Bottlebrush Creek by Maya Linnell. (2020).
**4 out of 5 stars**
Between managing a bustling beauty salon, hectic volunteer commitments and the lion’s share of parenting her 2 year old, Claudia, Angie barely has time to turn around. She also feels her relationship with fly-in, fly-out boyfriend Rob is slipping away. When Rob faces retrenchment, the couple find a fabulous fixer-upper and think it’ll be perfect to draw their family together. The catch…it’s right next to Rob’s parents’ property. It doesn’t take long for rising tensions to set a wedge between the couple. They need to find out the hard way whether the renovation will draw them closer or tear them apart…
This was my last book of 2020, and I read the entire thing on New Year’s Eve; it was really enjoyable. A lot of readers have tagged this as a rural romance but to be honest I think it is actually a family domestic drama. There is romance elements and a lot of the book is about the relationship changes and development for Angie and Rob, but I still think this is more in line with a domestic drama, especially with the addition of Rob’s family next door. Which I think for most of us, it would absolutely have to be your dream property to consider living next door to family for the rest of your lives, no matter how close your relationship may be hahaha. I think the author did an excellent job of writing the dramas between Angie and her mother-in-law Rosa; it was clearly shown that both women had good intentions and both overstepped/overreacted at times which felt completely realistic.
Overall, this is a great heart-warming read that will make you laugh, frown, cringe and smile along the way.