The Road to Hope by Rachael Johns: Review

February 5, 2015 Reviews 0 ★★★★★

I was provided with an advance reader copy by NetGalley 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.

The Road to Hope by Rachael Johns: ReviewThe Road to Hope by Rachael Johns
Series: Hope Junction #2
Published by Harlequin MIRA on March 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Rural Romance
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Bestselling author Rachael Johns takes you back to Hope Junction and the characters from Jilted.

Nurse Lauren Simpson is known in Hope Junction for the wrong reasons – and she’s over it. Watching the man she’s always loved marry someone else is the last straw – she decides to get out of Hope. But her resolve is tested when the hot new locum doctor arrives in town.

Doctor Tom Lewis also has skeletons in his closet – including a painful breakup and devastating family news. He’s hit the road with his vintage ute and surfboard, to travel the outback and live in the moment.

When Tom and Lauren meet the attraction is instant, but for Lauren Tom threatens to be just another fling and Tom has his own reasons for hesitating. Everyone else – their friends and patients – can see how perfect they are together, but just what will it take for them to admit this to themselves?

A brand new Hope Junction story of fresh starts and second chances.

I had a four-hour care ride ahead of me last Friday night, and as the Tall Man was driving, I got to do some decent reading. So I flicked through my TBR collection on my Kindle, and decided on some good ol’ rural romance.

My roadtrip read, and the first of four books I managed to finish last weekend, was The Road to Hope by Rachael Johns.

For those of you familiar with Rachael’s work, The Road to Hope is the follow-up to Jilted. You probably don’t need to read Jilted before reading this, however you’d be missing out on an awesome read – and there will be some things that just make more sense if you do.

Here is what I thought of The Road to Hope:

I read The Road to Hope from start to finish on Friday night, only breaking to eat and get my sleepy Tiny Overlord out of the car. I just could not – and did not want to – put it down.

I was thoroughly and happily absorbed in Lauren and Tom’s story. There is heartache and pain hinted at in each of their pasts, and it’s easy (at least it was for me) to see how this guided them and their actions. I could definitely understand why some people might find Lauren a little difficult, but I really loved her. She wasn’t all hard edges – there was a real vulnerability and humanity living beneath the surface of her, and I wanted to shout at some in the book “Just give her a go”. Tom’s troubles are more recent, but you totally get why he has chosen to live as he is.

Their connection is immediate, and their chemistry is undeniable. However I really loved that they didn’t zoom straight into some sans-pants action. The development of their attraction, and their romance, is so wonderfully done.

As in a lot of Rachael’s work, there is no shying away from the tough stuff, and the realities of rural and small-town life are spot-on. The peripheral characters are perfect, and the scenes with the residents of the home both had me in stitches and tugged at the heartstrings. The character of Lauren’s brother is a fascinating one and I would love to know more about him – you’ll understand why when you read this.

The Road to Hope is certainly not short on that special brand of humour and emotion that Rachael brings so beautifully to every book. A perfect read to kick off my weekend, and one of my favourite reads of the year so far!

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