Published: 1st December 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Format: Ebook courtesy of Publisher/Netgalley
A new outback home where she can become someone new—and maybe find a forever love?
Rachel Meade is a woman with a past she wants to escape from. Finding herself in Mt Maria, a remote outback town in Western Australia, she thinks she’s found a place to stay.
Before she knows it, Rachel is corralled into helping with the Tidy Town competition by the Dramatic Society widows who have a tendency to gossip and take charge. It’s not in her plan, but she finds herself allowing friendships to develop. She’s even more surprised by her growing attraction to the town’s engaging senior police officer.
Ex-detective Senior Sergeant Luke Weston knows anything and everything happens in the country, and he’s seen it all—stolen chickens, pub fights and alleged cheating for the Tidy Town competition are only some of the puzzles Mt Maria offers Luke. He’s been playing for Rachel, thinking maybe she’s the one. Then he gets news that the Crime Squad are looking for her, and he’s ordered to get close and stay close. Is Rachael in trouble, or is she the trouble?
Luke is fighting his attraction to a woman he might have to take into custody, and it looks like he’s going to be arresting more than one person before the end of the week. Luke needs to restore peace in his corner of the outback, but he knows he’s not going to get out of this without getting his heart busted.
With her past catching up with her, Rachael has to decide whether it’s time to cut and run again, or whether this time she’s found the person—and the place—to finally heal her heart.
Without a doubt A Place To Stay has to be my favourite Jennie Jones book to date. Full of mystery and intrigue, sizzling chemistry and some rather hilarious characters, it’s a book that will appeal to a variety of different age groups and reading tastes.
What surprised me the most with A Place To Stay was the way in which Jones was able to perfectly balance the comedic elements of the story alongside the more serious and darker aspects without making light of domestic violence. The subsequent writing was flawless and I was completely and utterly immersed in the narrative Jones was telling. I laughed at the characters, cried with them and genuinely was worried for their well-being and safety.
Rachel’s story pulled at my heartstrings and I couldn’t help but feel desperately sorry for the trouble she’d endured in the past and in awe at the way she was still functioning and living life given everything she was still going through. Wracked with guilt and constantly looking over her shoulder, it’s true Rachel’s life is dictated by fear and guilt. But through her interactions with the various town folk, we see glimpses of a strong and formidable woman who is slowly but surely growing her armour and pulling herself back together. Armed with a heart of gold and sense of right and wrong she will do absolutely everything in her power to protect those around her, no matter the personal cost to herself.
Which brings us to Luke Weston. I loved his alpha male, top cop attitude and how fiercely protective he was of Rachel and the town at large. Here was a man who knew what he wanted – Rachel – and how to go about getting her, despite the conflicting agendas that stood in his way. I loved that his relationship with Rachel, and the slow burn romance unfolded before the reader’s eyes.
While our heart’s are firmly attached to the story’s hero (Luke) and heroine (Rachel), I was subsequently amused and entertained with the secondary personalities who really took this book to a whole other level. Firstly there is the Agatha Girls. These girls almost managed to steal the show in a sense. Forget the stereotype of the old being feeble and unprepared, these three women are armed and ready for just about anything and that scene in the police station was an absolute hoot! Then there’s Donna, Jax and the two interloper cops were equally as fantastic and a great glimpse at what we are in for with subsequent books.
A Place To Stay is pretty much perfect. Jones writing is secondary to none, and the narrative is not only engaging, but highly entertaining as well. What’s more, Jones has out done herself with this vibrant array of memorable characters that will keep readers coming back for more time and time again. I for one am really looking forward to seeing more of them as the series continues.
A Place To Stay looks set to be the first of a number of books in the Rangeland series, and I for one am cheering with this news. Keep your eyes pealed, because I think Jones is about to take off in a big way with this new series.
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