For a few desperate moments, this sad but beautiful story began in Torquay, Victoria. As sad as it was that Isabelle’s husband had just died from a sudden heart attack while surfing, I knew as I cried and grasped hold of the box of tissues, that I was going to truly love this book. Nicki Edwards had done it again – she had roped me in from the very first page. Until reading Nicki’s book “The Peppercorn Project”, I didn’t have any idea about Torquay, or even where it was. So I ‘Googled’ it, as you do, and I read …
“The official start point of the Great Ocean Road, Torquay is Victoria’s surfing and beach worship capital.”
Wow! How enchanting. Obviously, Isabelle and her family had been very happy living in Torquay, and with Dan being such a keen surfer, and their son Fletcher following in his footsteps, where else would anyone want to live? The remainder of the story takes place in the farming community of the southern Flinders Ranges, yet another place I have never ventured to. However, while reading through the book I was simply drawn in. It is a kind of magic that Nicki Edwards performs time and again with her choice of words, deep characterisation and descriptions of the gorgeous countryside.
Nicki handles the subject of grief and the painful process of moving on very sensitively, not just Isabelle’s grief but that of her two children as well. Once the handsome country police sergeant, Matt Robertson arrived on the scene, I just knew sparks would fly … and they did, in many different ways. Both Isabelle and Matt were broken souls who just needed the chance to trust and believe in each other. I love a good romance, but I like my romances to be sweet and clean, and once again Nicki Edwards didn’t let me down. The intimacy that flowed throughout was so delicately woven, but so beautiful. When Isabelle and Matt finally declared their love in intimate embrace, the scene was set perfectly. “He rained kisses from her chin to her collarbone and she shivered in pleasure as the warmth of his breath tickled her skin.” Also, the setting up of the relationships between Isabelle’s two children and Matt was done perfectly. The issue of blending people together and making a new family is a very sensitive one and full of possible pitfalls.
I felt that I got to know all of the other characters within the story extremely well. I loved their exchanges and gossiping sessions, just how I would imagine life in a country town to be. I quite liked the subplots throughout, especially having someone in a trusted position dealing in drugs – wonderful scandal. I had a fairly good idea who it was quite early on, however, that didn’t take away anything from the story, because most of the other characters had surprises up their sleeves, and kept me guessing. I was hoping and praying throughout the book that Isabelle, Matt, and the children would achieve their happily ever after, and I wasn’t disappointed.
A beautiful, sensitive and intensely intimate romance – I just couldn’t put the book down. I loved the way it ended, leaving the way for a sequel if the author should so desire.