I’ve not read any of Mandy Magro’s books before though heard of the Far North Queensland-dwelling author who has over a dozen novels to her name.
This appealed as it sounded as if it included some suspense and though I don’t read ‘romance’ I don’t mind romantic suspense. (Or apparently books featuring ‘romantic elements’ which I hadn’t realised was a sub-genre of some sort!)
by Mandy Magro
Published by Harlequin Enterprises (Australia) Pty Ltd
Source: Harper Collins
Genres: Romance, Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9781489277497 ,9781489277497
After making a mistake that felt like the end of the world to her teenage self, Nina Jones fled the small town of Huntingvale. Now sixteen years later her beloved adoptive mother, Bea, has passed away, forcing Nina to return and decide whether to sell her family home, Riverstone Ridge. But even though Bea can't be there to help her through it all, she's left Nina five letters, one sent a week, to finally share the secrets she'd been unable to reveal in life.
For Logan Steele, Nina's return is the catalyst he's needed to finally move beyond his tragic past and start living again. But only if she stays. When mysterious and increasingly worrisome accidents start happening around the homestead, both Logan's cop instincts and his protective feelings toward Nina spur him to investigate. Will he be able to piece together the puzzle of the past in time?
And with dark family secrets emerging from Bea's last words rippling into the present day, how will Nina find the courage to be truthful to the one man who has always held her heart?
It has to be said, there was only a smidge of suspense here. A glimmer perhaps, but in reality much of the book centred around unfolding secrets so it mostly stayed within my comfort zone.
I think it is quite predictable, but that’s okay. I also think we expect that and I’m sure most of us would be disappointed if the heroine doesn’t end up with the beau we’re expecting her to hook up with.
There’s a great sense of place here and it was interesting as young Nina loves life at Riverstone Ridge (the property of her adopted mother) and and when we first meet her – at 17 years of age – she can’t imagine living anywhere else.
We then fast forward two decades and Nina’s living in Brisbane and hasn’t returned to Huntingvale or the family farm during that time. I’d guessed the ‘why’ though it takes a while to be confirmed.
Of course now she’s back she runs into those from her younger years, including great mate and secret crush Logan.
I like both Logan and Nina so enjoyed the unfolding story and being in their heads.
I also enjoyed Bea’s story and there’s a strong sense of regret over secrets kept and lives put on hold.
I couldn’t quite get my head around the fact that Nina had never met her adopted mother’s brother before and no reason was really given for any estrangement. I mean, not initially anyway and I’m surprised Nina so blithely accepted his (more recent) role in Bea’s life. But again, that’s just me being overly logical and forgetting we’re dealing with fictitious characters here… not real people. (Though the fact I did find it weird bodes well for the strength of Magro’s characters!)
This is an enjoyable read and one that will appeal to many.
Riverstone Ridge by Mandy Magro was published in Australia by Harper Collins and is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.