Monday, January 13, 2014

Book Review: "The Convict and the Cattleman"

In September I attended ORAcon 2013 writer's conference. In my swag bag was a lovely piece of promotional material--the first chapter of a novel. It was printed on regular paper folded in half to make a wee book complete with a color image of the cover below.

I was intrigued. I don't read much traditional romance (historical or otherwise) but I had to know if the title meant the heroine chooses between a convict and a cattleman. If not, who was the convict? I was instantly obsessed with the convict.

The blurb revealed the criminal was the heroine! Pleased, I read the proffered chapter. After that, I had to read the novel.

His love is the key to her release.

Sentenced to seven years of servitude in the penal colony of New South Wales, Bridgit Madden is thrust into a world unlike anything she's known, dangers she never imagined and enemies with their own interests at heart. Certain that the conviction has ruined her chances of ever having a real family, she is fearful of her future.

Despite his reluctance to take in a convict, Jonah Andrus, a grazier and pioneer cattleman, needs a servant to care for his orphaned niece. When presented with Bridgit, who is far too beautiful and distracting, he initially tries to refuse. However, with a busy cattle station to oversee, he needs help right away.

Upon her first meeting with Jonah's niece, Bridgit immediately falls in love with the girl and becomes entwined the mystery surrounding her birth. As she gets to know her employer better, Bridgit makes it her mission to remind him that family is priceless. When it seems as though she might have found the place she truly belongs, their love is threatened by lies and deceit, and both of them might lose everything they hold dear for a second time.

I don't read much romance and as you probably know, I rarely review. Obviously this book convinced me to share. 

"The Convict and the Cattleman" is faithful to the traditional plot requirements of boy meets girl/girl meets boy, instant attraction, hot sex, love doubts, miscommunication and or secrets, trouble, and happy resolution. Yet, the plot was original enough to surprise me. 

Allison Merritt breathes a fresh voice into the genre. I was immediately hooked by the heroine being a convict and never disappointed. I liked Bridgit and Jonah. I liked their story and rooted for them to reach their destined HEA.

A delightful and satisfying read. Once finished, you'll be looking for the next Allison Merritt.

Visit Wednesday, January 15 when Allison joins me for an interview.