In one or two sentences can you sum up your overall impression of this book and how you feel about it?
I loved the historical setting and decent people from convict bloodlines making good!
What did you think of Sergey and Catherine?
I liked both of them. They were both strong-willed, had a need to serve others and make sure that justice was served. Very honourable and decent people.
Since this story is set practically at your backyard, did you feel a sense of connection to the setting and the people?
I did, but what really impressed me was how Ms Cooper connected me to the past. I loved communications being done by horseback instead of the Internet, and the complexity of moving a circus from town-to-town. I was brought not to current day Syndey, Maitland and Bathurst, but to a time when I really wanted to live in those locations and Ms. Cooper brought me there and allowed me to live in those times.
Do you think the circus and its characters added a sense of exotic adventure to the story?
This story could have as easily been told without the use of the circus, but it (and the horse riding in particular) provided a great point of connection among the main and secondary characters which was the glue that made the entire story work from beginning to end. The horses provided the critical connection between Sergei and Archie (Catherine's right-hand man) that made this story a winner. This story was carried on the back of the horses weaving in and out of the circus.
Do you think the plot twist added to the excitement of the story?
I love being surprised (I hate cookie-cutter romance!) and there was a great plot twist 60% of the way into the story which really added to the drama and brought the story to life and made sense of the individual threads to that point.
Did you learn anything interesting about the history of the area and Australia in general?
Yes, I did not realize there was a gold rush in NSW until reading this and I also learned a lot about how far / fast horses could travel. I found the logistics of communicating and accomplishing via horseback to be fascinating.
What stood out in particular for you or made the story enjoyable?
I loved the sense of family and community that existed at Cottington Hill and how people looked after each other. There was genuine 'good' in the people in this story, and good won out over the liars and cheaters.
Do you think you'd like to read another historical set in Australia?
Of course, I learn a lot of Australian history and I particularly like the early years. Australia is my adopted home. I will read Ms Cooper's other novels now also as they are set where I live.
What are you going to read next?
Forced Disappearance by Dana Marton. (Hope it has more sex than just two kisses between the hero and heroine!)
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About the author
Tea Cooper: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads
About the reviewer
Steve Shipley: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Amazon
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