Clara and her recent ex-boyfriend had planned a trip together that was not exactly what Clara would normally be into. But when he cheats, and she leaves, she decides to go on the trip to spite him, forgetting that she really had no interest in going on a horse ride along Australia’s Oodnadatta Track.
But when she meets her Drover, Evie, Clara’s interest is suddenly piqued. Evie is cool, calm, flirty, and so hot. Clara is immediately drawn to the beautiful horsewoman, but a vacation romance was not in her plans, and especially not with a woman.
As Clara builds her confidence on her horse, can she let down her walls and take a chance on Evie?
Clara is a bit of a hard one to work out. She challenges herself by going on a trip she expects to not enjoy, but then spends much of the time talking herself out of doing anything outside of her comfort zone, even when she is enjoying it. Despite this dichotomy, Clara is likeable and funny, and her internal dialogue at times made me laugh out loud.
Evie is super sexy. Like, stupid super sexy. A drover (cowgirl) in South Australia, Evie is part Aboriginal, and is the full vacation romance package. With a sexy Australian accent, wicked sense of humour, and the toned body of a woman who rides horses for a living, Evie is exactly the kind of woman I would ride a horse for. And I hate riding horses.
The Writing Style
This is a novella, so fairly short and sweet. The pacing though is perfectly managed throughout, and even though some of the language is quintessentially Australian, this story rolls along smoothly and without fault. Written from Clara’s point of view, we get a real glimpse into the inner turmoil Clara feels as everything she has been comfortable with suddenly gets called into question. My only complaint is that it finishes kind of abruptly, and is not long enough. The story and characters could totally have worked in a full length novel.
This book is flirty, fun, and features a super sexy lead character. For her first foray into the genre, Ripley has made a really decent effort at producing something that fits nicely amongst other contemporary romances.
It was just too short. The characters were great, and the plot could have been filled out to make a full length novel. Not really a con I suppose, but I would love to read more of this story.
Riding the Track is a terrific debut in the contemporary romance genre for Ripley (Langham). The characters are delicious, the setting really vividly described, and the plot sweet and flirty. Despite not being a horse fan, I totally loved this novella, and will definitely be keeping an eye out for more from Kara Ripley.
Excerpt from Riding the Track by Kara Ripley
The woman holding the sign noticed me staring and waved, lifting up onto her toes, even though there wasn’t anyone between us. Her dark eyes widened beneath a charcoal-colored hat as she smiled at me, gesturing for me to join her. The hat fascinated me. It looked like something a cowboy would wear, except the crown didn’t reach so high, and the brim had a less severe curl that I would have expected. I suddenly remembered mention of them in a magazine I’d skimmed on the flight over. An Akubra.
I took a deep breath to prepare for extended social interaction and walked over. Two others fell into step with me. Louise and Michael?
“Welcome to Oz!” The shine of the sign-holder’s white teeth was intensified by the dark tones of her face. “I’m guessing you two are Louise and Michael,” she said, offering a handshake.
“You guess right! You maybe ought to be a fortune-teller,” Louise replied enthusiastically, her Southern accent asserting itself. It was clear that Louise was going to get under my skin for the next few days. She was too cheerful. It just wasn’t natural to be that excited to meet new people.
“G’day. Good to meet ya,” the Australian replied. “My name’s Evelyn. But you can call me Evie, yeah?”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781948608732
- Publisher: Ninestar Press
Kara Ripley Online
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