Review: Highballer (World of Love) by Ava Hayden

What happens when the man is as tempting as the money?
Remy Delacour’s family doesn’t believe in mainstream medicine, and when Remy’s boyfriend reveals that Remy is majoring in nursing, they cut him off. He has to find money to finish his education—fast. And he is so done with boyfriends.

Levi Aronson met the guy of his dreams and followed him to Australia. He knew the chances for a lasting romance were slim—and boy, was he right. Now he’s back in Canada, a year behind in his university program, and short of funds. He needs money, not another man.

Tree planting is a way to make a lot of money fast, but it’s one of the hardest jobs in the world. When Levi, an experienced planter, sees pretty, sloe-eyed Remy, Levi is certain he’ll never last.
They’ll have to pry Remy’s shovel from his cold, stiff fingers, because he won’t quit—or let anything take his eyes off the prize. When a storm brings Remy and Levi together, each finds the other a distraction from the big goal. But can anything develop between two men who have sworn off relationships?

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

A story of determination and will that I truly enjoyed, Highballer is set in Canada in the harsh mountains with the occasional visit to the nearby town. The author sets the scene really well, the hardness of the job and living conditions is obvious (especially to a gal who likes her creature comforts) but it becomes part of the story, not just a massive dump of information - which frankly would have been boooooring.

The harsh nature of the job was explained by defining the characters, how they approached, and their attitude towards, their job and surroundings. How they interacted, not just with each other but with the other workers. It was cleverly done, retaining interest in the story whilst explaining the situation well.

Remy, our inexperienced tree-planter, is a fantastic character. He is so determined to not quit, to succeed, but he doesn't do it in a way that is arrogant or selfish. He was a product of his upbringing in many ways, yet he was able to see beyond the restrictions the lifestyle they led placed on him. He had an amazing strength of character that I admired. I enjoyed that he was different to the other workers but yet he managed to fit in whilst retaining his inner self. He brought a wonderful new dynamic to the tree planting group.

Levi was perhaps more typical at first glance, yet beneath that first impression is another strong character - but one who is able to take time to help the newbie. Maybe reluctantly at first, but he saw the determination Remy carried and helped him. It was the start of a friendship - and then something more. 

I liked the author's writing style. She was easy to read and engaging. I loved that this book was set in Canada - a place I've never been but would love to visit. I liked that the characters weren't run  of the mill, carbon copies of characters I've read a million times. I really enjoyed this read and am thoroughly glad I read it. 

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

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