August 6, 2014

Fiona's Flame. Rachael Herron

Fiona's Flame
Fiona's Flame
Rachael Herron
Publisher: Random House Australia
Date: 1st August 2014
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 336
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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As the owner of the Cypress Hollow gas station and garage, Fiona Lynde is not one for pretty dresses or fussy make-up. In fact, most days she forgets to brush her hair. But she does have one guilty little secret-she's been in love with Abe Atwell for over ten years.

Problem is, Abe-the town's handsome harbormaster-barely knows she exists. But then Fiona petitions the council to demolish a deserted old lighthouse, just as Abe is equally determined to preserve the local landmark. But why does Fiona want to tear down the building that was once her childhood home? And why is Abe, whose father drowned in the lighthouse's shadow, so desperate to save it?Battle lines are drawn-just as the spark between them is finally ignited...
My thoughts
Fiona's Flame is the first book that I have read by Rachael Herron - of the dual citizen ship in New Zealand and USA!  I must say it was a pleasant surprise - it would stand well against  any Susan Mallery or Robyn Carr small town contemporary.  It had a gritty feel to it, the characters were very real.  It is part of Rachael Herron's Cypress Hollow Yarn books.

Fiona and Abe both have things that happened in the past that affects their lives in the present. Fiona's mother left mysteriously and never returned when Fiona was quite young, she was an alcoholic and dealing with issues of her own.  She told Fiona she was ugly.  Abe on the other hand has a secret that he is guarding that often makes people wonder about his sad eyes.

The book opens with a town meeting about local issues - the local lighthouse; there are some that want it to be pulled down, and others who want it to stay.  Another issue is about nude bathing on a local beach -this is quite a scene with an 89 year old shedding his clothes!

Fiona and Abe are on opposing sides when it comes to the lighthouse.  However as you may have read in the summary Fiona has been carrying a flame for Abe.  In fact the two are pretty equally attracted to each other.  A part of why this book was so readable was that Abe was given his point of view throughout the book.  As the reader we get to see both their struggles and longings.

I really liked that final climax of the conflict in this book.  Often for me a book will feel a little forced or out of sync with what has been happening, as an author separates her hero and heroine before the final denouement, but in my opinion this book nails that part of the story very well.  

The small quotes from a certain knitting and wise person were entertaining and usually foreshadowed the chapter very well.  Loved the little touch of a pattern for crocheted snowflake earrings at the end. 
4 stars

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