15 Following


Currently reading

Soulless: The Manga Vol. 2 (The Parasol Protectorate Manga #2)
Gail Carriger
Asymmetry (Twelve Planets)
Thoraiya Dyer
Mullumbimby Madness #1: Never Trust a Book with a Colour Cover
Neil Dobbs
The Walking Dead, Vol. 18: What Comes After
Charlie Adlard, Robert Kirkman
Sunburnt Country
Fiona Palmer
Bark at the Moon: Bert Rokey's Letters from the South Pacific, 1942-1945: How a Soldier and Sabetha, His Kansas Farm Community, Survived World War II
Cleta Gresham Rokey
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Mark Twain
Girl Defective
Simmone Howell
Midnight Blue-Light Special
Seanan McGuire
My Policeman
Bethan Roberts

Beneath Outback Skies (Random Romance)

Beneath Outback Skies - Alissa Callen This is a thoroughly enjoyable Australian rural romance, set in an iconic homestead deep in drought country. I loved it that the POV character, Paige, is a very ungirly-girl; she spends most of the book in torn jeans, covered in filth, and limping (when she's not conveniently having to strip off while Tait grabs an eyeful!)The sense of place is terrific, and the backstory and B plots are well-developed and all tie in together at the end. I particularly liked that it wasn't quite the usual insta-love; while things move fast compared to typical real life, there are genuine mixed feelings and a bit of a slow burn. Another point in favour is that not all the obstacles to the romances (yes, there's more than one) are borne of contrived implausible misunderstandings and the characters' own bad choices. In other words: this book mostly avoids my many romance-novel squicks and annoyances (which is kinda high praise coming from me!). Maybe one tiny one: there are an awful lot of occasions where Tait finds himself having to sweep Paige up into his arms and carry her around. And a couple of dubious-consent-ish moments, but better-handled and nowhere near as many as some more bodice-rippy books. And not once does Tait think of Paige as a "minx"...One thing I did notice however, and which is dealt with a bit better in some other books of this genre, was the lack of Aboriginal people in the town. This is rural Australia; why is everyone, in the background as well as the foreground, apparently white? Or did I miss something?Despite that, I spent every moment in the story, I found myself looking forward to picking up my book again and barracking for the characters, and I could see and smell Banora Downs and Glenalla. I could see a sequel happening, and I could see myself picking it up. In the absence of that, though, I'll keep an eye out for Callen's next book.Note to blurb-writers: this isn't the 19th century, and we don't refer to people as "crippled" anymore. Ordinarily I would have put this book straight down unread halfway into that second paragraph of the blurb. Please don't alienate your readers with disabilities in this way. Note to readers: the disability element is handled well in the book. Connor is just another character with all his own wishes and motivations who happens to have a disability, and he's not shoved into any of the Inspirational/Pitiable stereotype boxes.