New Release Book Review: East of Alice by Annie Seaton

This was a really great romantic suspense read by Annie Seaton, I loved journeying to Alice Springs and the East MacDonnell Ranges to Ruby Gap. When I travelled across Australia I made it to Alice and the West MacDonnell Ranges, I didn’t have the right car to go to the East, but I recognised the landscape and the feel of the land, luckily I didn’t come across any criminal goings-on while I was there like the characters in this novel.

The first part of the book is told in two timelines and while I really enjoyed the backstory from the 1800s, I felt it kept pulling me out of the present-day story which annoyed me a bit. I thought Rose was extremely courageous following her husband out to a wild Australia and learning to make a life in such harsh conditions as she encountered in outback Australia at the time. Her story though was a sad one but one she made the most of.

In the present day, we meet Gemma who has returned to The Alice to teach after leaving when her twin brother Ethan disappeared 6 years before. We get a few chapters from Ethan’s story 6 years before that help to uncover the mystery leading up to his disappearance. Also newly returned to The Alice is Saul, Gemma’s ex and Ethan’s best mate.

I enjoyed both the romance aspect and the suspense/mystery aspect of this novel, I liked seeing Gemma and Saul reconnect and Gemma lose her prickliness and let down the walls she’d kept up since her brother’s disappearance and I liked seeing Saul self-assured about his feelings for Gemma and being willing to put himself out there now he had a second chance.

The mystery surrounding Ethan’s disappearance, the rubies which may or may not have been real and the operation which was going on hidden in the remote bush kept me reading, dying to find out what had happened and how it would all play out. I had my suspicions about one of the mysteries and was pleased to know I was right in my thinking, but still unsure how it would play out in the end. Annie Seaton did a good job of melding all the storylines, past and present together and with the aid of a wonderful setting created an engaging story.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Australia for a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

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