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Climbing Fear Paperback – 7 October 2020
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About the Author
Leisl is a tall red head with an overly large imagination. As a child, she identified strongly with Anne of Green Gables. A voracious reader and a born performer, it came as no surprise to anyone when she did a double major in English Literature and Drama for her BA, then went on to a career as an actor, singer and dancer, as well as script writer, stage manager and musical director for cabaret and theatre restaurants (one of which she co-owned and ran for six years).
After starting a family, Leisl stopped performing and instead, began writing the stories that had been plaguing her dreams. Leisl's stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others.
Leisl lives in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne with her two beautiful boys, lovely hubby, overly spunky dogs, Buffy and Skye, and likes to spend time with family and friends. She is addicted to the Syfy channel, and her shelves are full of fantasy and paranormal books and scifi DVDs. She sometimes sings in a choir, has worked as a swim teacher, loves to ski, can talk the hind leg off a donkey and has been President of Romance Writers of Australia from 2014-2017.
To find out more, visit Leisl on her website.
- Publisher : Mira AU (7 October 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1867208113
- ISBN-13 : 978-1867208112
- Dimensions : 15.5 x 3 x 23.5 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 684,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Years ago, Natalia was one of Barb’s lost souls. Coalcliff was a safe haven for her growing up, until she got mixed up with Barb’s grandson Reid, who at just 18 was four years younger than she. Unable to deal with the intensity of their relationship, Nat took off and ended up married to someone else… a marriage that ended in blood and tragedy and left her needing a safe haven once again, this time with her nine-year-old daughter Tilly in tow.
Reid’s lived his own share of disaster. A world-class climber with his own TV show, he’s lost his nerve after his best friend Luke died right in front of his eyes. He’s going home to Coalcliff to try and put the shattered pieces of his life back together… but the last person he expected to find there was Nat.
There is SO MUCH backstory for these two, and honestly… I think in trying to avoid info-dumping the backstory, Leighton has gone a bit too light on. Information is doled out in dribs and drabs, which is okay if it’s part of what leads into the suspense plot, but just confusing when it comes to the details of Nat and Reid’s prior relationship and why it failed. I was left with way too many questions. I checked twice on the series information for this, wondering if it really was a first in series, or maybe tied back in to an earlier series by the author, because there were all these hints about Previous Important Events, but we never got a full explanation of them. There were a few weird continuity things too - Barb is 63 but her grandson is 28? Something a bit hinky about the maths there.
Those things aside, the romance plot was actually really good. There was some gorgeous pining between two very damaged souls, Tilly was a delightful plot moppet, and there are lots of wholesome country activities going on with horses and dogs (though I have to give a trigger warning for animal death, so be aware). The suspense plot was intriguing and took a surprising twist at the end… though I admit I’d have liked to see the ultimate villain featured a little earlier. The reveal had me wondering yet again if this led on from another series where he appeared, because he did pop up a little bit out of the blue.
I did enjoy this, but I think it needed to be about 20% longer. Maybe it was cut down to meet a publisher’s required word count, I don’t know, but it reads that way, and what got cut was backstory that was actually essential to really understand and empathise with Nat and Reid’s situation. I loved Coalcliff Stud, and several characters were introduced who I suspect are going to get their own books later on, which would be good to see. Overall a good read. Four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.
Reid and Nat are both looking for a fresh start. Reid has recently watched his best friend die whilst filming their Xtreme sports TV show. He is grieving, scared to climb again and doubting everything in his life. Nat is escaping her past after the death of her husband. Both just want to start over and CoalCliff Stud where they grew up is the place for that. They are not expecting to see each other though. It has been 10 years but the flame is still there but are either of them ready for it?
This was a very easy read but a little too ‘sweet’ for me. It reminded me of the American rural romances of which I’m not really a fan of, maybe because I felt there were a few americanism terms in the story which put me off, this is an annoyance for me when the book is in an Australian setting.
But really that’s just my personal issue, overall the book is a gentle read with a hint of suspense and big on second chance romance, with healing and forgiveness at the fore.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to read.