Lily’s Leap by Téa Cooper: Review

June 6, 2014 Reviews 4 ★★★★

I was provided with an advance reader copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I received no financial incentives to review this book.

Lily’s Leap by Téa Cooper: ReviewLily's Leap by Téa Cooper
Published by Escape Publishing on July 1, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 95
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher
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From Escape Publishing's Queen of historical Australian romance comes a new story about a privileged member of Australian's colonial squattocracy, a bushranger, and a very special horse.

Born into the rough, but still privileged society of the Australian colonial landowners, Lilibeth Dungarven finds herself married, widowed, and, much to her distress, back under her father’s thumb, all before her twenty-first birthday. Determined not to forgo her dream of breeding the perfect racehorse, Lilibeth ignores propriety and sets out to restore the family’s flagging fortunes.

When Captain Tom and his mismatched band of bushrangers stumble across a mob of the best horses they’ve ever seen, and the daughter of the famed Dungarven horse stud, they know their fortunes have changed. Their catch is worth a king’s ransom. All they have to do is hold the daughter for seven days. How hard will controlling a pampered farmer's daughter be?

Readers of this blog will know I am bang up for some good historical romance of late. One period of time we rarely get to see in romantic fiction is Colonial-era Australia, and thanks to Téa Cooper, her soon-to-be-released Lily’s Leap takes us straight back to this wild and fascinating time.

I’ve read a number of Tea Cooper’s books now, and I just adore the way she creates such compelling and intelligent characters, and the passion for the land and the area that she writes about shines through her words.

So, here are my thoughts on Lily’s Leap:

A bushranger for a hero? I’ve never really read one before, but if they are more like Captain Tom, I’d definitely be interested! For a man who gets by on taking from others, Tom has an innate sense of fairness and bravery, and he’s kind to those by his side. He had a definite air of mystery, and it does become clear later on why he does what he does.

A heroine who ignores the social mores of the day? I love heroines like Lily – smart, intelligent, determined to rebuild a life that she wants to live on her own terms. She takes risks, but is rarely foolhardy.

This takes place over a relatively short period of time – just a week – but I didn’t find this to be an issue in the development of the relationship. The romantic and sexual tension was beautifully done, and I like that any romance fitted the time period – no chandelier swinging here.

There is a great sense of adventure throughout Lily’s Leap, and the vivid nature of the language used makes it so easy to imagine what it would have looked like back in the early 1800s.

If you enjoy historical romance, and you are hungry for a tale with an real Australian flavour, Lily’s Leap is definitely one to look out for.

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