to know if good came out of it and if things would work for them.
    With this book, I could visualize everything, like how they looked and their surroundings. This book was so well written and had some real gut-wrenching moments where I had tears and felt the heartache which is why I felt it captured all the emotions so raw. Gosh, we need more Patricks in this world as he was the most amazing human being.
    It was true to life’s ups and downs; good times and you will have to read it to know why it’s called The Stone In The Road as it`s a book that will stay in my heart for a long time.
    Frances Dall`Alba you are a top favourite of mine and this one was a brilliant read!
    This was an Australian at Heart Book 2
    Little Blue Box is Australian at heart Book 1 and
    The Silk Scarf is Australian at heart book 3 so you can guess what`s on top of my list soon.
    Thanks for the privilege of reading this and being introduced to a world where I could take myself away from reality and immerse myself into another world for a while. I thoroughly enjoyed this one!

  7. Thank you readers for choosing my book to read. Your comments made my day, giving me the confidence to keep writing. First draft of book 4 in this series is nearly done. I can’t wait to share it with you. In the meantime, I have another two books releasing in the near future, so be sure to keep an eye out for them.

  8. Reading this on my kindle it gave me percentages of how far I’d read, I have to say for the first 5% or there abouts I found it to be a bit slow and I was a bit doubtful as to whether I would get into it or not….well I was pleasantly surprised. So much so that I finished the book in just under 2 days.

    A love story between an Australian girl and American bloke was not a combination I would have thought of as such but I was really shipping these characters, the story had a massive twist (or I felt was massive!) that actually had me in tears. It does not disappoint and if anything that made it all the more relatable to the fact that life often throws curveballs at you and its how you react that makes the difference!

    I am thrilled to find out this story is part of a series and I can not wait to read more!

  9. I surprised myself with this one. I couldn’t put it down. I’m not really a love story reader but this one was not entirely just that, it was more. Yes it was a love story but it was about the two lives that entwined, broke apart, came together, life got in the way then magnetically drawn together again type of story.
    I had to know what happened.
    I now need to go read Little Blue Box by the same author (Frances Dall’Alba ) as I found out the one I had just read was the second in the Australian at Heart series. And it is no way detracted from it. The Stone in the Road can be easily read as a standalone book.

  10. I was lucky enought to have read the first book in this series, so was familiar with parts of the story line.
    Compared to the first book, ‘The little Blue Box’, I absolutely loved ‘The Stone in the Road’. It flowed so beautifully and seemed far more realistic than parts of the first book.
    This one had the descriptions of the castle and the waterfall, so easily etched in my mind., as well as the descriptions of the Australian landscape.
    I couldn’t help but love Patrick, aka Yanko, and the deep love he grew to have for Kelly, and her for him, as well as their love for the outback and it’s lifestyle.
    The story made me smile, it made me frustrated, and it made me cry my eyes out. What a fabulous read.
    The twist 3/4 of the way through, I did not see coming, and all I can say is Oh My Goodness, and grab some tissues!
    All of the characters in the story, are so ‘real’, and each chapter you see them grow and discover a little more about life, and it’s complexities.
    Not just a romance novel, but a story of 2 total opposites, finding each other, and through their connection, time, and growing love, they also find themselves..
    My only dislike was the swearing, even though only mild, and some of the grammar. Too many would’ve, should’ve etc
    I can’t wait to see what book 3 has in store for us.
    Thank you Beauty & Lace, and Poinsettia Publishing for the opportunity to read about Kelly & ‘Yanko’

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