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A Roll in the Hay by Lola Keeley

⭐⭐

Posh-landed-gentry meets made-it-on-hard-work vet in this ice queen + enemies to lovers story set in rural Scotland.

Tess Robinson has had a nasty break-up which has cost her her life as she knew it. On the path to rebuilding everything from scratch, she has bought into a practice with her friends (a couple) in the small Scottish village she grew up in. Her arrival back is marked by a wrong turn that leads her to a not-very-pleasant interaction with local royalty, Lady Susannah Karlson. Lady Karlson, for all her uppity veneer, is dealing with a host of her own problems. First she is a closeted lesbian and her marriage to Lord Jamie Karlson was a marriage of appreance and convenience for both of them. Plus, her sister-in-law who is hellbent on possessing the manor and lands that Susannah has inherited and has ambitious plans for. Part of Susannah’s plans include expanding her stables and creating a space for abandoned dogs and cats which means she needs to hire vets too. This is a big possibility for Tess’ practice except Lady Karlson’s first impression of Tess gets in the way. But when Tess does a steller job with Susannah’s favourite filly, things start changing between the two.

Excellent characterisations and evocative descriptions don’t save the romance which totally lacks chemistry between the two leading ladies. There are some good enough run-ins, some typical romance-showcasing situations but despite all that there is really no chemistry between Susannah and Tess. More than an attraction between them, it feels like they just gravitate towards each other. In fact, two other secondary couples are much more interesting. Also, the overly dramatic fire scene towards the end (which solves all Susannah’s problems) is rather amateurish and lacks the smooth polish of experienced romance writing.

At best, this is an okay read. 

⭐⭐

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