Thursday, 2 July 2015

Outback Flames (Review)

Hi there!

Title: Outback Flames
Author:  Suzanne Brandyn
Publisher:  Sunburnt Enterprises
Published Date:  1st January 2015
Rating: 3 Stars

*Thank you to the author for the review copy*

Synopsis: At thirteen, Zoe Montgomery's life changed overnight, the night her family and their property, Montagreen, went up in flames. The incident and her previous memories are wiped from her mind. Whisked away moments later by an unknown aunt, Zoe learns to grow up fast and learns the value of hard work.

Fifteen years later, after overhearing her aunt's whispers about Montagreen, and a girl called Zoe Montgomery, the name on her bracelet, Zoe's suspicions increase. She flees the only life she has ever known, and escapes her aunt's harsh lies and abuse, to return home to find answers and rebuild.

However, returning opens not only the devastation she'd left behind, it reveals the torment her childhood sweetheart suffered which almost destroyed his life.

As Jordan works on the restoration of Montagreen, can they battle their way through a mountain of obstacles and take over where they left off, or is it too late?

Review: This wasn’t necessarily a bad read. However, it wasn’t a memorable or unique read at all. I am generally not a huge fan of the romance genre because I believe a lot of romances simply blend into one another – there needs to be something different to add to the mix. But this book didn’t have that ‘something different’ which I feel always needs to be there.

The writing style was decent enough and pretty easy to read. I think the author did try to go for a bit too realistic a kind of dialogue seeing as Zoe ended up saying things like ‘um’ a lot, and it irritated me. I could understand the want for realism, but it got repetitive quickly, and bothered me.

Zoe herself was a nice character. She had been through a lot as a child and was basically grown up like Cinderella. I loved how strong she was and eager to start her life again, even though she wasn’t completely sure how she was going to do it. She was all prepared to be independent, but I am grateful that she didn’t have to be because she was still going through a traumatic time and needed someone to support her. That ended up being Jordan who has known Zoe since they were young but is harbouring his own secrets. I liked him well enough, but there didn’t seem to be anything very special about him from what I could see. 


I did like the use of setting. As anyone can tell, I have a soft spot for stories that are set anywhere but the usual America or Britain combo. So having this set in sunny Australia? Bonus points from me.

I felt like they fell in love here a bit too fast. They’d only known each other for days, and they seem to be ready to go into a serious relationship. I couldn’t see that being very realistic. And by the end of the novel I believe they have known each other for approximately a month but they end up making a pretty big decision in their relationship. I found it all to be too soon and too much. Slow down! This is also a pretty clean romance (anything heading in the explicit direction has the scene cut and left open ended.)

I did find the ending to be a bit too easily resolved. It could’ve been a lot more suspenseful but I wasn’t getting that impression at all, and that left the book feeling a bit flat and bland. I couldn’t feel the sense of a climax.

All in all, a decent read but nothing special or unique about it excepting the setting.

Olivia’s Question: What’s the one thing you would save if your house was on fire?

Olivia-Savannah x

28 comments:

  1. My favorite paperback novels (few of them), my phone, my tablet and my laptop!! That's all, and if possible, one of my favorite jackets!! I would save these if my house was on fire. :-P The book sounds okay and the romance doesn't sound very promising, very apt and nice review :-)

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    1. I think I would take a lot of the same things as you would! It was good, but nothing special.

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  2. I like your honest review. That's the best sort. Other readers can relate to your reading experience.

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  3. Hi Olivia, hope that you are doing well!

    Pity there was nothing special about the book, sometimes that can happen - good on you for finishing it though.

    The one thing I would save would be my camera :)

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    1. I am Steffy! I can imagine an expensive camera would be well worth saving :3

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  4. Mannnn. I've never DNF a book but it actually freaking happened to me the other day so I can totally relate! Kuddos to you for sticking it out and finishing it like the champ you are. :) The cover is absolutely gorgeous! So you would think the plot and characters would have been awesome but sadly , that'a just not always the case girl.

