It’s Love, Dude by Jenny Schwartz

In brief: A coastal romance between champion surfer Zane and local girl Molly, with some conservation messages too.

The good: It’s a realistic romance and a fun read.

The not-so-good: Zane’s great, but I need some more woylies!

Why I chose it: eARC from Escape Publishing – thank you!

Year: 2013

Pages:  127 (eARC)

Publisher: Escape Publishing

Setting: Western Australia, Queensland and some exotic surfing locales

My rating: 8 out of 10

OK, I admit it. I am not the surfing type at all. I know the brands from high school, and I don’t mind watching a bit when I’m down Margaret River way but that’s it. So why did I pick up a surfing romance? Well, coastal romance is hot and so is Zane, our surfing world champion in It’s Love, Dude. Plus, it has woylies in it. Don’t know what a woylie is? It’s this cute critter (also known as a brush tailed bettong):

(Image from Perth Zoo)

They’re nocturnal marsupials that are critically endangered.

I love that Jenny Schwartz has combined a romance with a message about how destruction of the woylie’s natural habitat is threatening their survival. Australia has so many interesting animals, but we need to protect them. (The conservation message is not overpowering, there’s plenty of other plot and romance too). The story begins when Zane returns to his hometown to open a skate park and Molly, an assistant to the local politician captures his eye. She’s also very chummy with his grandfather Tom – why? Zane is suspicious, but Molly’s sweet and determined nature wins him over. Soon, their romance is blossoming – until Zane has to leave the country. His career is at an all-time high – can they withstand a long distance relationship? Can the woylies be saved from destruction – despite nobody reliable having seen them?

Zane is a very down to earth character for a superstar and fortunately for me, there’s not too much surfing lingo. Molly is a good girl, but she has a good eye for taking opportunity, as well as standing up for causes. They’re realistic, lovable characters. Mrs Li, who likes to call Molly with outlandish stories, adds some light relief to the plot. Tom, Zane’s grandfather, provided some home truths as well as being a good soul. I liked that the plot didn’t contain too much conflict (people going off on crazy tangents due to a word misunderstood is not my favourite trope) but that the subsidiary threads kept it fresh.

A light and fun read, catch this wave!

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