Monday 20 July 2020

Book Review: The Lawson Sisters by Janet Gover

Photo: Author's own
Full disclosure: The Lawson Sisters by Janet Gover is the first book I have ever been sent by a publisher (Thanks Harlequin – I have discovered I LOVE book mail), and I also consider Janet to be a friend of mine, which is why I was glad I liked this book! It would have been terrible if I had to tell her it stank. 😉

I’ve also not written a book review, all proper-like, since year nine in high school (which was more than 30 years ago <argh!>). So, here’s hoping this is on point… and doesn’t give away too many spoilers.

The Lawson Sisters is a tale of two very different, but very similar, women who also happen to be sisters – Elizabeth and Kayla. Following the death of their parents in a car accident, Elizabeth stays on the family stud, keeping the business alive, while a much younger Kayla is packed off to boarding school. They go their separate ways until Elizabeth needs her sister’s help to rescue the stud and she’s ultimately none too happy with Kayla’s idea to give them the income they need.

I opened the book staunchly on Liz’s side – but as the story progressed, I wanted to just take her out to the stables and shake some sense into her. She’s hard to like. I also started out thinking that Kayla would be a spoiled brat, only to grow fonder of her as I got deeper into the book, so I think Janet does her job in developing multi-dimensional, and realistic characters. I can definitely understand how the sisters got to where we find them in the first chapter, and how they are who they are through the resolution of the conflict and secrets.

Photo: Author's own - Irish National Stud 2014
As for the main secondary character – Mitch – I’d have liked to have seen a little more fire in Mitch… but that being said, I’m a romance reader at heart and this is definitely a romantic elements tale – the story is Elizabeth’s and Kayla’s to tell (not Elizabeth’s and Mitch’s).

I also have to mention the extra ‘character’ in this book – which is the setting. Janet has clearly done her research, and builds a clear picture with her words of the Australian rural landscape, contrasted nicely on occasion with the city. She also does a wonderful job in detailing the Willowbrook homestead, and how it comes alive again over the course of the sisters’ relationship repair.

The one thing that did bug me about the book is the pacing. We get great build up with short chapters that pull you along for the ride but I’d have liked it to linger a little longer in the second half with a little more emotional payoff from the sister’s relationship. Things resolve pretty sharply after the climax and I’d have liked a little more time to sit with the end of the story. I’m also a little perplexed at how Mitch’s parents didn’t do more for Elizabeth at the time of her parents’ death… but these are things we’re left to wonder.

Overall, four out of five stars from me!

P.S. There were also tears, so make sure you have tissues handy.

Kristine Charles writes sexy tales where coffee (and red wine) is abundant, designer shoes and handbags are cheap, chocolate has no calories and men always put the toilet seat down. Find her at or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I love to love... reading. Figures, huh? But I've been reading more this month and loving it!

I love to laugh... while reading The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa.

I love to learn... about myself. This month I'm doing a course about how my personality affects my writing process and... wow!


  1. Kristine, this sounds like a great book! And bonus points for receiving it via book mail from the publisher! So jealous. It's funny, isn't it - when you sometimes read a book as a writer, you find yourself rewriting the book the way *you* want it to go... Sounds like you had a few thoughts in that direction. The characters sound strong, which is why you had such strong reactions to them. In the past, all the romance heroines were 'perfect', dare I say, with very few flaws. Now, the flaw is often the making of them because everyone can empathise. A different way of writing characters. Interesting and wonderfully honest review. And now I'm going to look up The Worst Best Man because, that title... ;)

    1. I know! Book mail is the best mail! Yep, Lizzie was definitely flawed - but in a good way! And yes - that title (and the cover) is what attracted me to The Worst Best Man!

  2. Hi Kristine. A lovely honest review and I love the idea of a sister's book where we really get into the minds of the characters. Well done to Janet.

  3. Hi Kristine! Great review of what sounds like another good book by Janet. Love to hear more about the course on how personality affects writing.

    1. Janet is pretty reliable! And I'm halfway through the course... will give you an update in August!

  4. Hi Kristine. Thanks for a great review of "The Lawson Sisters". I'm looking forward to reading it.

    1. Thanks Sharon - love to hear what you think when you get to it!


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