Fairway to HeavenI hosted my first ever guest author on the blog last Friday, Lily Malone, and what a lovely guest she was! (You can read her interview here.)

We talked about her novel, ‘Fairway to Heaven‘. It would be years, decades even, since I read a romance novel and I don’t know why I chose to delve into this genre at this particular time, but I’m glad I did—it was pure escapism, and exactly what I needed on a Saturday afternoon.

The novel starts with the Jennifer Gates, mother of year-old Seb, wanting to surprise Jack, her long-term partner and father of her son. Unfortunately, she is the one who gets the surprise, finding Jack in a bunker with one of his private golf students, without his underwear, if you get my drift. Jen packs up her son and leaves for her friend’s beach shack by Geographe Bay, in the southwest of Western Australia. When she arrives, a rejected love from her past also happens to be staying there, and the question becomes will they or won’t they rekindle their romance …

From the outset I loved this novel. The writing’s good, the plot is solid, and the characters are realistic. There’s humour and wit, and it’s been thoroughly edited so there’s not a word out of place. The story clips along at a good pace and is never boring, and the sensual scenes are, ahem, quite titillating.

For example, I can hear this voice:

‘Jack has a beautiful voice—it’s like gravel tumbled through silk.’

I can see this:

‘Geographe Bay is leaden, flat. Like liquid solder, waiting for a spark.’

And I can smell this:

‘In the soft light, he’s a glorious mountain of man, all smooth muscle and supple skin. He smells of soap, toothpaste and crisp summer sheets.’

Another reason I particularly liked this book was because it’s not your usual, run-of-the-mill romance—it’s very contemporary. Jen, the protagonist, is a single mother and she also has an ‘issue’, one that makes having sex difficult. Lily handles this honestly and well, and, for me anyway, it didn’t take away from the romance of the story.

The other thing I really loved was the humour and there are some laugh out loud moments:

‘He’s got a full head of greying hair that always looks like he’s spent a lifetime walking into a prevailing wind.’

And this:

‘Twice in my life I’ve tried to read the Bible. Both times, I haven’t got past the story of Moses. He’s such a great hero, Moses, and that bit where he parts the Red Sea? Awesome. He’s a hard act to follow. Maybe that’s why I’ve read no further. Everything after Moses is an anti-climax.’

This novel is pure escapism and I thoroughly enjoyed being able to sink into a book meant for enjoyment. I may well find myself ‘escaping’ more often.

Fairway to Heaven by Lily Malone, available as an e-book for $3.99

This is my tenth book review for the Australian Women Writers’ Challenge for 2014! Yay! I’ve met my goal.