Title: HIGH COUNTRY Secrets
Author: Jane Carter
Release Date: June 3, 2014
How can you be in love with one man and violently attracted to another?
When Jessie Cranfield and Michael D’Larghi take the stage to sing together at a local fundraiser in their hometown, the last thing Jessie expects is the electricity between them. Not only has she not seen Michael for years—but her fiancé is sitting in the audience.
Michael is used to overcoming any obstacle in his path to achieve his goals. Now his goal is Jessie, the former girl-next-door from rural Cooma. But not even Michael can foresee that their attraction might uncover family secrets that could tear both their lives apart forever.
A Montague-Capulet war has nothing on the Cranfields and D’Larghis. Can Jessie and Michael risk falling in love, or is it too much for their families to bear?
My ***3.5*** Star Review
This novel starts out with a steamy scene set back in 1983 with a couple having an affair in one car while one of their children is asleep in the adjacent car. Needless to say, I was a little put off right from the start. I tend to like my romances cheating free, not that I’m all high and mighty and don’t believe that the characters can come back redeemed later on. So, I kept reading.
Then we’re jumping to the year 2013. Thirty years have passed and it quickly becomes apparent that the book isn’t about the original couple. So, things are looking up! But, then things are brought right back down when it begins to appear like there’s going to be an affair involving the main characters. But, I pressed on despite the fact that I couldn’t find any redemptive qualities in any of the characters.
Ah! Finally around a quarter in the way in I started to find some things that I actually liked about Jessie. Unfortunately for every good thing she did, she’d back it up with something awful. Then there was Michael who was in the same boat with her. They were both soooo extremely flip-floppy that it was hard to tell who they really were. I also wondered for half the book if there was going to be any point to the story besides lust.
Gradually, though, I started to see the forming of a relationship and the plot finally begin to thicken with a mystery. Neither Michael’s or Jessie’s families wanted them involved with each other. It was easy to tell that the opening scenes of the book would come into play here, but impossible to tell exactly how.
Then it all comes together at the end in a surprising manner, and some profound truths are shared. End result, there was always enough dangled in front of me to keep me biting. While Jessie and Michael would frustrate me to no end, I still wanted to see good come to them. While the bulk of this story was about lust, there were still moments of awe, heartbreak, and sweetness mixed in. Oh, and I truly enjoyed reading about rural Austrailia.
As far as the writing goes, there were times that I didn’t understand the expressions being used, but this is set in Australia. There were also times that the writing became confusing and I couldn’t tell who was speaking or who they were speaking about. It dragged in places for me, but mostly when I struggled with finding something likable about the characters or something to root for.
Another thing to make note of here, is that while there are a couple scenes with sexual content, there’s not a whole lot of sex in the book considering that this book is all about lust.
So, I gave this book 3.5 stars. There was so much I wanted to hate about it, but still I couldn’t put it down. There was always something that made me want to keep reading. I’m definitely not crazy about the story, but I would try another Jane Carter book. I could see that it wasn’t her writing so much as the characters in this particular story that I wasn’t crazy about.
Warnings: sexual content, some language (not a lot)
*I received a copy via NetGalley and Momentum Books in exchange for an honest review.*
About the Author ~ Jane Carter
Jane Carter lives in Goulburn, NSW, with her husband, Richard. Raising five children, farming, and helping to run a livestock transport business kept her busy until a few years ago when the last of the children left home and she started writing. Her first book, A Dream Of Something More, was published in 2009. Although she worked in film and television before she was married, forty-four years in the country have made her passionate about rural Australia, the farmers and the townies she lives among. She loves their stud sheep, adores her grandchildren and anything at all to do with boats.