Ever since her parents passed away in a tragic car accident, Eden Cross has been living a quiet, stable and predictable life in inner Sydney – the total opposite of her carefree, relaxed, happy-go-lucky past. Her parents passing and the fact she’s an only child meant Eden was left with her best friend, Jules and Matt, her boyfriend of three years as her only family. That was until she discovered something about Matt that would turn her life upside down. Eden leaves Sydney in a hurry and begins an adventure that takes her across four Australian states before she lands in Pine Creek, Northern Territory.
Jackson Henley has lived in Pine Creek his entire life. He runs a massive cattle and cropping station with his twin brother, Justin, which they inherited when their parents retired. He’s had a bad experience with relationships courtesy of The Bitch - Dannika, so lately he’s preferred to play the field. That is, until he comes face to face with the stunning brunette beauty who’s behind the bar at the Cow and Calf. The problem is, she won’t tell him her name, she won’t give him the time of day, and she won’t give him a chance to prove himself.
What’s it going to take for Eden to give Jackson a chance? Does he have the patience to even bother fighting for her? How will he handle the competition?
In the end, will Jackson have what it takes to convince Eden to start living again, instead of just existing?
Eden Cross aka Edie has been drifting along since the death of her parents, existing but not really living like she used to. Her boyfriend isn’t really doing it for her, but she doesn’t feel the urge to do anything about it until she walks in on him and another woman. That prompts her to pack up and go on “walkabout” so to speak as Mick Dundee would say, traveling from one end of Australia to the other searching for something better.
“Things happen in life and before you know it your life has changed direction. That’s what happened to me. I thought I was finally sailing smooth waters. Turns out, I was in the eye of the storm. “
When she pulls into Pine Creek, something tells her that she has found what she is looking for. The locals immediately welcome her and she feel s like she has found a new home. While working the bar to help out the owner one night, Cowboy Hottie 1 aka Jackson Henley enters with his twin brother and immediately catches Edie’s eye.
“He’s utterly gorgeous. The epitome of Cowboy Hot. His hair is dark and his jaw is square. His body is built – broad across the shoulders and narrowing slightly at his hips. He spots someone across the bar and hands them a fully-fledged, bright white, straight-toothed smile. My breath leaves me in a whoosh, and then catches again as what has to be his twin slides onto the stool beside him. Oh my fucking god.”
Too bad he spoils it by opening his mouth and uttering one of the worst pickup lines ever, followed rapidly by a woman pitching a fit at him for even talking to Edie. After her recent experiences, she goes out of her way to push him away at every given opportunity, never wanting to go after a man who is already in a relationship.
Edie’s best friend Jules is lots of fun and pushes Edie to start trying to let loose and live a little again- she also gives her a none too gentle nudge in the direction of Jackson, urging her to give him a chance. Jules is just one of several supporting characters who really round out the story, including Jackson’s brother Jeremy, his autistic nephew Oscar, and Edie’s new local friend Ava.
Edie is a strong independent woman and she is determined to stand on her own two feet until she finds the life and relationship she wants. Jackson is determined to win her over and slowly chips away at her resolve to shut him out until she finally relents and gives him one chance to explain himself.
“I wanna know everything about you. And I’m a man who sees what he wants and goes after it. Never wanted somethin’ and not got it – so you can mark my words when I say that by the end of this I’m gonna know your name, and everything else there is to know about you.”
“I’d never let anything happen to you. The only thing you’ve got to worry about from now on is thinking up a shed load of bullshit excuses that you can call upon to protect yourself from me. I’m your biggest threat baby and from the way I see you react every time I’m near, well, that shows me I’m the scariest thing that’s been in your life in a long time, if ever. So that’s alright, I’ll take it slow, wear you down, prove to you I’m not who you’ve convinced yourself I am because I know, and you should too, that the end result is gonna be so far past worth it, Ace, it’s gonna be outta this world.”
He is cocky but respectful and funny and she soon realizes he is not a cheater like her ex-boyfriend. I enjoyed the 2nd half of the book as they get to know each other, and around the 70% mark, a curve ball is thrown in that I didn’t entirely expect that brings them closer to each other.
This is a standalone book, and additional stories in the series will follow other characters introduced here. Every now and then, an Australian term that I wasn’t familiar with would throw me off a little, but it was nothing that I couldn’t figure out the meaning to or was so distracting that I couldn’t continue reading. I will definitely grab a copy of the next book in the series when it comes out!
“Hey der man, do you know where I can find the local hospital?” A thick Jamaican accent drags me from my thoughts. I look up and into the dark dancing eyes of the man standing beside me. He’s got one of those colorful Jamaican crotchet Rasta caps on with thick long dreadlocks hanging down the sides. I know you can buy the hats with the dreads attached but I have distinct feeling that those dreads are real.
“Uh, no, sorry I don’t. I’ve just arrived in town yesterday.” I search his body for life threatening injuries. Seeing none, I inquire, “Are you hurt?”
“No, man, you’re-,” before he finish, I click to what he’s about to say so I join in and we say together, “-Jamaican me crazy.” He erupts in laughter, holding his hand to his face and bending his knee up and I laugh along with him.
“Me name Bastiaan,” he says taking a seat across from me
*I'm 29 years old
* I've been married to my husband Troy for 10 years and together we have 4 children - Zach, Jovi, Demi & Cruz.
* I live in a small country town in NSW, Australia
* I love to read and write
* I love to bake
* I love socializing
* My friends laugh at me because I will talk to anyone, anywhere. It's funny now but it wasn't so funny for my mum when she had to drag me away from strange homeless people at the train station when I was little, and I may or may not have been going to go in crop dusting plane with a man I'd just met when I was about 4!!
* I read fiction until I was 11 years old. After that I read non-fiction, true crime, bio's etc. When my son Jovi passed away in a drowning accident in 2011, I found I couldn't bring myself to read nonfiction anymore - it was too "real". Fifty Shades was dominating the media so I got myself a copy and I'm not ashamed to say I read all three of those books at least ten times each. They allowed me to forget my reality for a little while. Then I decided that I was going to follow my dreams and write. I wanted to show my children that just because their brother died, didn't mean they did or our family did. I want them to reach for the stars and chase their dreams, and the best way to do that is to lead by example!