by Lisa Ireland
Published by Harlequin Enterpises AU
Genres: Australian Rural Romance, Contemporary, Romance
Synopsis: When a smooth-talking, sophisticated city girl comes striding into town on her stiletto heels, he's the last person who wants to notice... When Jenna McLean gets roped into attending a matchmaking ball in a small country town, she holds no illusions of meeting the man of her dreams. A no-nonsense magazine editor, Jenna doesn’t believe in leaving love to chance, which is why she’s developed Marriage Material – a fool-proof framework for husband hunting. Shearers and farmhands need not apply. Sheep grazier Luke Tanner has met women like Jenna before, and knows not to waste his time. With the drought dragging on and bushfire season around the corner, the last thing he needs is a spoiled city girl like Jenna adding to his problems. He'll help out with the ball because it's good for the community, but he won't dance, he won't flirt, and he definitely won't be matched. It's been a long dry season, but everyone knows when it rains, it pours.
City magazine worker Jenna can’t figure out for herself that Jimmy Choos aren’t appropriate footwear for a weekend in farm country. Grazier Luke Tanner is wracked with guilt over a past tragedy, and doesn’t feel he deserves love. And dying country town Barlow needs new blood, so they decide to get themselves some wives. The solution? The Barlow Bachelors’ Ball Weekend.
– She hates country music, he’s in a country band.
– She wears a hot pink bikini, he cools off in a swimming hole.
– He think she’s spoiled, she thinks he’s a hick.
– He thinks he has nothing to offer in the love department because Tragedy, but of course he’s really the salt of the earth nicest guy who ever lived.
At this point in the book it was just all sounding far too familiar – I’ve read this story over and over, and I’ve read those that show-not-tell more effectively, with meatier subplots and more intriguing characters.
Breaking The Drought was a cute enough romance, but what felt to me like a paint-by-numbers approach and lack of deep engagement left me a little cold. I just felt like I’d read it all before.
“He turned back and looked at her. ‘Look, it’s clear that there’s some type of chemistry between us; I don’t think either of us can deny that. But it doesn’t change the fact that we are from different worlds.’
She looked back at him with big, glassy eyes, but said nothing.
‘We’re playing a dangerous game and it has to stop before one, or both of us, gets hurt.’”
[yellow_box]Lisa Ireland was born in Melbourne, has lived and taught in rural Victoria, and now lives on the south coast with her family. You can find her at lisairelandbooks.com and on Facebook and Twitter.[/yellow_box]