Diamond in the Dust is book 2 in the Elsie Creek series set in outback NT and was a highly enjoyable romance about two unlikely people. Mel A Rowe does a good job of describing the remote outback and its eclectic cast of characters.
I enjoyed meeting Verily, a world champion softballer, who has never before had to decide where her future is heading and what she wants, until an accident changes all that and takes away all she knew and all she lived for. I've changed my direction in life several times (maybe more), but mostly those redirections have been my choices, I can't imagine having those choices taken from me, leaving me floundering to figure out where I was heading to now.
Verily has come to Elsie Creek to stay with her Aunt on her farm and is very lost, she a bit aloof and standoffish at first, especially when it comes to local boy Alex who is also living and working on her Aunt's property, (their initial meeting doesn't help matters).
Alex is a really great guy and is doing his best to start following his dreams, compared to Verily, he knows exactly what he wants, but his relationship with his dad is holding him back from going completely forward.
I loved the friendship that slowly developed between Verily and Alex, slowly they pushed each other out of their comfort zone and helped each other figure out where they were heading. They both required a fair bit of pushing, especially Verily when it came to helping out the local softball team (there may have been some slightly underhanded dealings going on with getting her to face this issue).
Once again we are introduced to some interesting characters that make up the local softball team, some more likeable than others (ie. the coach, not really likeable). There's a very unlikeable female character who plays slightly dirty in an attempt to get her way. Cecil the water buffalo is still roaming the streets of Elsie Creek, brightening everyone's day just a little and causing trouble a little too.
I was definitely barracking for Verily and Alex to get their acts together and figure out their futures.
This quite a genuine & descriptive even detailed outback tale, which would appeal to readers of all ages. Alex & Verily don't get off to a good start but with the slow build up of their relationship it eventually leads to more. Her aunt, Molly owns a farm near Elsie Creek. Verilys come to visit, due to an injury, which put a stop to her career. Alex is the local truck driver as well as a budding brewmaster. The diamond analogy will become clear as the tale progresses & while the story deals with a lot of this it also depicts life in a small country town with its many varied characters. So Verily has to make a choice whether to follow her heart or return home to the US.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. 4.5*