Title: Shelter from the Storm
Publisher: 4th January 2023 by Harlequin Australia, HQ & MIRA
Pages: 413 pages
Genre: women’s fiction, romance, contemporary
My Rating: 5 cups
When Patience Cartwright is stranded in her home town, the last thing she expects is a second chance at love...
Fiercely independent naval officer, Patience Cartwright has never had a place to call home, but she knows where she doesn't belong. After an unhappy childhood and a badly broken heart, she'll never return to the country.
But to save her career, Patience is forced to accept a secondment - to an environmental team working near the town where she grew up. There she encounters once more the infuriatingly attractive biologist Hugo Halstead - the very man she's sworn never to forgive.
Given their history, Hugo, as self-assured and honest as Patience is secretive and self-contained, has vowed never to trust her again, but that doesn't stop him feeling just as helplessly drawn to her complicated mix of courage and fragility as he ever was.
As Patience recuperates from a life-threatening illness in the small country town of Horseshoe Hill, she realises the beauty of the landscape and close-knit community promise something very different to the future she's mapped out.
But could the secrets she keeps and the shadows of her past, send her adrift all over again?
‘Prim said we remind her of a Jane Austen novel. Have you read Persuasion?’
Penelope always guarantees an engaging read with her books and I am excited to say that Shelter From the Storm is my favourite of hers thus far. There is just so much to this tale which kept me engaged from beginning to end, especially if you love second chance romance with flavours of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
‘If I were on the ocean, I could search the stars to navigate. I’d know where to look for the lights. How do I navigate now?’
With much on offer, this really is more than your standard rural romance. Of course, there is a super relationship with a wonderful leading man but it is clearly evident the research that Penelope has gone into for this book. There is an engaging mystery with the environmental issues which I always loved about Peneolope’s books. As always the Australian Outback is on display and I have added a few more locations to my bucket list. There is small town rural living and the whole community that comes with that which is always fun to read - I really need a Greta in my life #loveGreta. A special aspect that Penelope often includes is for all the animal lovers out there - especially those who love horses.
‘There are fences to keep things in, and fences to keep them out. On what side of the fence do I belong?’
Yet for me I was enamored with themes concerning confronting childhood trauma and facing/overcoming fears with the inclusion of Patience being a math genius. This was a wonderful novel with a story of self-discovery, healing and being brave enough to go after your dreams. With tensions brewing, family dramas, environmental issues, Shelter From the Storm is a must read.
‘A river, a creek and a sandstone house. A shelter from the storm, a place to call home.’
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.