Sunday 22 February 2015

Snowy River Man by Lizzy Chandler - Book Review
From the Blurb:

Their chance at love was lost in the harsh light of day. Is the romance of the majestic Snowy Mountains enough to heal the wounds of the past so that they get a second chance at a future?

The last time Katrina Delaney saw Jack Fairley was the morning after a one-night stand, when she discovered he was engaged to be married. Seven years later, she dreams of a missing boy – Jack’s son. Katrina has worked with police to find missing children before, and she knows she must help. But seeing Jack again comes with its own set of dangers, and Katrina fears the risks she is taking with her heart.

Jack Fairley’s standing in the community can’t keep his son from wandering off during a country rodeo. Frantic with worry, Jack is willing to do anything to find him, even put aside his scepticism and accept the help of a woman who sees his son in a dream. But when that woman turns out to be Katrina Delaney, he’s immediately suspicious. Neither Katrina nor Jack have any reason to trust each other, or the attraction that flares between them again. But trust they will have to, if they want any chance at love.

The Review:

Katrina has a psychic dream about a lost boy and knows she needs to travel to the Snowy Mountains to help save him. She knows better than to ignore her dreams, but she also knows the boy's father and he's the last person she wants to see. Jack and Katrina had a night of passion before Jack married another woman, but now Katrina is pulled back into his life and all her feelings for him are coming back to the surface. Katrina and Jack are both determined to do what is best for Jack's son, but that's not easy when they are also navigating their own feelings and the web of secrets that has entangled both their lives.

In a lot of ways, Snowy River Man is a typical Aussie rural romance, and, as you can tell by the cover, this is how it's being marketed by the publisher. The setting, which is so vital to a rural romance, is really well written. Lizzy Chandler has done a lovely job of bringing the story alive with all the outback details, from the brumbies to the small town, colorful characters.

This is a cross genre novel, though, with definite fantasy elements. I'm not sure if this might throw some contemporary readers, especially if they aren't expecting it to be so strong, but I really enjoyed the addition of Katrina's more fantastical storyline with her psychic abilities. Although the story definitely feels more like a rural romance, Katrina's psychic abilities play a really big part in both the plot and the internal narrative. As a fan of small town (or rural) romance and fantasy, I really enjoyed this combination, which I have read a lot more of in US small town romances, but not quite so much in Australian rural romances.

I really liked Katrina as a character. She wants to protect herself, but she's had a disturbing past, hospitalized for mental illness aggravated by her psychic powers and having lost her child as a result. She's also confused by all her feelings for Jack. She's attracted to him, but can't trust him, and she feels a pull to him, the area and his family that she can't explain.

Jack is a slightly more complicated character for me. He's a loving father and kind to those around him, but to a definite fault. He wants to protect Katrina, to the point that he lies to her possibly a little too long for my liking. He is also very cynical about her psychic powers at the start, and then changes his mind rather suddenly. All the same, I really loved their connection. There isn't much explicit sex in this romance, but the sensuality level is high throughout and the sexual tension between Jack and Katrina is undeniable.

This debut romance from Lizzy Chandler is a wonderful mix of outback secrets and fantastical mysteries, that I'd recommend to anyone looking for a small town romance with a bit of a twist.

Snowy River Man by Lizzy Chandler is a fantasy/contemporary romance, released by Escape Publishing on February 22 2015.

Find this book at: Amazon | Amazon AUS | The Publisher | Goodreads