Get truckin’: Queen of the Road

Have I introduced you to Jade? No? Well that’s quite remiss of me…

I’d like to welcome our newest TBYL Reviewer, Jade Blann. Jade’s a friend of a friend of TBYL at she’s been wonderfully generous with her time, agreeing to take a look at the recently released Queen of the Road by Tricia Stringer (Harlequin).

Here’s what Jade thought of this outback, truckin’ tale…

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queen-of-the-roadIn an attempt to sort out her mounting debt and escape the problems she has created during a drunken wedding, Angela agrees to help out her Dad’s trucking business by temporarily re-locating to Munirilla, a remote farming community between Adelaide and Perthwhich. Munirilla is relying on Angela to transport their essential supplies in Big Red, her double B truck. Problem is, not everyone is pleased to see a female driving the truck, much less one with an inquisitive four-year-old Claudia in tow.

From the outset I was attracted to this story by the idea of a female truckie. I take great satisfaction in any female pushing her way into an environment that is generally male dominated, and Queen of the Road was packed full of strong women forging ahead in this arena. Angela is welcomed into the community by many locals, after all, they have been desperate for someone to provide a regular, and reasonably priced service of goods back and forth to the city. But it turns out not everyone is happy that the new service is being provided by a woman. Suddenly orders are being changed or cancelled, information is mis-communicated and Angela’s attempts to bring some stability to the community seem to be in jeopardy.

Adding to Angela’s problems, Claudia’s father turns up, wanting contact with his daughter, just when Angela thought she had finally come to terms with the fact he was no longer a part of her life. Then appears Coop, a farm-hand from out of town, in the area to keep things going while his boss Alice, another admirable character, spends time under going treatment in an Adelaide hospital. Coop is a loner, itching to move on but he made Alice a promise, and Coop is a man of his word. When he meets Angela, Coop discovers feelings he hasn’t encountered in a long time. the trouble is, does Angela feel the same? Coop has his own problems to deal with, the fields need planting and the seeder needs fixing, it looks like Alice’s predicted rain is finally arriving and now sheep have gone missing. Thus ensues a lovely dance of emotions, as both characters work on dealing with their own problems.

While being a fairly predictable romance story, Queen of the Road incorporates a variety of mystery elements, making for an interesting read. This kept me engaged and wanting to know more. I had great respect for several of the characters and Claudia’s antics amused me, maybe because I have my own four-year-old daughter! On the whole, I found this to be a very enjoyable read, and I read it faster than I’ve read a book in a long time – I think that that fact itself speaks volumes!

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Sounds like a fantastic blend – strong women, hard work, outback romance.

If you’d like to find out more about Queen of the Road by Tricia Stringer, you’ll find details here…

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