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REVIEW: South African Author, Melissa A. Volker’s Debut Novel – A Fractured Land

I’ve really lost my reading mojo this year. Life, work, stuff. Actually, I lie, stupid Instastories have had me distracted. And as a result. I’ve only read 13 books this year. Usually, by this point of the year, I’m on about 40. So my Good Reads reading challenge is not going well! 

The last book I read….

Which I devoured in just over a week, was the debut novel by South African author, Melissa A. Volker, A Fractured Land. 

Left with a huge debt by her runaway ex-husband, Lexi Taylor is out of money and out of luck. In search of a new beginning and determined to be on her own, she moves back home to sleepy Graaff Reinet to run the Inn at Apricot Farm. Free of the problems of her old life, Lexi finally feels she’s getting back on track–until American Carter O’Brien arrives in town.

South Africa is a long way from his home in Texas, but it’s the fresh start Carter needs–and his last chance. A former musician and the wayward son of an oil industry tycoon, he has been sent to the Karoo Basin to search for shale gas and is expected to succeed. Harbouring some serious mistakes in his past with his work and his ex, Carter can’t afford any distractions, no matter how beautiful.

Carter was prepared for potential problems–fracking protests, angry farmers, violent resistance to his presence–but fighting his attraction to Lexi wasn’t one of them. But as Lexi gets drawn into Carter’s work and his life, the pair must confront danger from an unknown enemy in the Karoo . . . and from their own hearts.

Obviously, I love to support local and so when Melissa asked if she could send me a digital copy of the book, in an exchange for an honest review, I said yes!

My thoughts.

While the book is toted as environmental fiction and romance, provided by Lexi & Carter, to be honest, I struggled a bit with the chemistry between these two. But I did enjoy the mystery and intrigue that is woven into the story, actually, for me, I found the crime and mystery element of the book far more gripping. Paul’s story, which is interlinked with Lexi, and unravels throughout the novel, was far more intriguing in my opinion.  Melissa writes interesting characters, Marika, as an example, who starts out seemingly wonderful and turns out to be a bit of a puppet master/villian in the book was thoroughly enjoyable, I went from loving her to hating her by the end of the story. 

I also absolutely loved how Melissa managed to capture life in small town Graaf Reinet and her use of language to so perfectly depict the arid landscape of the Karoo was breathtaking. 

It is a solid 4 star read for me. Hugely entertaining. 

Support local, get a copy of Melissa’s debut novel on Amazon now. Buy it here: 

What are you reading and loving at the moment? 

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