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The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,124 ratings  ·  137 reviews
‘Let me burst your city bubble for you. This is the Pilbara. And it’s the Pilbara that makes the rules’

Lena Todd is a city girl who thrives on cocktails and cappuccinos. So when her boss announces he’s sending her to the outback to join a construction team, her world is turned upside down.

Lena’s new accommodation will be an aluminium box called a dongar.

Her new social netw
Paperback, 341 pages
Published January 2nd 2012 by Bantam Press
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,124 ratings  ·  137 reviews

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Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Our main character Lena is a recent Engineering graduate in Perth Western Australia, she is uber feminine, loves to organise fun nigh out and adores shopping. She is trying to prove herself as an engineer and wants to make a good go of it. Her boss Ivan calls her into the office to let her know that as part of her Graduate Program requirements she needs to head to regional WA to the Pilbara to work on a project out there. Lena is less than excited about working out there but she knows her future ...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Dec 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-author
The Girl in The Steel Capped Boots is a light contemporary novel that has a distinct Australian feel. It makes the most of it's unique setting, I love that it is set in the Pilbara in Western Australia. A sparsely populated and isolated area of the country, the Pilbara's stunning landscape has unique physical and emotional challenges for those that live and work in it.

I enjoyed the story and the characters. Lena Todd isn't exactly looking forward to spending months in the isolated Pilbara region
When Lena Todd learned from her boss Ivan, that she was to be sent to the site on the Pilbara as the engineer for the construction team, she was bereft. She was a city girl through and through and the thought of no restaurants, no shops, no hair salons – she almost had a panic attack. But she knew she had no choice but to go – her future as an engineer depended on it. With her uni degree creating turmoil in her mind, she gritted her teeth and packed her suitcase.

Arriving on the site was an eye-o
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Lena Todd has landed her dream job, as a graduate engineer for a major firm. After years of struggling through her Uni degree, she has come out the other side with a strong work ethic and a thirst for knowledge. But Lena has a lot to prove, to herself, a certain awful ex-boyfriend and her new company. So when she’s given the option of continuing desk work in the big city, or tackling a hard, on-location job in the outback of Pilbara, Lena decides to take the road less travelled …

Pilbara is unlik
2.5★ I did like elements of this story - the descriptions of the Pilbara were great.

But I didn’t fully believe in the main character, Lena. She is portrayed as a very girly-girl who colour-coordinates her nail polish with her clothes, and seems to be quite a ditzy person in many respects, and yet we are expected to believe that she likes working with steel on construction sites and has the common sense and skills required to be an engineer - the two parts just didn’t seem to gel, for me at leas
Jenny Schwartz
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, aww2012
The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots is perfect! Loretta Hill has written a beguiling romance that rings true with its West Australian setting — and characters! — but is also a coming of age story. Lena is on a quest to prove herself, not least, to herself.

There’s a lovely clarity to the Loretta’s style that captures the rhythms and expressions of Australian speech without exaggerating them into mockery. Humour and courage nicely balance the emotion in the story, and all tangled plot strands are compe
Paula  Phillips
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Review: The Girl in the Steel-Capped Boots - Loretta Hill - January 2012
Wow , where to begin but to say I LOVED this book, it's funny I never used to be too much of an Australian Outback type writer but after reading North Star by Karly Lane, I became hooked -so I blame it on Karly, but then if it wasn't for Karly and all the wonderful Australian novels that she promotes on her site , I wouldn't have met Loretta and heard about her new novel "The Girl in the Steel-Capped Boots". The Girl in the
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Okay, I confess. The Girl in Steel-Capped Boots is the first novel I have ever read where the lead character is an engineer. In fact, it is the first time that I've ever been attracted to a novel which is about the lives of engineers. The novel is essentially a romance set in remote Australia (a popular genre of late,) but I found that as well as the romantic element, I really enjoyed the setting, the technical detail (Loretta Hill is an engineer who did indeed work on the Pilbara in 2001,) and ...more
Helene Young
Jan 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
A humorous and wry look at life in the Pilbara through the eyes of a city girl. I enjoyed it enormously!
Bree T
Lena Todd is a city girl from the top of her head down to her toes. Fresh out of university armed with an engineering degree, she is thrown into panic when her boss tells her that she’s green so they’re sending her up north to get some experience on one of their sites. The Pilbarra, in fact. She’ll be trading her lattes, shopping dates and city apartment for khakis, safety hats and a dongar – basically nothing more than a demountable building a couple metres long by a couple metres wide.

She’s ut
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loved it! My favourite read of the year so far. I'm so glad for the Australian Women Writers Challenge, because I never would have found this book otherwise. It's not my type of book at all, except that it really, really was. I ripped through it in a day.

