Review: The Girl in the Hard Hat by Loretta Hill

@ Goodreads


Title: The Girl in the Hard Hat

Author: Loretta Hill

Published: Random House January  2013

Synopsis: Wendy Hopkins arrives in the Pilbara to search for the father who abandoned her at birth. Getting mixed up in construction site politics at the Iron Ore wharf just out of town was not high on her ‘to do’ list. But when she takes a job as their new Safety Manager she becomes the most hated person in the area. Nicknamed ‘The Sergeant’, she is the butt of every joke and the prime target of notorious womanizer, Gavin Jones. Giving up is not an option, though. For, as it turns out, only Wendy can save these workers from the coming storm, find a man who wants to stay buried and … put a bad boy firmly in his place.

Status: Read from January 04 to 06, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy Random House Australia/Netgalley}

My Thoughts:

In Loretta Hill’s debut novel, The Girl in Steel Capped Boots, love for Lena Todd and Dan “Bulldog” Hullog was discovered in the most unlikely of places, amongst the red dust of a mining camp in the Pilbara. In The Girl in the Hard Hat, Loretta Hill returns to the iron ore operation on the coast of Western Australia as Wendy Hopkins arrives for her first day as a Saftey Officer at TCN.

After a two year sabbatical Wendy is eager to return to work but on arrival finds there is no job for her, despite the promises made by her Uncle Mike. Wendy is crushed, she needs to stay in the area to search for the biological father she has only just learnt exists, so when she is instead offered an assistant’s position at Barnes Inc she is grateful for the arrangement. Wendy’s first mistake is turning up at the camp wearing TCN’s uniform, starting a rumour that she is a spy for the client. Her second is annoying the camp clerk who assigns her a donga with a broken air conditioner unit and damaged furniture. Her third is informing Carl that the company’s Safety Officer is an alcoholic resulting in the man being unceremoniously fired ad she being promoted to his position. They aren’t the only mistakes Wendy makes but perhaps falling for the camp womaniser, Gavin Jones, will be her fourth and final one.

I was happy to return to Cape Lambert and re discover the characters I had grown familiar with in The Girl in the Steel-Capped Boots. Lena, Dan, Carl and Sharon all have a role in the story, as do Fish, Leg and Radar. But it is Gavin, the charming, cheeky, womaniser, and Mike, the misogynst bully, who have the most significant roles in The Girl in The Hard Hat.
Gavin Jones turns out to be an alias, for he hides a secret that prevents him from revealing his real identity. Keeping in character he makes a move on Wendy and is rebuffed but that suits Gavin just fine, he isn’t interested in getting involved and Wendy doesn’t strike him as the casual type. Yet he can’t seem to get that single impulsive kiss out of his head, or ignore the sizzle of attraction between himself and the hot blonde.

Mike is also hiding a secret from Wendy, one that will shock her to her core when he finally confesses.

I found it took me a little while to warm to Wendy, she seemed a little cold and officious initially. Eventually we learn that her guarded behaviour disguises her obsession with finding her father and Wendy’s concerns about the safety of the company stem from her failure to prevent a tragic accident at her last job. As she begins to settle into Barnes Inc she recovers some of her equilibrium, befriending her office mate, Chub, as well as Lena and Sharon and daring to admit her attraction to to Gavin, if only to herself.

The romance that develops between Wendy and Gavin burns slowly building sexual tension with smouldering glances and casual touches. There is a little more drama and suspense in The Girl in The Hard Hat- an accident on the wharf, a surprise inspection and a killer stalking the town as a category five cyclone hits the camp head on.

You don’t need to have read The Girl in the Steel-Capped Boots to enjoy this novel but I recommend that you do. Well written, witty and entertaining, The Girl in The Hard Hat is an engaging contemporary romance in an unique Australian setting that I can’t wait to visit again.

Available to Purchase

@Random House Australia I @BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @Amazon Kindle

Via Booko

Still not convinced? Check out these reviews from

January 11-This Charming Mum –


January 12 – The Musings Of Monique –


Download the Free Loretta Hill Sampler



11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marg
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 07:15:46

    Such a fun read! Can’t wait to read more from Loretta Hill!



  2. Danielle
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 11:10:53

    Love this book, love this review – I want more Loretta Hill now, now, now!!!



  3. Denise Maclaren
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 12:50:09

    Sounds Great, Another one for my want list



  4. Loretta Hill
    Jan 11, 2013 @ 14:06:16

    Thank you for such a lovely review. That will keep a smile on my face today



  5. Imelda Evans
    Jan 12, 2013 @ 21:52:39

    This has been on my ‘want to read’ list for a while – must actually get to it! Thanks for another great review, Shelleyrae!



  6. The Australian Bookshelf
    Jan 14, 2013 @ 18:53:57

    Great review Shelleyrae, this one was a really enjoyable read. I can’t wait to read more of Hill’s work!



  7. Trackback: Review: The Girl in the Yellow vest by Loretta Hill | book'd out
  8. Trackback: January 2014 Wrap Up: Romance, Romantic Suspense and Erotica | Australian Women Writers Challenge

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