Clara hasn’t been on a horse since she was a kid, but it was her boyfriend’s dream to go on a cattle drive in Australia, so tickets were booked and the vacation was planned. What wasn’t planned, however, was finding out her boyfriend cheating on her. So, rather than waste the tickets, Clara decides to go alone into the great unknown and get over the hurt and anger by riding a horse and rustling some cows. She ends up meeting a gorgeous Aboriginal cowgirl named Evie who has Clara thinking about things she’d forgotten she wanted, like laughter and fun and the soft, sweet kisses of another girl.
This novella is as light as a feather and a fun frolic with a holiday affair and a horse named Bonnie. It’s charming, it’s cute, and I enjoyed that Clara, for all she’s just ended things with her boyfriend, isn’t sulking or despairing or even giving the guy she just kicked to the curb another thought. No, she’s too busy re-learning things about herself and having fun to bother thinking about him. She’s snarky, emotionally mature, and very smitten with the dark-haired Evie with her quick smiles, Australian accent, and ready flirtations.
Clara has known from a young age that she liked both boys and girls, but she’s had relationships with men since she was 19, which makes her hesitant and unsure when she realizes that not only is Evie flirting with her, but she is more than willing to flirt right back. Not that Clara’s all that good at flirting or at picking up Evie’s signals, at first. I think the horse caught on faster than Clara did.
Watching Evie and Clara flirt was fun. Evie was suave and smug until Clara started flirting back, and then it was nothing but an adorkable clumsiness. While Evie is the aggressor in their games of heated looks and hidden touches, she never pushes. Like Clara, she’s recently gotten out of a rather long-term relationship, and neither of the two women are really looking for romance; Clara is looking for herself, for the person she was before she hooked up with a man who made her unhappy, who wouldn’t sleep with her, and then cheated on her. She doesn’t want to hurt Evie, she doesn’t want to embarrass herself or lead Evie on. What she wants is… well, to take a chance. To be the sort of person who can take a chance, and the sort of person worth taking a chance on.
There’s no real ending to this story, no “happily ever after” or “they rode off into the sunset.” Instead, we’re left to wonder and imagine for ourselves what happens to the two of them as the vacation comes to an end. The writing was good, and it’s refreshing to have a book about a not-so-twenty-something woman that doesn’t make an issue of her weight or have her doubt her own physical looks (though I notice how slyly the author mentions how often Clara attends spinning classes). If you’re in the mood for cute, give this story a try. It has cuteness in spades.