Today I’m really excited to be part of this tour as it is my first Australian blog tour for Australian author Loretta Hill new book The Girl in the Hard Hat.
Book Blurb :
From the author of The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots comes another funny and deliciously romantic tale of a woman in a man’s world.
Wendy Hopkins arrives in the Pilbara to search for the father who abandoned her at birth.
Getting mixed up in construction site politics at the Iron Ore wharf just out of town was not high on her ‘to do’ list.
But when she takes a job as their new Safety Manager she becomes the most hated person in the area. Nicknamed ‘The Sergeant’, she is the butt of every joke and the prime target of notorious womanizer, Gavin Jones.
Giving up is not an option, though.
For, as it turns out, only Wendy can save these workers from the coming storm, find a man who wants to stay buried and … put a bad boy firmly in his place.
From the first page, I was a captive by the storytelling in this book. Wendy is out of money and needs a job fast and she takes up her Uncle Mike’s offer of a job, but little does she know that he blackmailed the manager and there isn’t actually a job at TCN. She should have listened to her mother; Uncle Mike is the black sheep of the family for that very reason. However, not all is lost, there is another job as a safety officer but it is with the main contractor, Barnes Inc. There is trouble, there is already one safety officer there, who is over their heads and safety is something that workers don’t seem to care about. Cyclone season is approaching so she is hired but has no idea what she is getting herself into and sticks herself right into the thick of things by living there at the camp and stirring up things. This is the first chapter and Hill is just getting started introducing her characters and outlining the troubles facing this community.
Hills knows how to keep us on our toes. She knows when to introduce something juicy into the story and in the second chapter we learn another secret that will shape the book. Her father isn’t her biological father and it’s a secret that had been kept for years and nearly everyone in her family knew but didn’t tell her. So she is on a mission and goes armed with the only clues about her father, that he has toes missing and it happened in an accident in Karratha where the Wharf is located .
She soon finds the crowd tough at Barnes, has only a few allies and she’s getting things done and earning a reputation of being a hard nose. She has not learned anything worthwhile and she’s becoming desperate with the only other clue to her father’s identity and turns to Gareth. Gareth is known as the local womanizer and has tried to chat up the other girls in the camp with disastrous results but he moved past and Wendy is his new target. Wendy is not going to play easy for him. His first move is a disaster and she gets an earful about him. But she is also seeing a different side to him that the others don’t see and she’s falling for him. Meanwhile, Gavin is coming to realise that he has to change for this woman, she’s not casual fling material. He sees that she has emotional issues and knows the three rules he lives by:
Women who were damaged often ignored the rules of engagement, which numbered three:
1. No commitment.
2. No regrets.
3. No emotional intimacy.
However, Wendy is getting under his skin and when I thought I knew everything there was to know about the main characters, Bam! there is another surprise and this time it concerns Gareth and explains the reason why he acts like he does. However, it takes a backseat as they seem to get into arguments or something happens that keeps their attention on the job. The secret is big and soon this story has another dimension as there is another story in this story to tell. I’m still grasping the talent that has written this book and I’m only halfway in at this point. Hill has written a piece of literature that resonates with the new image Australia is trying to convey for the bush and women in male stereotypical jobs.
If you’re looking for an Aussie book that doesn’t hold back the punches and gives a story that will leave you laughing at some points and other times ponder what Wendy is thinking, this is the book for you. Loretta Hill has a new fan after my reading this and I must go and buy the first book in this series. Strong female characters in unusual jobs— I‘m there. Wendy is not only a delightful Alpha woman in this book, there is also Lena and Sharon. I’m hoping Sharon or Annabel get their own story so we can follow this Wharf and the workers who live out in the bush. Alpha Woman, yes, I loved the word Hill used to describe the women in the camp who take no fuss when it comes to the workers and date the men in charge. Wendy fitted right in and was the perfect foil for Gavin, her love interest who loved to stir Wendy up yet had another side to him that I came to love.
Publisher : Random House Australia
Source : Publicist Provided for review
Released : January 2nd 2013
Loretta was born in Perth, Western Australia, the eldest of four girls. She enjoyed writing from a very early age, spinning stories almost as soon as she could read them.
She was first published in the West Australian Newspaper with a short story about a circus horse when she was eleven years old. They paid her ten dollars for it and she knew she’d found her calling.
She put her dream on hold however, to pursue a less risky career in engineering. Blessed with her fathers knack for science, she graduated from the University of Western Australia and began working as a structural engineer. She continued to create stories in her free time.
She now writes contemporary romances for Avalon Books under the name Loretta Brabant and mainstream commerical women’s fiction for Random House Australia under the name Loretta Hill. She is happily married with three young children. When Loretta isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, good food and travelling.