Title: The Dairy Farmer’s Daughter
Author: Sarah Williams
Published: November 28th 2018
Publisher: Serenade Publishing
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Rural, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
Justin Wheeler is not a country boy. He could have been, if his mother had stayed married to his father and not moved back to the city when he was only a toddler. But now that his estranged father is dead and he has inherited the dairy farm, Justin finds himself considering if the life he is living is actually the life he wants.
Family means everything to Freya Montgomery. She loves living on the land and helping to grow the family business. She knows how important agriculture is to their small hinterland community, so when Justin arrives in town and is offered a generous price from a housing developer to buy his property, Freya must convince him not to accept the deal and instead lease the land to her family.
The Dairy Farmer’s Daughter is the first in an exciting new small-town series called “Heart of the Hinterland” by Bestselling author, Sarah Williams.
It is safe to say that I read a lot of Australian rural romance. It is my favourite genre and I always appreciate the comfort it brings me. When I discovered that there was a rural romance author that I had not had the pleasure of reading, I jumped for joy. I sourced a copy of the latest book penned by Sarah Williams, The Dairy Farmer’s Daughter. I was surprised to discover that The Dairy Farmer’s Daughter is the first novel in a new series. I’m looking forward to exploring more of Sarah’s work.
The Dairy Farmer’s Daughter begins with Justin Wheeler, the hero of this new tale from Sarah Williams. When Justin’s father dies, he leaves him a dairy farm. Justin, who has been estranged from his father since he and his mother moved back to the city when he was little, doesn’t know what to make of his new farm. Justin is city man through and through, but his inheritance makes him think twice about what he wants in life. When Justin comes home to his father’s farm he encounters a local woman, Freya Montgomery. Freya’s family are an integral part of the local hinterland community. When Justin receives a huge offer from developers to hand over his father’s farm to housing, Freya is up in arms. It will take all the strength she has to sway Justin away from this offer. In the process, both learn about each other and their ambitions in life.
I am going to use the old cliché opener for this review, this is the first Sarah Williams book I have read, but it won’t be the last! I am so pleased to have discovered the writing of Sarah Williams through my experience of reading The Dairy Farmer’s Daughter. I am also a touch excited to discover I have a few more books to catch up on penned by Sarah Williams. My thirst for rural romance has certainly been quenched thanks to Sarah Williams!
Sarah Williams clearly knows how to seduce her rural romance fans. She presents the reader with a fantastic scenario, we have a self confessed city boy, who is unexpectedly handed a farm. Justin is the said hero, and Williams captures this character and his feelings incredibly well. Justin is soon torn between honouring his father’s legacy with his inability, as well as his disinterest, in running the dairy farm he has been gifted. It is a difficult bind and a predicament that has Justin up in arms!
Luckily, local heroine Freya Montgomery comes to the rescue, sensing Justin’s confusion and reluctance to take the reins of the farm. Freya issues Justin with a challenge, to follow her in a journey of discovery. Freya wants to open Justin’s his eyes and mind to the possibility of keeping his father’s farm, through leasing it rather than selling it to developers. I loved this concept very much, so kudos to Williams for presenting such a great narrative hook. We watch on as this twosome learn to love one another, while Justin works to change his mindset and decision to sell up the dairy farm.
The romance in this novel was sweet, genuine and utterly absorbing. I loved how these two experienced a love at first sight attraction. They come to lean on one another, which was fabulous to be a part of. There were moments when they relationship hit the hot and steamy level, but it was in keeping with the storyline. The dialogue that went along with Freya and Justin, as well as their interactions with other players in the story, added to the enjoyment level of this book.
‘For a long moment, they held each other’s gaze, and beneath the buzz of his serves, he senses another connection being made. Something stronger than empathy.’
What made The Dairy Farmer’s Daughter such a great read for me was the excellent portrayal of the dairy farming business. I was enthralled by the dairy based scenes. Williams provides a plethora of vivid and authentic descriptions, so we get a good feel for the different dairy operations. For a reader with little knowledge of the business of dairy farming, Williams helped to build my understanding of this fascinating field of agriculture. The food references, such as the cheese making, had me salivating many times over! I also came away with appreciation of the essential services provided by a dairy farm like Justin’s, to not only the local community, but to the wider surrounding areas.
Williams grounds her latest novel in a vivid hinterland setting, which is located in the stunning Sunshine Coast area. This area is new to me, but with the guidance of Williams’ full bodied setting descriptions, the reader takes an armchair journey to this spectacular Australian locale. I loved the small town setting descriptions of this area and Williams truly excels in this aspect of her novel.
‘The sun was just peeking over the mountain range as she slogged through the rain-soaked mud back to the house. Bird calls, combined with the unmistakable bellowing of cows, became an animal symphony.’
The Dairy Farmer’s Daughter is a beautiful ode to small town country living, with dairy farming as its focus. Romance lovers will be sure to lap up the tender love story between a city boy and a country girl, who are both trying to decide what they want in love and life. With a quintessential Australian setting and an entertaining narrative, you’ll love this one if you are after a good quality rural fiction novel. I’m keen to explore more work by Sarah Williams, she is a fantastic storyteller. I enjoyed this one very much!
The Dairy Farmer’s Daughter by Sarah Williams was published on 28th November 2018 by Serenade Publishing. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Dairy Farmer’s Daughter, Sarah Williams, visit here.
The Dairy Farmer’s Daughter is book #33 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge