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Review: Return to Riversleigh by Anne Ashby

I love that it is set in New Zealand. As a kiwi I can appreciate the subtle hints of the setting like bacon and egg pie. I've been collecting New Zealand authors and making a list. It isn't often that one finds me completely by accident on Goodreads.

We have a adrenaline junkie who is suddenly saddled with a niece and nephew. Seeing his future as endless boredom he is driven to extreme measures. An Adventure park in rural New Zealand. Okay so New Zealand is known for its extreme adventures so it wasn't a completely stupid idea. I liked that the main character Luke was so nervous about it. Though being an adrenaline junkie he isn't stupid and an adventure park is risky.

The Love interest Shannon was that dumpy girl in school who blossomed as she matured. She is back in town, down on her luck after her own adrenaline junkie husband managed to get himself killed. Leaving her alone to raise their son.

Thrown together to develop a crazy business plan. Both with troubled kids of their own together hopefully they will figure out how to live in harmony in a world that is too tame for either of them.

I like the distinction made between seeking thrills and being addicted to them. Luke even says, "I gamble but I'm not a gambler." This difference is what makes it possible to have their relationship work when Shannon's late husband couldn't give up the addiction where as Luke gave it up in a heart beat for family. It is certainly a Aww-sweet moment when you realise what kind of people these two are. I love that Luke is honest with himself about what makes him happy in life. Instead of wallowing in the hand life has dealt him he finds a way to make it work. That alone makes me love Luke's character.

I cried when Luke spoke to Shannon's son about marrying her. This is a heart warming story. Well worth the read.

5 stars.

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