I always get so excited when Maya Linnell has a new book out! Maya first came for a chat on my blog when she was preparing for her first novel, Wildflower Ridge, to be released, and now we are celebrating the release of her FIFTH book Kookaburra Cottage. In Maya’s previous books we’ve spent time with the four McIntyre sisters, and while we got to know and love them, I can assure you that you’re going to love her new characters just as much (and if you keep your eyes peeled you might just spot those McIntyre women too!). Check out the synopsis from Maya’s website below, and then read on to find out what I loved about Kookaburra Cottage!
What is Maya Linnell’s Kookaburra Cottage about?
Limestone Coast horticulturalist April Lacey is determined to lead her family’s winery into the future. She dreams of opening a bed and breakfast at Lacewing Estate, but soon discovers the crumbling historic building and her father’s reluctance to join the food tourism revolution are just the beginning of her uphill battle.
English winemaker Connor Jamison has travelled to South Australia’s iconic wine region to learn from the experts and carve a name for himself in the industry. However, it quickly becomes clear that no matter how many miles Connor puts between himself and the accident that flipped his world, the past keeps nipping at his heels.
Can April’s fresh ideas save Lacewing Estate from folding or will they be a fool’s folly? And will Connor’s fierce loyalty come back to haunt him?
United by cooking classes, music and an unexpected involvement in the Penwarra Country Show, April and Connor seem like the perfect match, but with old flames, new challenges and careers conspiring to keep them apart, can this pair forge their own path together?
My review of Kookaburra Cottage by Maya Linnell
In Kookaburra Cottage we leave rural Victoria behind as Maya takes us to South Australia’s Limestone Coast wine region, bringing along all the heart and warmth I’ve come to love in her books. I was charmed by the new setting, as always, Maya manages to give us a community that you can practically feel as you read, and that comes through as so authentically Australian without ever feeling cliched or over the top.
I also loved April and Connor from the very start of the book and was so invested in their stories that I sped through this one in just a few sittings – I had to keep reading to find out how things would turn out for them. I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow, and also really liked seeing the friendships they had with the people around them.
Of course, gorgeous food also features in the story line. I’m sure only Maya could give us two main characters who can barely boil water and still have me taking a baking break by chapter three! I loved the storyline about the local country show that provides a backdrop to April and Connor’s stories. I had so much fun as a child preparing entries for the baking and craft sections of our local show, so being back in that world through the experiences of Maya’s characters gave me a lovely nostalgic vibe. Maya has written a bit about her own connections with country shows on her blog this week, and I really enjoyed that peek into the inspiration for that element of the book – you can read it here.
There are a few heavier themes that are touched on in Kookaburra Cottage, which I think are dealt with in a sensitive way and never feel gratuitous. In particular in this case there are some mentions of pregnancy/infant loss that readers might want to be aware of.
Overall I feel like Kookaburra Cottage is another beautiful warm hug of a book from Maya, which I’m sure will have fans of Aussie rural romance as charmed as I was. With romance getting some extra well-deserved attention at the moment, I’d love to see more readers picking up rural romance novels by our wonderful local authors, and I think this one (or any of Maya’s books!) would be a perfect place to start!
Big congratulations to Maya on the release of Kookaburra Cottage and thanks to the team at Allen & Unwin for sending me a free, early copy. Let me know in the comments if you’ve picked this one up already or plan to!
Kookaburra Cottage by Maya Linnell
Out now from Allen & Unwin
Source: I received a free copy from Allen & Unwin for review (thank you!). All views are my own.
Category: Aussie rural romance fiction
Format: Paperback, 360 pages
Kookaburra Cottage on Goodreads