Blogging Outside the Box is a feature at Speculating on SpecFic, where books outside the SFF banner are reviewed. It is intended to highlight some of the non speculative fiction titles I am reading and share my thoughts with readers.
- Date published: 1st June 2012
- Publisher: Harlequin MIRA AU
- Format: Paperback, 349 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781921795503
- Categories: Contemporary, Adult Romance
- Goodreads /Booktopia / Bookworld
- Source: purchased
She left him at the altar, but her heart was always his…
After more than ten years away, Australian soap star Ellie Hughes returns to the small country town of Hope Junction, determined to remain anonymous while caring for her injured godmother, Matilda.
But word spreads fast in the tight-knit community. It isn’t long before the people of Hope’s are gossiping about the real reason for Ellie’s visit and why she broke the heart of golden boy Flynn Quartermaine all those years ago.
Soon Ellie and Flynn are thrown back together again, forced to deal with the unresolved emotions between them. For Ellie is not the only one with secrets. Flynn has his own demons to battle, and Matilda is hiding something from her much-loved goddaughter.
When all is uncovered, can the ill-fated lovers overcome the wounds of their past? Or is Flynn destined to be jilted again?
A sweet, riveting romance that had me wishing for more, Jilted is an honest look at modern romance in a rural-Australian setting. Boasting clever, well-developed characters and an awesome Aussie flavour, it’s a novel that romance-enthusiasts will easily lose themselves in.
My favourite aspect of this book is how vividly the author paints Australian culture and lifestyles. This is true-blue, ridgy-didge Aussie (ha!), and I love that the book begins with a look at the gossip grapevine that exists throughout small towns everywhere. This is not to say that international readers will not understand the book, I think they will find it easy to follow and maybe even quaint.
Ellie is a character I easily sympathised with and I felt really bad for her because of how everyone in her home town treated her. I do think she cried entirely too much – at every little thing she’s tearing up or choking back sobs, and it was a little tiring, but I admire that she faced all the criticism with her chin up regardless. I really liked Flynn, the too-hot-to-be-true farmer who Ellie left at the altar. I think he was the most developed character, with strong ties to his family and community, and a really deep outlook on life. The secondary cast, however, tended to be a little stereotypical, but over the course of the novel most of them were revealed to be more developed.
The plot of the novel is cute and enjoyable, with the couple thrown together in the small town and having to finally confront what happened to them all those years ago. I feel like there was a lot of drama added to the plot because Ellie and Flynn didn’t communicate with each other, but I know that’s the point of the book – that they don’t know how to talk to one another after everything. I think it was paced well, and that it felt natural and realistic, not like some romance novels that feel really contrived and forced.
I liked Jilted, and look forward to reading more books by Rachael in the future. I think it’s an enjoyable and fun book that will be enjoyed by connoisseurs of the Romance genre, especially those looking for a rural romance with an Australian twist.