Aussie Novella Review: The Goodbye Ride by Lily Malone
My Rating: 5 / 5
Format: eBook courtesy of Lily Malone
Publication Date: 17 May 2013
Category: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Author Self-Published
Available: Exclusive to Amazon (purchase here)
“Olivia Murphy is a woman on a mission. Gracing the front lawn of a house in her Adelaide Hills hometown sits the classic Ducati motorbike that once belonged to her brother, a For Sale sign by the tyre.
Liv wants to buy the precious bike and bring it back into her family, and she wants the ink dry on the paperwork before the approaching holiday weekend.
One person stands in her way.
Owen Carson likes rare and beautiful things and he has the Ducati in his sights. Then he meets Liv, and finds his heart captured by beauty of a far different kind.
What will Olivia do to make the Ducati hers? And can Owen convince Liv he wants more than a holiday fling?”
Summary and Thoughts
It’s the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in Hahndorf, Adelaide Hills, South Australia and Olivia Murphy’s finally managed to scrape together a deposit for something close to her heart – the Duke which once belonged to her brother. Cash in hand, she makes her way to the seller’s house to exercise her first right of refusal but, as luck would have it, someone else, in the form of Owen Carson, arrives and “steals” the show (or motorbike in this case)!
First impressions of Owen abound in Liv’s mind, but after the deal is done and, sensing her disappointment, he seeks her out and makes a proposition.
What follows is a comedy of errors from mistaken first impressions – “Thongs! … didn’t Mr Muscle Car know it was June”, an embarrassing fall – “Liv heard a flap clap sound and thought for a second that some arsehole was applauding her fall”, a bit of sexy guitar playing – “she couldn’t help but imagine those skilled fingers plucking at her own body”, to an ignition of passion – “He pushed off the bench and moved close … Saliva pooled on her tongue, rich with the taste of how much she wanted him” and extreme panic when she discovers that perhaps Owen has taken what he wants with no regard to her feelings.
I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon this novella by Lily Malone, but it could have had something to do with Facebook, a bit of humorous banter between us and another fabulous author (yes Jennie, you know who you are), all whilst consuming a few glasses of wine, when I came across a post on Lily’s blog seeking reviewers for her novella. Needless to say, after putting in my request that night a few months back, Ms Malone has been biting her fingernails in anticipation of my review! I’m pleased to say that she need not have feared “this woman who is going to review our books” and I do hope that her nails aren’t too badly damaged.
The Goodbye Ride provided me with some much needed escapism from the “heavy” psychological literature to which I usually subject myself and, without having read her first novel, His Brand of Beautiful released by Escape Publishing in March 2013 (and which has already landed on my burgeoning TBR shelf), I can honestly say that I have found another Aussie author who has earned a place on my bookshelf.
I can imagine how difficult it must be to write a condensed story (not unlike trying to condense a book review!), but Lily is clearly talented enough to pull it off, incorporating all the elements of a novella into her thirty-two thousand two hundred words. She has focused on one main plot and conflict leaving no loose ends, moves her scenes along at a brisk speed without detracting from maximum emotional impact and at no time did I feel that the story was rushed. The dialogue is effective and while Ms Malone has stuck to another element of novella writing by not burdening the plot with too many minor characters, the sub-characters she does introduce to advance her story have been created with the perfect amount of depth.
Olivia and Owen are very well-developed and this enabled me to connect emotionally with them as they drew me into their lives and I felt that some of the scenes just sizzled right off the page – particularly the motorbike scene which evoked in me memories of another bike scene from one of my favourite movies, Top Gun – hubba hubba!
Fast-paced, light and extremely entertaining with some very saucy romance, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this for a dreary winter’s day with a blanket tucked over your feet (yes, you know who you are) and a glass or two of velvety South Australian red.
A Little About the Author (taken from her website)
Lily recently moved from the famous wine region of South Australia, to the equally famous and fabulous wine region that is Margaret River in West Australia. Her gorgeous hubby and two sons (they take after their father) came along for the ride.
Lily took up romance writing in November 2010, after an ill-fated dalliance with colour-field painting that ended when her youngest son put a golf club through the canvas.
She juggles part-time work as a freelance writer, and family, with writing, and when not writing, likes gardening, walking, wine, and walking in gardens (sometimes with wine).
In March 2013, her debut novel, His Brand Of Beautiful, was published with Escape Publishing and in May 2013, she self-published her follow-up novella The Goodbye Ride.