Title: Convict Heart (Convict Wives, Book 3)
Author: Lena Dowling
Publisher: Escape Publishing, 208pgs
Genre: Romance, Historical Romance, Clean Romance
A charmingly written, clean historical romance set in Australia when it was a penal colony where free men came to forge their own destinies and make their own fortunes.
While I can’t speak to the authenticity of the setting, I will say that Dowling did an excellent job in making it seem real. The descriptions of the environment and the living conditions were enough to give readers a taste of what life must have been like without getting too wordy or overly long.
The characters were far and away the best part of this book though. The relationship between the two main characters (Nellie and Harry), the way they interacted with each other and responded to each other was all very well crafted and realistic. They were both engaging and likeable and their backstories were interwoven throughout the book which helped to make it an interesting read.
The romance itself was a slow, steady build and through their stories and their personalities, the author was able to provide good, solid reasons for why it was like that. I admit at times it made me want to shake one or the other for being so stubborn, but they had their reasons and it all turned out right in the end.
The ending was satisfying but is still my only minor criticism of the book. Dowling wove a complex tale with setbacks and triumphs that should have led to a grand finale. While the outcome was good, it was a little abrupt. No loose ends, everything tied up nicely, but I’d have preferred if it had stretched another chapter or two with more detail.
Still a very good book and well worth reading especially if you like historical romance.
Rating: 4/5 Carrots
Thanks to NetGalley for my copy of this book.