Welcome Nic Starr – Book Reviews – Rustic Melody and Rustic Memory

I’m reviewing Rustic Melody and Rustic Memory by Nic Starr today as part of her blog tour with Creative Minds Promotions. There’s also a rafflecopter giveaway. Check out my LJ for the link.

Rustic Book 1
Adam Chambers has never seen eye-to-eye with his father and is reluctant to take over the family’s property-development company. To clear his head and work out what he wants to do with the rest of his life, Adam leaves his responsibilities in the city and heads out to see the country.

He isn’t much closer to deciding what to do with his life when he arrives at one of Australia’s largest events, the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and meets Joey Callaway.

Since Joey’s father’s tragic death left Joey the family’s debt-ridden pub, Joey has struggled, desperate to turn the business around and give his mum the life she deserves. A break away from the pressures of running the pub is just what he needs, and a hook-up with Adam is the perfect way to forget about his troubles.

The one-night stand might just be an opening act. If Adam and Joey can follow the music in their hearts, perhaps they can heal each other and create a melody that will last a lifetime.

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Rustic-Melody-Nic-Starr-ebook/dp/B01A7ONMXU/

After reading and enjoying Charlie’s Hero by Nic Starr I was very much looking forward to this new series, especially as it’s set in Tamworth and Armidale—places I’ve been to although it was many years ago. There needs to be more fiction out there set in Australia. I’m also a sucker for anything with music involved.

Although this is Joey and Adam’s story, the supporting characters feel very three dimensional and add to the story. Both locations came to life with the descriptions and characters inhabiting them. I got pulled into the story very quickly, and read it over a couple of very late nights as I wanted to find out what happened next.

It’s a quick read, and there isn’t a huge amount of angst, but a story doesn’t need all that to be a satisfying read. Both Joey and Adam have their own stories to tell, and hurdles to overcome, because of their past experiences. But they are strong characters, and I liked the way they complemented each other, pooling their strengths to overcome diversity, save the pub, and have the courage to move forward and forge a new life.

A couple of the supporting characters need to be mentioned by name as they were so much a part of Joey’s and Adam’s stories. Joey’s mother Marion reminded me of mothers everywhere, the way she looked after him, although not in great health herself. The meals she cooked are definitely on my comfort food list and very Australian. Her comments were brilliant, and she had some great one liners. Adam’s grandmother Lillian was another highlight of the story. Her comments—like Marion’s—were great, and she knew the right words to say to Adam. No necessary the ones he wanted to hear, but the ones he needed to.

I’d recommend this book to readers who love a sweet romance with likeable characters, a great supporting cast, and an Australian setting. 5 out of 5 stars.

Rustic Book 2

Tyler Samuels had his reasons for leaving the country town where he grew up. He moved to the city, established a home and a career, and found love. Now Ty is in his early thirties, and as his life takes another tragic turn, he finds himself returning to the place he first ran from.

Mac McGrath has lived in Armidale all his life. He loves his family and his job as an electrician, running the family business. The only thing missing in his life is a relationship. When Ty, his teenage crush, arrives back in town, maybe he has found someone to love at last.

What starts as friends with benefits quickly turns to more for Mac, but Ty will need to let go of his memories if he is to learn to love again. But can Mac wait that long?

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Rustic-Memory-Nic-Starr-ebook/dp/B01BXQCQT2/

One of the reasons I love series is the chance to revisit characters and settings. Although the 2 MCs from book1 of this series—Joey and Adam—are no longer there, I loved the way the author has used the Central Hotel and its staff to link the two books together. I also recognised a couple of the other characters from Rustic Melody who have a bigger role in this story too.

Although still a sweet romance, this story has a little more angst in it than book 1. I really felt for Ty at the beginning of the story, and I thought his grief came across very well. Tyler ‘Ty’ Samuels, and Robert ‘Mac’ McGrath carry the story well, and I thought the author did a great job in handling their relationship, especially considering all the baggage Ty carries. I felt for Mac with his frustration but at the same time I could see Ty’s perspective as well.

In other words, I got attached to these characters very quickly, to the point where I stayed up late to finish the book in one sitting. As with the first story, although this is about Ty and Mac, there’s a great ensemble cast supporting them, and it was great to see their storylines progress a little as well. There are a couple of additions to the cast this time around, and I have to mention how much I loved Shadow, Mac’s dog. I’m enjoying seeing this series grow and am looking forward to reading more, especially as I know who book three focuses on—loved them in this story.

I’d recommend Rustic Memory for readers who love a sweet romance, likeable characters who have to work through past experiences in order to move forward, a great supporting cast, and stories set in Australia. 5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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