Title: Mr. Right Now (The Callahans of Stringybark Creek #2)
Author: Karly Lane
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
I received a copy of Mr. Right Now from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Romantic and exciting, the story of the Callahans of Stringybark Creek continues. Readers of Fiona Palmer and Rachael Johns will love this.
Griffin Callahan and Olivia Dawson were inseparable. Everyone in town knew it. But when Griff went off to Ag College, Liv told him it was over and fled her family’s farm to study law. Griff had never understood her reasons, but eventually accepted that first loves don’t last. Until now.
Currently back on the farm to help her twin brother with the harvest, Liv is the same gorgeous, laughing, hazel-eyed girl he’d always loved. Yet Griff can sense a difference, an uncertainty playing beneath the surface, that wasn’t there before.
Amid crossed wires, drunken declarations, and families on a mission, will Griff and Liv finally have a second chance? Or will the old saying – if you love someone set them free – become their reality?
To say that I’ve been waiting for the sequel to The Wrong Callahan might be understating just how excited I’ve been to read this book! The Wrong Callahan was a book that I absolutely adored reading back in December 2018 (complete with much-needed scones and jam) and I’ve been hanging out for Karly Lane’s new book ever since.
Mr. Right Now follows the story of Griffin Callahan (the brother and one third of the ‘love triangle’ in the first book) and his childhood sweetheart, Olivia Dawson, who separated when Griffin went off to college. Griffin and Olivia never really resolved their feelings for one another and when there’s an accident on Olivia’s family’s farm, she returns back to Stringybark Creek to help her brother out and crosses paths with her past flame. There’s a whole lot of miscommunication, interfering (in a good way!) families and uncertainty as Griffin and Olivia navigate who they are to each other now that they’ve both got some life experience under their belt.
I loved this.
There’s really nothing else I can say about it, but I’ll try anyway. Karly Lane has a wonderful way of creating a sense of place – Stringybark Creek comes alive off the page, with the detail about farming life and small, country towns, and families who know the ins-and-outs of everything to do with everyone. Her books are ones that I can pick up, without reading anything about it, sit down and enjoy with a cup of tea and know that I’m in for a wonderful reading experience.
Much like the first book, the characters leap off the page; each one is easily recognisable, someone you could almost-certainly run into should you step into any Australian country town. Griffin is the brother that stayed and is helping run his family’s farm and has big ideas to bring it into the modern age (even if he does occasionally butt heads with his father). He lives for his family, and despite his actions in the first book – some of which caused no small amount of angst amongst other family members – the reader can tell how hard he’s trying to make his life work and to get to know who Olivia Dawson is now that she’s lived a life out of their small town.
Olivia, on the other hand, is perhaps Lane’s most relatable character (at least, to me) – she’s a woman who’s gone out and made it. She’s a strong, independent woman. She went to university and became a lawyer and made something of herself in a big city, and yet when she returns home to help out her family, she has to face all the things she ran away from when she left the town as a teenager. She has a lot of growing up to do and she doesn’t trust people the same way she did as a kid. Both she, and Griffin, have to learn what they are to each other now and it’s not without it’s problems. The lovely thing is that they both grow from the experience.
Of course, one of the highlights of the book are the family members who pop up (especially the Callahan crew) who always seem to step in at inconvenient moments or make a situation just that touch awkward in the way that only families can do. But it’s always done from a place of love and that’s what makes reading these books feel like coming home.
Just as a I said last year, I cannot wait for the next instalment of The Callahans of Stringybark Creek – bring on the characters, the family and relationship drama and the wonderful reading experience. These are books I know I can fall into time and time again and still be transported.