One Little White Lie

One Little White Lie

One Little White Lie

Author: Loretta Hill

Publisher: Random Romance

144 pp e-book

Copy courtesy of Random House via netgalley

One Little White Lie is a comic novella about white lies and how they can lead to much bigger things. Kate Dreson is young, gorgeous and single – thanks to her cheating ex-boyfriend, Mark. They were together for three years, but now Kate would much rather stay at home than risk being set-up by her best friend, Lisa. Although she means well, Lisa is a compulsive match-maker and, after being chatted-up by a drunk guy at a pub, Kate has decided that enough is enough. She vows to put an end to the match-making by inventing a boyfriend – her dream man.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Kate, this dream man has been enlisted by Lisa to pretend to be Kate’s boyfriend. Henry is rich, handsome, and a very successful writer who just wants to find a girl who appreciates him for who he is, rather than one who is only after his money.

Here begins a comedy of errors of sorts, filled with a lot of meddling from Lisa and Henry’s brother Tom. This is where the story got a bit frustrating for me as I didn’t like the characters of Tom and Lisa much and I really just wanted them to leave Kate and Henry to get on with things themselves. I appreciate, of course, that this would not have happened if it weren’t for the interferences, and that they drive the story and provide complications, but for Tom to go as far as having Kate investigated I think took things a bit too far. I felt sorry for Kate not being able to go anywhere without being potentially set-up by Lisa.

To further complicate matters, Henry is actually the elusive fantasy writer H.L.Carter.  Wanting to see if Kate likes him for himself rather than his money, Henry doesn’t tell her, even when she confides to him that H.L.Carter is her absolute favourite author of all time. Needless to say when Kate discovers the truth she is not very happy that Henry had kept this from her.

I liked the fact that, having both been burnt in previous relationships, Kate and Henry were as nervous and unsure as each other at the beginning of their relationship. Ultimately I believed in the connection between them.

One Little White Lie is a cute, bubbly read. With the setting of Sydney sparkling throughout the novel, this would be the perfect summer beach read.

7.5/10

This is the second novel I have read for the Random Romance digital-first imprint, and the third novel read for the AWW 2013 challenge.

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Beneath Outback Skies

Beneath Outback Skies

Beneath Outback Skies

 

Author: Alissa Callen

 

Publisher: Random Romance

 

252 pp e-book

 

Copy courtesy of the publisher via netgalley

 

Beneath Outback Skies is one of the launch titles for Random Romance – a digital romance imprint of Random House. There are five launch titles with more to be released later in the year. Beneath Outback Skies is a full length rural romance.

 

Headstrong Paige Quinn is keeping her family’s farm “Banora Downs” afloat almost single-handedly. With her father in a wheelchair, she is responsible for maintaining the farm and its animals in the middle of what seems like an interminable draught.  They are lucky though, as “Banora Downs” is one of the few farms that have managed to survive the draught that is gripping outback New South Wales, Australia.

 

In the midst of this comes city pretty-boy Tait Cavanaugh, who is guarding some big secrets. He is the CEO of the consultancy firm AgriViz, and is hired by Paige’s father, Connor, to draw up a business plan for the farm. Tait stays at the farm under the pretence that he needs a break from his city life. At the same time he is trying to uncover some family secrets of his own.

 

Little by little, feelings between Paige and Tait begin to form. He is quite the gentleman, and goes out of his way to help on the farm, and make Paige’s life a little easier. Paige, however, is used to looking after things on her own and isn’t readily going to let any caffeine-addicted city-slicker take control. She has also been burnt by a previous relationship with a city boy and she is determined not to let that happen again.

 

For a romance novel, I thought it was very slow to get going. Although both Paige and Tait were both strong characters, it wasn’t until half-way through that I felt any chemistry between them. For me, the second half of the novel was much stronger than the first, and for this reason I think perhaps the story may have worked better as a novella. I would have liked the romance that was evident in the second half to have been there all the way through. I also got frustrated at the number of times we were told Tait was hiding secrets. I couldn’t really understand why Tait felt he had to keep everything about his past a secret.

 

On the plus side, I enjoyed the rural setting – the old-fashioned ball, swimming in the dam, campfires and toasting marshmallows and, of course, the relief when the rain finally arrives and the draught has broken. I also thought that Callen highlighted the difficulties faced by farmers during severe drought really well.

 

 

 

6.5/10

 

 

 

 

Beneath Outback Skies is the second book read for the AWW2013 challenge.

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