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    1. I try not to DNF books, especially not review copies but it happens every now and again! Don't be too hard on yourself.

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  5. Hi, Olivia - I totally agree with you. The reason I'm not a fan of romance is because I feel it is oh so predictable. However, I do enjoy some that seem to have a little something extra or different added in.
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    1. Yeah, I don't mind the odd romance every now and again, but sometimes it does get tiresome.

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  6. Lovely review as always Olivia! but I don't think this will work for me. Besides being set in Australia, I don't see myself reading it because I know I will probably not enjoy it :/
    And your question, is a hard one. I would love to save all of my books for sure but since I can't do that I would go with my Harry Potter boxset because I'm not letting that get burned for sure hahaha

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    1. I can understand - not every book is for everyone. I can see you saving that!

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  7. This does sound like an average read though, although that cover is gorgeous. I'm not really for endings that are too wholesome, it would have been better if the plot world building was better. Atleast you gave it a try, lovely review overall <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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    1. I did like it as I read it, but it wasn't anything too unique or special.

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  8. Nice review, Olivia. There was a TV show called Five Mile Creek put out by the Disney company that was set in Australia. I enjoyed it, so I do find the setting of this book intriguing. Like you, I have a pet peeve about the rush to the serious "I love you I can't do without you" although I have only been knowing you a month. Thanks for sharing the review.

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    1. Ooh that sounds like a good telly show! I love when the setting is more unique than the usual UK or US. But the rushing is a bit of a downer.

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  9. Nowadays, romance novels are just what the doctor's ordered to get me out of a funk. But I must admit that the desperation in here doesn't appear all that convincing. It might even add to my annoyance. Lol.

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    1. Yes, I love me a good romance novel when I have been reading too many "heavy" books as well.

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  10. I'd save all of my books, ereaders, chargers for said ereaders, and some other items. I've not come across this one before. Great review!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Lekeisha! Seems like a lot of us want to save our books ;)

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  11. Cat, laptops, harddrives, photo albums and my teddy bear. And then I'd start a go-fund-me to replenish my nail polish imperium!

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    1. I would need to save my teddy bear collection as well! DD: Come to think of it. But photos are vital, because they cannot be replaced.

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  12. If my house was on fire I would save myself ;) But I would seriously want to save EVERYTHING! My photo albums... because MEMORIES!!! My laptop because of how many memories are saved on there. ALL THE BOOKS!!! I wouldn't know what to pick. I would cry. You're scaring me by making me answer this ;)

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    1. Saving yourself would definitely be a very VERY good idea. I know the feels - I wouldn't want to lose anything as well.

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  13. There are too many books like this as far as I am concerned. I went along for a long time reading books that I enjoyed well enough and then one day it dawned on me that I couldn't describe hardly any of them after I put them behind. After that epiphany, I stepped up my game and am reading less books that are forgettable. Of course they slip in every now and again, but still... I would almost prefer a book that I hate over one that is lukewarm. At least it gives me something to rant about. :)

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    1. Hmm... I know what you mean about lukewarm stories. My patience when it comes to books really varies. Sometimes I don't mind ranty ones, but then I can't stand them and would much prefer a lukewarm read. And then sometimes I don't want lukewarm ones as well.

      But I feel like the less forgettable, the better, and even bad books are memorable.

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  14. If I read a paranormal novel and did a review I doubt it would be any good because I don't read paranormal. I read romance and loved Outback Flames and Outback Fever by Suzanne Brandyn. As for the ums, I didn't have trouble reading the few there were. It is very strange you reviewed a romance when you don't read them. I'm on Goodreads. I haven't got many accounts but you can find me under Tam Berry. I think a reader has to read that genre to enjoy these types of novels.

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    1. I do read the romance genre though -- I read a little bit of everything and have read some romances that I have loved! I think this is just one book in the romance genre which was nice, but not anything special. I also believe in occasionally reading outside of your genre too.

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