Summary: When the bushranger heritage of a family explodes into modern day, buried secrets are unearthed... with lasting consequences.
To Taylor Whitworth, knowing that she’ll never meet her deceased biological father is devastating. All she knows is he was a stockman, so she yearns to be like her father and to become a jillaroo. She packs her bags and hits the road, destination unknown, until she happens upon the country township of Driftwood.
Life-burdened Jay Donnellson is a cowboy through and through, with his passion for the outback and bad boy image inherited from his forefathers. The whole town whispers about him but Jay doesn’t care. Except that his rough and tumble lifestyle is stopped dead in its tracks when he happens across Taylor on a deserted country road. And soon, their mutual love of horses begins a wonderful friendship that develops when Jay offers Taylor a job as a jillaroo on his cattle station.
Author: Mandy Magro
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Released: 1st November 2013
Genre: Australian Rural Romance
Source: Harlequin Australia - thank you so much!
HOLY COW! This was a first Mandy Magro book for me and certainly not the last. I absolutely loved the historical and current day interactions; watching how the two match up and become one was fabulous. Ms Magro has a wonderful very colloquial writing style that I loved, very Australian mate. All of the characters in Driftwood were multifaceted, so many fun aspects and the romance wasn’t instalove.
It begins back in 1861 with William Campbell and Anne Willows being in love, but William is a bushranger and their love cannot be in public. William has been accused of murdering a wealthy family, but he is innocent and cannot prove it. William comes to visit Anne whenever he can without being caught by the lawman, Hocking. Their dream is to run away up to North Queensland to buy some land and start a cattle station.
2012 – Taylor Whitworth has left home in a huff. Her stepfather and Mother do not understand her love and obsession with the country. Feeling lost with grief for her biological father, rural country Australia is in her blood. Her dream is to work as a jillaroo and with horses. After an argument Taylor heads off with her dog, Floyd and her guitar, not knowing where she is going, but just driving until the urge to stop hits her. Driving along, she realises she in out in the middle of nowhere and running out of fuel. It is night and the closest town is still 40 odd kilometres away. With Floyd by her side, Taylor starts walking.
Jay Donnellson has had an extremely hard time the last few years.His Father died suddenly, his girlfriend up and left him for a city bloke and his Mum is drinking herself into oblivion over the loss of her soul mate. In the meantime, Jay has to run Waratah Station to make money before the bank reclaims it. Not much pressure on this poor lad at all!! Driving home from the pub, Jay spots a chick walking along the side of the road heading to Driftwood with her dog. Being the gentleman he is, Jay pulls over and offers her a ride into town. A little sceptical, Taylor said ok but only if Floyd sat up front with them.
Meeting Jay must be an omen, she now has a job working at the pub and lodging there as well with the promise of work at Waratah Station for the annual muster in three months’ time. Taylor is over the moon with happiness at finding her dreams becoming a reality and it doesn’t hurt being given a lift from the super-hot handsome man Jay.
The two carry on their lives with little interaction, Taylor working and Jay avoiding the pub. He doesn’t want his heart broken again and with the instant connection he felt for Taylor, Jay is staying as far away from her as he can. But it doesn’t last long. Fate brings them together.
Back to Anne in 1861, Hocking is hunting for William, he is jealous of William’s relationship with Anne and wants him hanged for murder. Deciding he can take what he wants from her, Anne is battered and bruised. William has come into money and takes Anne up north to begin their wonderful life. Follow their journey from creating their wonderful love filled life together through to tragedy and passing on Waratah Station to future generations.
Taylor and Jay find themselves working together and the more time they spend together the more their affections grow. When Cyclone Iva heads straight for Driftwood, everybody goes in the survival mode. Will they all survive the category 5 cyclone? Will Waratah Station be decimated? Can Taylor and Jay overcome Jay’s fears and let true love envelope them?
Sorry for the length of this review, there is so many surprises along the way and so much happening that I wanted to share some of it with you. This book is just fantastic and my heart has grown attached to Jay’s big heart and Taylor’s strong will. I highly recommend this book to all romance readers.
5 FANTASTIC AUSTRALIAN RURAL BOOKS
About the Author
“It's my dream that through my writing I'm able to give readers a taste of the beautiful Australian outback, from the dust on your face, the smell of horses and cattle, unforgettable Aussie characters, and to the country sun on your skin."
I live on the family farm in the picturesque country town of Mareeba, which is situated in beautiful Far North Queensland, with my adorable little girl, Chloe Rose. It's wonderfully diverse countryside with the rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef close by, lush green rolling valleys filled with cattle and tropical fruit farms all around me and the hardcore Australian outback not far from my doorstep. Quite an amazing place to be living!
I consider myself to be a country girl through and through, with a passion for wide open spaces, paddocks full of horses and cattle, rodeos, country music, and the fair dinkum Aussie way of life. I've also been known to sniff the air madly when a cattle train goes by. I just love the smell of the cattle on board!
I love reading Australian fiction by our many talented Aussie authors. Such as, Fiona Palmer, Tony Park, Rachael Johns, Christine Stinson, Lisa Heidke, Helene Young, Karly Lane, Cathryn Hein, Jennifer Scoullar, Margareta Osborn, Fleur McDonald, Nicole Alexander, Barbara Hannay, Jaye Ford and Rachael Treasure...and the list goes on and on! :)
I decided to put pen to paper about 4 years ago, writing about the many memorable adventures I've experienced on the land, from being a station cook, helping behind the chutes at rodeos, to being a fruit farmer. Little did I know this would be the beginning of my fantastic writing career with Penguin Australia, and I am now also writing for Harlequin Books Australia too!
Rosalee Station was my first rural romance novel and my second, Jacaranda, hit the shelves in 2012. My third, Flame Tree Hill, followed a year after in May 2013. My fourth novel, Driftwood, will be out on November 1st 2013-this book will have a small appearance by the fantastic Adam Brand! And I am now working on my fifth novel, Country At Heart.
Like the saying goes, I'm as busy as a blue arse fly at a barbeque, but I love it! I'm obsessed and passionate about writing and it is something I hope to be able to do for the rest of my life.
Keep smiling and dreaming, always
Mandy xx :)
~ courtesy of Mandy Magro's website