The Art of Dust (Elsie Creek, #1) by Mel A. Rowe

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The Art of Dust (Elsie Creek, #1) by Mel A. Rowe
Publication Date
: May 23rd 2019
Read Date: June 29th 2019
Genre: Contemporary / Romace
Pages: 268
Stars: ★★★★ /5

Some summer loves you can never forget, found in a place where summer never ends and where you’ll discover the essence of the rugged and romantic outback of Australia’s Northern Territory, in this small-town series of Elsie Creek. It’s a place filled with more cattle and crocodiles than people—who still manage to find love…Are you ready to Escape to a HAPPILY EVER AFTER?

After seven-years, creative Mumpreneur, Kathryn (Kat) Jones, returns to the outback town of Elsie Creek at the request of her dying uncle. Kat can’t fix the man but she can care for his wife, fix his home, and fix his beloved vehicle to get him there.

Workaholic, Kyle Smythe, owns the only mechanical workshop in town, and he’s about to propose to another woman when his ex-muse rolls into his yard seeking help to restore her uncle’s ute.

For Kat, Kyle was her best friend, her creative collaborator, and first and only love. But his rejection tore her heart apart.

Kyle’s scars still sting over Kat’s desertion—especially when he’d needed her the most.

Yet these long-lost summer soulmates are compelled to team-up to make a man they both care for happy in his final days.

Can they work together without re-igniting that spark shared those many summers ago? Or will it remind them of their promises of forever that ended in never…

What readers are saying about this sweet, second chance, small town, rural romance:

“The author paints an amazing picture of the outback with her words drawing you into the story…”

“If you’re fan of Aussie outback stories then you will enjoy this…”

“The descriptions of the outback are so real, you would think you were in Australia yourself.”

“A wonderful outback tale”

Are you a fan of small town romance?

Are you a lover of Australian Rural Romance authors Rachael Johns, Cathryn Hein, Annie Seaton, Fleur McDonald, and Karly Lane?

Then you’ll adore Australian bestselling author, Mel A ROWE’s unique outback spin, set in a place where cattle and crocodiles outnumber the people and where the summer never ends… Welcome, to Elsie Creek.

The Art of Dust was a lovely contemporary romance that revolved around Kat and Kyle, a story about getting over past, rejection and loneliness, giving second chance to love and happiness, and trust our own and letting them help in need.

Kat – I liked Kat and her whirlwind fun loving nature, her determination and handywoman skill was admirable. She could fix anything but her love life and happiness. What her family did to her created a deep scar in her soul and so she feared rejection that kept her away from love and happiness. Her development was slow but good. Coming back to Elsie Creek not only healed her family and love but herself as well. I loved reading her POV.

Kyle – Reading Kyle’s pov and his heartbreak made me question Kat but in heart I knew there was something bigger, a stronger reason that made Kat to leave. He told about his beautiful summer days with Kat that made me fall in love with his love for Kat. He was handsome, swoon worthy mechanic who was great uncle, friend, boyfriend and a person. He made Kat realized how good they were together. And after that big revelation I liked him even more.

Kaytlyn- This tiara-less, tutu-loving princess was such a charming character. Listening those rule of hiking from this little girl in the beginning only made sure I’m going to love her throughout the book. Her tuts and hiking boot combination was quirky and cute. I loved reading all scenes on her.

JT, Lenny and his kids, Kat’s Uncle- Frank, Wendy and Nora all secondary characters were fabulous.

The writing and plot was gripping and fast paced that didn’t give me a chance to write a note. I loved author’s style. It was simple and yet felt lovely and lively. I needed it after the last book I read. This was really amazing story of Kat and Kyle, the old summer love birds, who rediscovered their love after long time with intense feelings that made me blush and beam like a teen. The story was third person narrative told from Kat and Kyle’s perspective with their refreshing voice.

Book started with Kat aka Kathryn taking her 6-years-old daughter Kaytlyn to Elsie Creek, one of the small country of Australia, where she spent summers in her childhood and teens. She was returning after 7 years on the request of her dying uncle, fighting cancer for so long without letting her know. It was obvious she was hurt by someone and she desperately wanted to avoid that person and I dare to say I guessed it even before she confessed who and why.

What will she do once her uncle is gone? Will she return to states and continue living like she did or will stay for her aunt? How she will cope with grief of losing uncle who was more like a father to her? Can she avoid the reason she left town for so long in this small community where gossips travelled father than wind? Will she give a second chance to love and happiness? How will people react once her secret is out?

What I loved most was the setting and the town. There ain’t a secret if you are living in Elsie Creek. People knew everyone and everything about them, what’s new in the town and what the latest gossip is. They helped each other, supported in need and celebrated events like a family. It didn’t take long for this country to win my heart. Everything said in blurb about ‘for small town lover’ was so right. You can’t resist this book if you love beautiful picturesque small town and its people. I liked that idea of billboard water buffalo on whom country people advertised special occasion or events.

Another thing I liked about the book was characters and their relation with each other, whether it was mother daughter or father daughter or Kat’s relation with her friends and relatives. Both main characters were fabulous in the book. Conversation was realistic, their emotions were touching and I could easily imagine everything they were connected to.

The way Kat and Kyle’s life and story was connected to her beloved Uncle’s car was interesting to read. Like the restoration and new paint, repairing the old dents and engine of old red ute, Kat and Kyle’s love needed to be rekindled, past mistakes repaired, and to be coated with love and new relation.

Climax was good. I didn’t expect what happened to Uncle Frank and what he revealed later. About Kat’s secret and who was father of her child was no big secret but the reason behind how they separated or what caused their separation was different from what I guessed.

End was lovely, feel good, happily ever after kind. However, I didn’t want to end it where it ended. I wanted to read more, but knowing this was just first book in series I retrained myself from cutting more star. In fact, this book has upped my expectation. I can’t wait to read next book in series.

Here is few small things that made me hesitate to give it 5 star-

First, I wanted to hear secrets Kat shared to her uncle Frank, not kid’s father secret, which was predictable bit, but the other one. From what Kyle said I got what her problem was but that coming from Kat would have given it emotional touch.

Second, Kat’s reason for not coming back or contacting again was understandable but I couldn’t digest Kyle’s reason. I mean how Kat would have known about what happened to him!! And Kat’s uncle and Aunt should have told Kat. It’s unbelievable they haven’t cleared things before it got so out of hand.

Third, as I said, most of the turning points were predictable. But I didn’t mind it as all in all the story was interesting.

Overall, it was sweet and refreshing, feel good romantic story of Kat and Kyle and small town that you would love to read. I surely recommend this book.

Book Links : Goodreads Amazon

*** Note : I received e-copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. ***


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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


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