Thursday, December 22, 2016

Review: Walking the Line

Title: Walking the Line
Author: Mandy Magro
Publisher: 21st  November 2016 by Harlequin (Australia), TEEN/MIRA
Pages: 352 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: chick lit, contemporary romance, women’s fiction, australian outback
My Rating: 4 cups


For how long can secrets stay buried?

Country-loving Dallas Armstrong is a hard-as-nails bull rider, who dreams of becoming Australian champion, just like his father, Mick, was. But when he discovers a shocking secret about his father on the same day Mick dies in a car accident, Dallas’s world is turned upside down. Now it’s up to him to protect his mother from the truth, and to keep the family farm Rollingstone Ridge afloat. And he will do everything in his power to do so.

Charlize Dawson is a successful city journalist whose marriage is in tatters. Begrudgingly sent to the country to write about Dallas, she is surprised to find that he isn’t the arrogant cowboy she’d assumed he’d be. Instead she and Dallas and share an intense chemistry and deep connection that lead to a stolen kiss at the Rodeo Ball.

But when Charlize’s research for her article puts her on the path of uncovering Dallas’s secret, he demands she stop or lose him forever. Dallas or her career, which should she choose? How can she turn her back on the people who have welcomed her into their lives with open arms, all in the name of her job? Her career is all she has left, and she has worked so very hard to be where she is. But how can she reveal what she knows, if it means losing the love of her life?

My Thoughts

‘He liked to walk the line, stay on the straight and narrow, his search for love going beyond the pleasures of the flesh. He yearned to meet a woman that intrigued him, that challenged him, but also allowed him to be himself.’

On my continuing crusade to discover Aussie female writers in the increasingly popular rural romance category, I am happy to report that Mandy Magro provided a solid performance with her tale, ‘Walking the Line’. As she writes in her acknowledgements, it’s about forgettingthe dreaded housework, (keeping) you up until the wee hours of the morning (which it did! - and making)  you laugh out loud, as you reach for the tissues, leaving you with a warm fuzzy feeling at the end.’

“His mother screamed the most heart-wrenching cry.”

The prologue threw you in right from the start, I found myself tearing up in the first few pages! For the remainder of the novel, that powerful prologue had started a journey, as the secret is slowly unfurled, with intrigue keeping you turning the pages. I thought it might be a predictable secret but it had the necessary twist that I did not foresee, which I was relieved with, as it was constantly alluded to.

‘Was it just her feeling the sexual energy around them, or did he feel the sparks too?’

Yes, this is a rural romance, so if you are seeking that kind of fix, then you won’t be disappointed. It’s light, with a tried and true formula, that will prove an engaging read. There are many forms of love throughout the generations - grandparents faithfulness, parents loyalty and lustful sparks for the two main leads. I liked many of the secondary characters and what mother could not love Dallas for the way he wanted to protect and care for his mother:

‘Katherine Armstrong’s big beautiful heart was already broken enough and it was his job to protect her, and to make her life happy again.’

Walking the Line is a perfect holiday read with it’s romance and suspense. It will appeal to a wide audience, especially fans of the rural romance genre. So give yourself a break and escape to the country for a breath of fresh air:

‘Country air has a way of revitalising you from the inside out and making you see things from a completely different angle.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

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