Rocking Horse Hill by Cathryn Hein: Review

July 1, 2014 Reviews 0 ★★★★½

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.

Rocking Horse Hill by Cathryn Hein: ReviewRocking Horse Hill four-half-stars
Published by Penguin Australia on April 23, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Rural Romance
Pages: 294
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher
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Who do you trust when a stranger threatens to tear your family apart?

Ever since she was a little girl, Emily Wallace-Jones has loved Rocking Horse Hill. The beautiful family property is steeped in history. Everything important in Em's life has happened there. And even though Em's brother Digby has inherited the property, he has promised Em it will be her home for as long as she wishes.

When Digby falls in love with sweet Felicity Townsend, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Em worries about the future. But she is determined not to treat Felicity with the same teenage snobbery that tore apart her relationship with her first love, Josh Sinclair. A man who has now sauntered sexily back into Em's life and given her a chance for redemption.

But as Felicity settles in, the once tightly knitted Wallace-Jones family begins to fray. Suspicions are raised, Josh voices his distrust, and even Em's closest friends question where Felicity's motives lie. Conflicted but determined to make up for the damage caused by her past prejudices, Em sides with her brother and his fiancée until a near tragedy sets in motion a chain of events that will change the family forever.

Rocking Horse Hill is a moving family drama and passionate love story from the author of Heartland.

I’ve had this review written for a while now, but for some unknown reason, I kept forgetting to post it.

Rocking Horse Hill is another wonderful example of Australian rural romance, brought to us by Cathryn Hein. As regular visitors to this site will know, I am a massive rural romance fan, and will take any opportunity to explore it. What I loved about this example was that it brought in elements of mystery, suspense, family drama and incredible food, and weaved it all together to make a thoroughly intriguing read.

Here are my thoughts on Rocking Horse Hill:

I love food, I love reading, and I love reading about food. There were moments throughout reading Rocking Horse Hill that I actually heard my stomach growl. The descriptions Cathryn gives of the meals prepared by Emily for friends and Josh are mouth-wateringly good. Trust me, you will walk away from this book jonesing for a rack of lamb!

Getting away from the food, and on to the story, Rocking Horse Hill  has all the ingredients to make it a truly absorbing read (yes, I realise I just made a food pun). It takes us into the Wallace-Jones family, and shows us the power that snobbery and false assumptions can have on even the closest family.

Emily may have once been that girl – the one who judged without knowing – but I loved that she realised that doing so can drive away the people she loves, that she grew. She’s determined, strong and yet still vulnerable in a lot of ways, particularly when it comes to Josh.

Josh’s subsequent marriage and divorce have done nothing to dampen his memories of Emily and what passed between them. Sure, at first, he is rather abrupt and standoffish with her as result (fair enough, I think), but when there is this kind of inherent chemistry between them, you just know that it won’t be long until sparks of a different kind fly…..which they do.

The uncertainty around Emily’s future at Rocking Horse Hill and the mystery surrounding Felicity and her past make for some genuinely suspenseful and tense moments throughout the book, and I can most definitely say that I had NOT been expecting it to come to the resolution that it did. No spoilers here….you’ll just have to read it. There are going to be moments where you just sit back and go “Whoa, didn’t see that one coming!”.

A fantastic rural romantic suspense, Rocking Horse Hill is another winner from the pen of Cathryn Hein.

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