Title: Lily’s Leap
Author: Téa Cooper
Genre: Historical Romance
Opening line: ‘…Lilibeth Dungarven’s cry of pure pleasure soared skywards as the massive black stallion rose to clear the fallen tree, sending the horrors of the last four years scuttling into the dirt of the ancient land…’
Blurb: – Born into the rough, but 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 her for seven days. How hard can it be to control the pampered daughter of a colonial upstart?
My thoughts: LILY’S LEAP is a novelette of about 95 pages and I picked it for two reasons; firstly, my granddaughter’s name is Lily, and secondly, it is set in my old stomping ground of Hunter Valley. Author Téa Cooper didn’t let me down, her vivid descriptions bringing the Wollombi region and down the old road to Sydney alive. I have 4 wheel driven down part of the old road and I could just close my eyes and imagine them all galloping down it. The bulk of the action part of story spans around a couple of days, the falling in love and sorting out Lily’s life – then there is a wee while of a wait to see the outcome of Tom, which was realistic because if things had happened instantly with Tom I would have been disappointed. There is quite a bit of horse action, and the romance is sweet with a realistic amount of romantic tension without the in your face description. Then there are the horses – a lot of riding and horse racing stuff. Not being a horsey person I was a bit worried that I would be bored, but no there were, again, beautifully described horse action without boring me to tears with little details that I didn’t need to know – very well balanced. And did Lily leap? Too right she did – and it was a magnificent scene!! This was my first Téa Cooper story, and I will be reading more.
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C – Above average. Was very readable and I really liked it but was easily able to put it down and walk away for a while.
With thanks to Escape Publishing and the author via Netgalley for my copy to read and review.