Title: Something Like This
Author: Karly Lane
Published: December 1st 2020
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Rural, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
A spellbinding new rural romance from the bestselling author of the Callahans of Stringybark Creek trilogy and Fool Me Once.
Jason Weaver just wants to be left alone. It was a tough transition from his army days to civilian life, and he’s looking forward to settling into a solitary life.
Tilly Hollis is working two jobs to save for her dream career: running an equine therapy program. Tilly loves her horses more than anything, and after losing her husband and business partner just a few years earlier, she’s determined to make it work on her own.
When Jason walks into the cafe where Tilly works, they’re immediately drawn to one another. But can they overcome their pasts to find a future together?
‘The way she saw it, life handed out the cards and you played whatever hand you were dealt. Still, she could understand people needing some kind of comfort-any kind, really, in times like this.’
Something Like This marks the sixteenth novel from foremost rural fiction novelist Karly Lane. With echoes of the past, passion projects, acceptance, second chances, trust and support running through Karly Lane’s latest, readers will be visibly moved by this poignant tale.
With two leads with broken lives heading this new title from the bestselling author of Fool Me Once, Something Like This is about the careful plans we make and how these well made intentions can be derailed. We meet Jason Weaver, a former solider who is seeking solace and meaning in his life following a tragic accident, that has left him with a significant physical loss. A move to the small town of Ben Tirran in the New England highland region is Jason’s attempt to achieve a sense of acceptance in his life, following his past trauma. Meanwhile, female lead Tilly Hollis is one hard working woman, toiling through two separate jobs in an attempt to mask her pain and build on her dreams of building her own business. With hopes of establishing an equine therapy program, drawing on her adoration for horses, Tilly wants to make a difference. But when these two tortured souls cross paths they cannot fight their attraction to one another. With the past, present and future bearing down on this couple, can they make a go of things?
As a long-standing fan of Karly Lane’s work, I was eagerly awaiting this new release. I follow Lane on social media and I know how passionate she is about horses. Something Like This is a story that allows Lane to channel her love and appreciation for horses, in particular the Guy Fawkes Horse Heritage program, which forms a significant portion of her new book. I know I came away feeling a lot more knowledgeable about these horses and their enlightening history. I was also inspired to do some online research on this subject, which further enhanced my working knowledge of this highly interesting topic.
Not only is Something Like This a wonderful and touching tribute to the Guy Fawkes Heritage Horses project, it is also a heartwarming rural romance. We have two rather broken leads, each with their own past history of loss, grief, trauma and tragedy haunting their present day lives. I felt Tilly and Jason were carefully realised on the pages of Something Like This and we received an excellent insight into their feelings via Lane’s thoughtful prose. My heart went out to both Tilly and Jason, as each has clearly suffered deeply. Tilly in particular is a stoic and determined woman, despite the heart wrenching past experiences she endured in the form of the deaths of two family members, her husband’s shock loss and her mother’s battle with cancer. However, Tilly remains resilient and persistent in her pursuit of establishing her equine therapy business. I admired Tilly’s resolve and approach very much. My sympathies were also directed to returned soldier Jason, a man seeking to establish a sense of calm and acceptance in his life. Through Jason we learn of the impact of PTSD on returned soldiers and we gain an insight into the life of an amputee. This was handled with a great deal of respect and sensitivity, thanks to Lane’s delicate prose.
The romance in Something Like This takes an instant attraction route and I really enjoyed this gentle pathway to love and happiness. There are some issues that our leads contend with along the way to their final union. Lane treats the romance side of her narrative with plenty of realism, intuition and passion. Both sides of the relationship was explored in a balanced format. This allows the story to delve into Jason’s anxiety issues related to his physical injuries, to Tilly’s reluctance to let go of her past losses. It is a tough road travelled, but it is well worth the journey.
With the stunning background of the rural based New England highlands illuminating Something Like This further, Karly Lane’s latest is an embracing tale that will appeal to all readers.
Something Like This by Karly Lane was published on 1st December 2020 by Allen & Unwin. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Something Like This, Karly Lane, visit here.
*Thanks extended to Allen & Unwin for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Something Like This is book #4 of the 2021 Australian Women Writers Challenge