Sometimes it pays to wait for the things you want, even if it’s the hardest thing you ever do.
Beth Walker hasn’t just been burned by her philandering country music star ex, she’s been barbequed to a crisp. Coming home to Australia and into the arms of her best friends is exactly the balm she needs. Cocktails and laughter at an Outback Bachelor and Spinster Ball seem like the perfect distraction. Until she bumps into the last person she wants seeing her heartsick and pathetic — Jonah Masters, rising country music star and witness to the failure of her marriage. If only she’d met Jonah first. Now she’s broken and won’t ask him to wait until she heals.
Jonah can’t believe he and Beth are finally standing under the same stars. The connection they shared on the road years ago has haunted him but he wouldn’t pursue a married woman. Now she’s free, and Jonah can’t refuse the one night Beth impulsively offers. Can he convince the woman he’s always loved that he’ll wait — however long it takes — for her trust?
Firstly: I cannot tell you how happy I am to see a prologue. Mainstream publishers are always screaming: DON’T DO THAT!! but no matter what they say, sometimes I really like one, and it’s important to the story.
This is the third and final novella in a series set in regional Australia. The books are about a group of three friends (women, and I’ve said already that I love series where female friendships are strong, and it’s not about a gang of interchangeable studs), who attend one of those crazy B&S balls rural Australia is infamous for.
Each of these women’s relationships blossoms over the course of the night, but this final one takes the focus away from the ball itself, and gives us time with hero and heroine. The two of them do a pretty good job of escaping the insanity of the night, whereas the other couples are caught right up in it. This makes sense, considering our leading man is a celebrity, and our heroine is trying to evade pretty much everyone after being internationally humiliated.
There are a few contemporary romance writers from this part of the world who write excellent MODERN books, and Sarah Mayberry is one of them. These are modern people acting modern, with modern wants, plans and needs. They speak and act like people their age should, and they have none of the conservative hang-ups category romance publishers STILL encourage in many of their books.
One thing I always notice about Sarah Mayberry’s books is that she writes really nice men. Much more attractive than those sexist bastards some favour these days!
But, really. We have ARSES in Australia, not ASSES! Different word, different meaning, and different pronunciation, and it’s nonnegotiable which of the two words we say!
I think this conclusion to the series did a good thing, as it would have been too much for all three books to follow the evening at the ball too closely. I think this one is just connected enough to the other two to make sense, but it takes us in a new direction.
However, I hope hero and heroine never get a hangover again. With Australia about to ban pretty much any effectual painkillers, they won’t have a cure next time!
Review copy provided by the authors.