Irresistible Enemy by Mary Costello
*A copy of this book was supplied by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* It felt completely plausible that the young and not especially beautiful Cassie Bowtell could have lost herself in the bush for years, running around after her animals and enjoying her few local friendships. But for the fact that fate took matters into its own hands (and I liked the astrological moment about this) Cassie and the local property developer, Hart Huntingdon, would never have met, let alone discovered an attraction for one another.
Hart and Cassie are a completely unlikely couple, made all the more unlikely because the author was so entirely successful (perhaps through her familiarity with her background settings and with the help of characters like Kaylene, Mimi and Heather) in creating two protagonists who actually, should not be together. I wondered whether she’d be equally successful in breaking down the conflict between them. She was. It shone through the slow blossoming of this relationship; I could almost see Hart squirming on the page as Cassie kept him at a calm but genuine distance. And for me, it was perfect that the physical relationship didn't get going until it did. Any earlier and the authenticity around Cassie and Hart and their appropriately slow courtship would have been eroded given Cassie’s age and inexperience and her heartfelt commitment to her causes. Yes, this is a ‘sweet’ style romance; my problem with that word is that it’s sometimes reviewing code for ‘the story lacked depth’ ‘or ‘I had to wait too long for the physical relationship to begin and when it happened, it was disappointing’. In Irresistible Enemy the ‘sweetness’ worked because of the depth of the emotional relationship that developed. In a way, it was a little more ‘love story’ than ‘romance’ and in the end, I was convinced this unlikely duo were perfect for one another.