Book Review: The Girl in the Hard Hat by Loretta Hill

My rating:  3 out of 5 Stars (meaning I really liked it)

My thanks goes to the publisher, Random House Australia for providing me with an ARC.

“To tame a bad boy you will need:

a.    One hard hat
b.        350 sulky FIFO workers
c.        A tropical cyclone

From the author of The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots comes another funny and deliciously romantic tale of a woman in a man's world. Wendy Hopkins arrives in the Pilbara to search for the father who abandoned her at birth. Getting mixed up in construction site politics at the Iron Ore wharf just out of town was not high on her to do list. But when she takes a job as their new Safety Manager she becomes the most hated person in the area. Nicknamed The Sergeant, she is the butt of every joke and the prime target of notorious womanizer, Gavin Jones. Giving up is not an option, though. For, as it turns out, only Wendy can save these workers from the coming storm, find a man who wants to stay buried and ... put a bad boy firmly in his place.”

Fed lies by her family her whole life, Wendy Hopkins appears to be on a bit of a fruitless search for the father who abandoned her not long after birth.  Armed with the little information her mother has divulged, she heads off to the Pilbara to attend a job interview arranged by her “slimy” Uncle Mike.  Mr Hullog of TCN informs her that he has no need of her services but has arranged a meeting with another company, Barnes Inc.

And so it is she finds herself one of six women on what is clearly a man’s work site, becoming the butt of their jokes and pranks … and the object of Gavin Jones’ interest!

Gavin, however, has a secret of his own and has no intentions of ever becoming entrapped by “love” and has acquired the practice of “loving and leaving”, never allowing any one female to get too close to him.

With Wendy trying to pursue her search and coming up with dead ends, Gavin hopelessly fighting growing feelings for her and an elusive father who seems to want to remain buried, the ensuing cyclone brings not only utter destruction to their work site as well as the small town, but finally allows some secrets to become unburied.

My Thoughts
Loretta Hill brings to life the Aussie spirit and lingo in this hilariously funny book of romance, and whilst ultimately it is romance, she never veers far from what to me, was the main subject of the book - the search for Wendy’s father.  Along with Gavin’s underlying story, all the threads come together to combine for a realistic plot.

Loretta has created some colourful, likeable characters and I particularly admire Wendy’s strong character and the tenacity she shows in dealing with her male co-workers.  It was quite refreshing for me to discover a heroine who didn’t require rescuing!

With typical Aussie humour, this book was a treat, with one of my favorite quotes being “… word travels faster around here than nits in a classroom”.

I have not yet read The Girl in the Steel Capped Boots, but it has been on my TBR for a while now and I will make an effort to read it through the course of this year.  Of course, Loretta's graphic descriptions of the Pilbara have now got me wanting to visit!

A Bit About the Author

Loretta was born in Perth, Western Australia, the eldest of four girls.  She enjoyed writing from a very early age, spinning stories almost as soon as she could read them.

She was first published in the Western Australia Newspaper with a short story about a circus horse when she was eleven years old.  They paid her ten dollars for it and she knew she'd found her calling.

She graduated from the University of Western Australia with a degree in Civil Engineering and another in commerce.  Before her final year of study she was awarded a scholarship and a job upon graduation by a major West Australian engineering company.  She took both.

The whole time however, Loretta continued to write.  Although she continued to work as an engineer she decided to devote more time to a career move into writing.

Her and her lawyer husband (whom she met at a Black Friday party hosted by a friend) are now happily married and living in Perth with their two young sons and one daughter.

Loretta's debut mainstream commercial Women's Fiction novel, The Girl in Steel Capped Boots was published by Random House Australia in January 2012.  The Girl in the Hard Hat is the highly anticipated sequel.

If you would like to read some sample chapters to both these novels, you can find them here, at the Random House website

Then, of course, please head on over to the next scheduled part of the tour for The Girl in the Hard Hat being hosted by Alpha Reader on the 4th January.

My thanks goes to Random House Australia for selecting me as a Tour Host.

List of Tour Hosts:


  1. I am now adding this one to my TBR. Great to see you as a tour host Marcia.

    1. Thanks Jen - you're a gem. And thank you for "plugging" me on your blog xo

    2. No worries - what are bloggy friends for? .. Hope you had some drop on by ...
      I'm reading this book now.

  2. I;m really looking forward to staring this later today :)

    1. Did you get to finish it Shelleyrae? What did you think?

  3. I enjoyed this book too, really want to read the first

    1. Yeah Sharon, also really want to read the first one!


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