Daintree by Annie Seaton

In brief: The Daintree is the place for some to hide, while others want to exploit it…Emma was looking for a quiet place, but she is disrupted by the return of an old flame and a shocking discovery.

The good: Exciting mix of mystery and romance.

The not-so-good: Some things were a bit wordy and over explained in regards to the Daintree’s natural habitat.

Why I chose it: Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for the copy for this blog tour.

Year: 2016

Pages: 327

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Setting: Daintree region of Queensland

My rating: 7 out of 10

When I first saw the cover of Annie Seaton’s Daintree, I instantly fell in love. The combination of beautiful reflections, serenity and yet that cloudbank in the distance suggests that all may not be calm in this oasis for too long…The cover matches perfectly with this story that reunites two lonely people who stumble across something sinister in the forest, bringing them together as they fight their own demons in the background. It’s not all sweetness, but gutsy with a few shocking chapters! If you’re a fan of romantic suspense, you will definitely enjoy Daintree.

Set in tropical Far North Queensland, Emma Porter has found her quiet life. She lives in an isolated cottage outside of the small town of Dalrymple and happily combines her work as a doctor with that of an alternative (holistic) practitioner. Sure, it can be a bit lonely but that’s what she wants after past hurts. But when she doesn’t get the job of Outreach clinic coordinator/doctor, she’s more than a little surprised to find that the successful applicant is none other than Jeremy, her first love. Their parting many years ago was traumatic and unresolved. Jeremy’s looking for a quiet place of his own to avoid his demons and the family plastic surgery practice. He’s more than happy to see Emma again and respects her ways even though he doesn’t always truly agree with them. But when Emma finds something in the rainforest that doesn’t make sense and her dear friend George is assaulted by strangers, it’s only the start of something big simmering in the town. Who can Emma and Jeremy trust – besides each other?

I haven’t read the first book in the series (Kakadu Sunset, which tells the story of Emma’s sister Ellie) but that didn’t matter. I felt Emma’s life was explained very well and in a bonus, it didn’t spoil the surprises of Ellie’s story. I’m guessing the next story will be about third sister Dru – who knows in which exotic locale she will be? (Actually, if you really want to know, Annie gives a good hint!) I respected Emma as a character, although like Jeremy, I can’t say I was always a fan of some of her actions. I found it a bit difficult to believe that she could be in her late twenties, a senior doctor and have an additional Masters in complementary medicine too – she must be a super genius! Sometimes I felt she got a bit preachy about alternative medicines and some of her speeches (particularly to Jeremy) were a bit of an information dump! (I bet he can Google well after his medical training an MBA – again at a young age). Emma can be a bit impulsive and determined to do things her way, but I found that Jeremy’s character countered her nicely. As a reader, I felt more in sync with him and I could relate to his need to be himself, rather than who everyone else wanted to be.

The supporting characters are also done well. I defy anyone not to love George, Emma’s elderly friend, who is a lovable scamp. Wilma, who lives at the edge of the forest, is a good influence on Emma and incredibly knowledgeable. Even the ‘baddies’ are crafted well – I didn’t even guess one of them!

Daintree is a solid read – once I got used to Emma’s slightly preachy ways and got more of Jeremy, I enjoyed it.

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