Penelope Janu is one of my must-read authors, she has one character who features in several of her books, including this one, Nate, and I am hoping once again that he gets his own happy ever after in his own book soon.
Clouds on the Horizon was a book I was looking forward to and it didn’t disappoint. I must say though, that it took me quite a while to get into this one, the characters didn’t lend themselves to me becoming caught up in their story for quite a while.
Phoebe has had a traumatic upbringing and hasn’t had much luck in relationships, she is like two different people; with the kid’s she is a therapist for she is warm and caring, but with most of the people around her, she keeps herself separate on an emotional and personal level. I found her brittleness and the way she was with Sinn, took me a while to get used to and though I understood her past dictated her behaviour, I just couldn’t warm up to her for the first part of the novel. Sinn was abrupt with Phoebe and though he wanted her help he didn’t want her involved in his investigation, Phoebe wouldn’t take no for an answer, a very stubborn woman. I didn’t feel the chemistry between Sinn and Phoebe until the second half of the novel, neither were willing to allow their feelings to really show, though Sinn was more willing than Phoebe.
I don’t understand much about horse syndicates other than people can make money from them, but it was clear Penelope Janu had done her research. The reason Sinn is in the area and needs Phoebe’s help was because of the work her father and her sister did on the accounts for the syndicate. While I got Phoebe’s need to protect her sister’s because of their upbringing, I did get frustrated with her behaviour in the case of this investigation.
I liked that because of this investigation and her relationship with Sinn, Phoebe had to really take the time to look at who she was now as an adult, and where she wanted to be on an emotional level and whether she wanted to take steps to change her life. She had two good friends who had her back, Mandy who was a counsellor and Jeramiah a local police officer, both of these helped her on an emotional level while dealing with Sinn and his investigation.
The animals in this story were fabulous characters, from the horses to Phoebe’s dog and then the gorgeous baby lamb, they made for some great scenes. I also liked Nate, Sinn’s off-sider and Pheobe’s small cast of friends and the children she helped. Penelope Janu has obviously done a lot of research around treatment for children with various issues and I found this very interesting seeing as this is part of my own work.
There was plenty to like about this novel and once I became fully engaged with the characters, I couldn’t put it down.
Thanks to Harlequin Australia for providing me with a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.