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WATERSHED by Cd Brennan

Reviewed by Maria

Irish Australian romance seems to be in fashion.  I recently reviewed a romance by a young Australian author about an Aussie girl and an Irish fellow.  That one took place in Ireland.  This romance takes place in Australia, except this time, the lady's Irish and the boy is an Aussie.

As a writer, Cd Brennan is powerful.  Lucid and articulate, she brings the outback of Australia alive with her vivid descriptive powers.  She uses Australian terms throughout the book in a way that arouses the non-Australian readers interest rather than makes them feel left out.  From the author bio, I know she's a well travelled woman and it shows.

Maggie, the heroine of the story, is a gentle, Irish ladylike miss, from Portumna in county Galway.  She's a graduate in English literature from Trinity College in Dublin and she is now travelling the world, mainly to avoid being pushed into marriage with Fergus, a farmer from the same community. Maggie's gentle character came out very well in the story.

Gray, the hero, is a man who works the land, lean, muscular and practical.  Attracted though he is to Maggie, he covers it up with a gruff exterior.  He feels she might think she's too good for him.  Early on, Maggie realizes that she has feelings for Gray in spite of the fact that he seems interested only in sparring with her.  The trouble is, maybe I missed something, but I couldn't for the life of me actually figure out what she saw in him.  Okay, so he had a killer body.  But he was a surly customer, someone who would really put me off.  However, I wasn't reading the book to experience the thrill of falling in love, I was reading it to learn more about Australia, so I figured Maggie could have him.  I enjoyed the book anyway.

Some of the book was told from Gray's point of view (POV), some from Maggie's. Now, you can call me particular, but when I'm reading an Irish story by an Irish author, I generally always know, sort of, without being told, if you know what I mean. I suppose it has something to do with being Irish myself.  I'll grant Cd Brennan this much, she didn't commit the mortal sin of trying to write with an Irish accent and for that I was exceedingly grateful (there is nothing worse than having to wade through a flood of 'bejapers and begorrah' writing and having to pretend you don't feel irritated).  Cd wrote normally for her Irish character, inserting the odd Irish phrase in here and there, which was great.  But....I'm open to brickbats on this one, but I've never heard an Irish person using the phrase 'thank jaysus' unless they were a complete lowlife.  Not a ladylike Irish colleen from a farming family.  Being from Dublin, I've heard 'thanks be to jaysus' many a time (Blessed be the Holy Name), but that's another thing entirely.  I've been away from Ireland a long time, however. Maybe things have changed.  And Irish people, Catholic or otherwise, to the best of my knowledge, don't pray to St. Brigid either, unless it's February the 1st and they happen to be going to Mass that day.

Just when you're ambling along complacently, this book will surprise you.  It certainly surprised me.  I was more than surprised, not to mention rather amused,  when the fellow Maggie's family was trying to hook her up with turned out to be  what would have been known as a 'yahoo' in my day. A drinkin', fightin' Irishman! A loose cannon if ever there was one, not exactly a cultured Irish man from a good family. The description of the driving rain and flooding had me glued to my e reader.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I found it an exceptionally well written read, minor nitpicks notwithstanding.  And yes, I would love to read more from this author.