Review: Jilted by Rachael Johns
Now that’s what I’m talking about. You want really good Aussie outback romance? Jilted is the book to read.
So ten years ago Ellie leaves her fiance Flynn at the altar, runs clear across the country and becomes one of Australia’s favourite soap stars. Now Ellie’s beloved godmother is ill and needs help, and Ellie rushes back to be by her side. Returning to Hope Junction isn’t ever going to be easy, but Ellie will face it. Some things are more important than pride. But she dreads facing Flynn, and all that could have been if things had only been different.
So, yes, like every other reviewer, I cried. But I also laughed. And I totally feel like a local at Hope Junction. The use of place is often overwhelming when it comes to the spate of Rural stories on the market, but Johns has really used her community organically to first isolate, then welcome Ellie back. It’s easy to understand where she and Flynn came from, and how that continues to be tied really strongly to their identity.
Secondary characters are another real strength, adding to the overall immersion of the reader into John’s world. I really feel like I could walk into Hope Junction as a local, have a pint, visit the Co-op, have a gossip. I was sorry to leave when the book ended.
There is only one teeny-tiny little thing that really bugged me, so I rewrote it in my head, and it made it all better. I’ll rewrite it here for you, just in case it bugs you too. I’m keeping it as spoiler-free as possible.
The Setting: Ellie finally reveals the true reason behind her flight to Flynn.
this is what really happened:
Ellie: here is my emotionally and physically traumatising reason for leaving you at the altar.
Flynn: Me. me me me. Me me me me me me me. Let’s make this about me. Here’s what Iwould have done in your emotionally and physically traumatised state. Me. Me me me. Now I’m going to run away for a week, not let anyone know where I am, and freak you all out, just to make this even more about me.
Ellie: *is guilty*
Flynn: *returns* I forgive you for not making your emotionally and physically traumatising event about me. I’m going to love you anyways, and try not to blame you for not making everything all about me.
Kate’s rewrite, from Flynn’s return, because, really, his initial reaction is believable, if not commendable.
Flynn: *returns* I’m a douche. I’m sorry for acting like a douche. I’m sorry for douchily making your emotionally and physically traumatising event all about me, which is a very douchey thing to do. I love you, and hope that you still love me, even though I’m a douche. Will you marry me if I promise to work really hard on my douche-bag tendencies and never be such a douche ever again?
Bottom line: This is a great example of Aussie Rural Romance, with an organically created setting and fully realised characters. Sure Flynn is a bit of a douche in one part, but, really, aren’t all real-life heroes occasionally?