Country Loving has a lot of country in it, to be precise, a Devon farm in the small town of Talyton St. George. And different kinds of love – unrequited love felt by a doting boyfriend, the dutiful love a daughter feels for her sick estranged father, love between a young girl and the man who almost raised her and taught her everything, but above all, the love a girl feels for her piece of land, and the legacy of her forefathers. No, I am not talking about Tara!
Stevie is a successful accountant living in posh Wimbeldon. Her life’s made. Boyfriend Nick works with her and is loaded. She jet sets to exotic locations, and almost has a diamond on her finger. Suburban life beckons with the prospect of a nice house, loving husband and kids. But secretly Stevie yearns for her family farm in the small Devon town of Talyton St. George. A sudden call from the farm foreman throws her life in shambles with news of her father’s illness. Stevie sets off for home with boyfriend in tow in his Aston Martin.
Stevie’s family has a dairy farm, which is a change from reading about cattle ranches where the cattle are just ‘meat’. Obviously, the cows are loved and cared for, or should be! Stevie is shocked to see how run down the place has become. It seems her father never recovered from her mother’s death a year ago and has let the farm run to seed. Threats of losing their dairy cows are real enough. Stevie has to roll up her sleeves and literally start cleaning the muck.
After conveniently blowing off her almost fiancé Nick, Stevie works very hard to keep the farm above the red line. Handsome vet Leo doesn’t seem as arrogant as before, and they start seeing each other. Stevie wants to diversify and has grand plans to modernize her dairy farm. Fate has something else in store for her, however. Will Stevie be able to hold on to Leo? How will the latest revelations affect her life?
Country Loving is like coming home for someone who is closely associated with farming, or has ever worked on a farm. And it is a glimpse into a different life for city slickers. Some of the cow related details seemed a bit too much at times. A lot of the daily life of a dairy farmer is painted in excruciating detail, certainly not for the squeamish. I felt Stevie was quite callous in getting rid of boyfriend Nick. It is evident that she never reciprocated his feelings. How else could she have broken up an 18 month old relationship about to culminate into marriage over the phone?
Country Loving is very different from the usual romance books I read. A whiff of fresh air with the scent of hay and cow dung mixed in!