Loved this book!
At twenty-five, Hank owns a small parcel of land in Australia’s rural southwest where he supplements his income from the property with seasonal shearing. Hank is a “shearing gun”—an ace Shearer able to shear large numbers of sheep in a single day. His own father kicked him out when his sexuality was revealed, and since no one would ever hire a gay shearer, Hank has remained firmly closeted ever since.
Elliot is the newbie doctor in town—city-born and somewhat shell-shocked from his transplant to the country. When a football injury brings Hank to Elliot’s attention, an inappropriate sexual glance and the stuttered apology afterward kickstarts their friendship. Romance and love soon blossom, but it’s hard for either of them to hope for anything permanent. As if the constant threat of being caught isn’t enough, Elliot’s contract runs out after only a year.
This one came highly recommended to me. I love books set in Australia so I was excited to read it before I ever opened the cover. (Love the cover too) I was not disappointed. This is a wonderful romance with a wealth of information about the life and work involved in raising and shearing sheep and living in a rural Australian village. It is rather detailed regarding the shearing and instead of it being tedious, I was completely intrigued. The author made me feel like I was experiencing it right alongside of Hank and Elliot.
Hank is a great character, humorous, hardworking, and very likeable. His fear of coming out is completely understandable after the reaction he gets from his father when he came out to him and what his uncle endured because he is gay. His Uncle and his partner are lovely characters and I enjoyed the role they play in the story.
Hank makes sure he fits in Dumbleyung. No dating, no local hook ups – No fishing in one’s backyard – (I love the fishing analogies he uses, several good chuckles there) He also plays football, which brings him to the local clinic after an injury, and under the care of Elliot, the new doctor in Dumbleyung. When Elliot gets caught checking Hank out during his exam, Elliot goes to Hank’s farm to apologize, Hank assures him that it is no problem, he won’t let on to anyone and that he is ok with Elliot being gay.
Elliot is a wonderful character; he is from the city and was out and proud until he came to Dumbleyung. He is a brilliant doctor and a sweet man who enjoys the small things in life even though he comes from a wealthy family. Thinking he was going to have to be in the closet and have no close friends or companions until his contract is up, the unexpected friendship with Hank changes all of that. Even more so as they get to know one another and he learns Hank is more like him than he was led to believe. Oh, this scene is priceless.
The story has many humorous moments, wonderful secondary characters and some beautiful, tender moments between Hank and Elliot. This has to be one of my favorite books that I have read this year. Don’t be intimidated but the Australian vernacular, there is a glossary in the front of the book, but the author does a great job giving enough information to be able to figure out the words or phrases from context.
After reading this book, I can see why it was highly recommended and I completely agree.