Fleeced by Lisa Thompson is city meets country Australian chicklit. It starts out well with lovely young Melanie looking for love and unresolved feelings for Richard who she plays in a band with doing weddings and other celebrations. To make ends meet Melanie also works weekends touring around country shows wearing sparkly dresses and playing organs to tempt buyers into making a snap purchase (No I’ve never seen anyone trying to sell organs at country shows either, but this is fiction). While taking a tea break she has a run in with a runaway ram and is rescued by handsome farmer Gary Quatermaine. Things go along as they do in chicklit and before long they are engaged, have booked the local club for the reception and Melanie is trying to adjust to life on the farm.
The book goes along in this vein for a while and eventually (because we all know that Melanie isn’t supposed to end up with Gary, natch) the cracks start to show. This is where it got a bit problematic in parts for me. One of the ‘issues’ was that Gary likes dressing up in women’s clothing and wearing makeup. Melanie takes this stoically but bemoans him using her expensive cosmetics. Why she didn’t just buy him some of his own next time she was in the city I don’t know, or maybe mail order? There is also a bit about non-traditional relationships, possible BDSM play and kink which is all horrifying for Melanie. It just seemed that the book took some cheap shots to move the narrative along. To cut a long story short, she ditches the farmer, gets some revenge and ends up with Richard, presumably happy ever after. It’s just a shame that what had the makings of a good book with some great characters fizzled at the end.
This is my second review for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012.