The sense of place was just wonderful, and I fell a little in love with the Pilbara along with Lena. The characters are memorable and engaging, and the romance was full of tension and spark. I say that as someone who is decidedly not a romance
Nicola Sheridan
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a great read. Based largely in the Pilbara in far north Western Australia it gives an insiders view of an industry many of us only hear about.
It follows the story of Lena, a graduate Engineer on her first 'fly-in-fly-out' job in the Pilbara. The Pilbara with it's striking red landscapes is a place dominated by men, and Lena soon discovers that not everyone is happy about the arrival of a young, fresh from university, female engineer. With a large cast of interesting and funny characters,
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was very disappointed in this book, I expected a light and fun read and I got neither. None of the characters were likeable and I found myself just unable to care about their “problems”. I thought a book set in a rural camp of 350 men with a female main character would do more to tackle sexism but instead the book was tinged with moment after moment of internalised misogyny. And the way this book treated mental illness was frankly appalling. All in all I found myself rolling my eyes and puttin ...more
Rachael Johns
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! It's a bit chick-litty, a bit rural, a bit romance with fabulous characters who are real but lovable. Was good to read about the Pilbara, which doesn't feature heavily in Australian romance fiction. I really enjoyed the plot and watching how the heroine developed into a really strong and likeable woman over the course of the book. The hero is just my type - strong, guarded, honest and deadly attractive.
I'll be awaiting more books from Loretta Hill!!
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, LOVED this book! Couldn't put it down, and I didn't want it to end. My brother is studying to be an engineer, so it gave me a bit more of an insight into what he does. Can't wait to read more books by this author!

Just read this book for a second time and loved it even more if that's possible!! Wanted to refresh my mind before reading the sequel. Can't wait to see what happens with Lena and Dan. Never get tired of reading this book, and would give it 10 stars if I could!
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
Loved every second of this!
Seena Seena
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very solid read! Loved the pace of it all! Loved the characters & there were a lot of LOL moments!
Bec Pink
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Don't usually read fiction but this was recomended to me so thought I'd give it a crack. Definitely resonated with many of the main characters challenging situations in a male dominated work place. The story wasn't as predictable as I originally thought, but still had a pretty mooshy ending. All in all I definitely enjoyed this book.
Tara Chevrestt
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australia
I actually read the author notes at the end of this and was intrigued to discover that the author was an engineer on the site of a wharf in 2001. And the Cape Lambert wharf really was widened. To me, this makes the book even cooler.

I enjoyed this story. I think we've all been there--men and women both. Fresh out of school, eager to prove yourself, inexperienced and not taken seriously, nervous that you'll f*ck up, as Carl in this book would say. (Trust me, once you read this book, you'll get tha
Jun 23, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Moon Love
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars! I enjoyed reading about Lena, an engineer who is stationed in the outback. She's a city girl and doesn't expect to be met with the hostility she is. Not to mention, she's already doubting her capabilities to begin with.

Ms.Hill has worked in the construction industry and therefore knowledgeable about how it can be for women to work in that field. While I found the sexism to be offensive, I know it's a reality, and I loved how Lena dealt with it. There were some really funny moments and
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved loved loved this book. It was a real page turner, with fantastic characters, and great story line. I can't wait to read Loretta's next book, and the one after that, and the one after that!!! awesome!!!
Kellie Schache
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read, looking forward to the next book by Loretta Hill
Irene Sauman
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I chose this for an alphabetical reading challenge. It was disappointing. I know it rated high with a lot of readers and the subject matter no doubt accounted for that. Young female engineer out to prove her worth among the macho men of the Pilbara. I can understand the attraction of that idea. But Lena was not a believable character. It seemed those men couldn't imagine her as an engineer. Unfortunately neither could I.
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rural-romance
Loved this book. The scenes are set so well you can imagine yourself in the Pilbara even without any knowledge of the mining industry. The relationship between Lena and Dan felt real and made the book thoroughly enjoyable to read
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Girl in the Steel-Capped Boots is a quick, entertaining read with one of the most unusual and quirky settings, the Pilbara in Western Australia, and an equally unprecedented main protagonists, the city loving female Engineer Lena Todd, who having only just graduated from university has no other option but to take a job on the Pilbara although she’d much rather not have too. A job made further more unappealing by the simple fact her arrival makes her the fifth woman among some three hundred a ...more
Sam Still Reading
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of good chick lit
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: my mum
Sometimes, you just have to listen to your mother. Mum bought this book when it was first released and raved about it to me. Unfortunately, it has taken me until now to read it. (Yes, I am officially a bad daughter). But at least now I know what a talented writer Loretta Hill is, having devoured her other books (One Little White Lie and The Girl in the Hard Hat). This is a fun, funny and fabulous read about the FIFO (fly in, fly out) life in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. This is the place ...more
Koalathebear Koalathebear
Jun 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Zimmer
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I admit, I was not sure what to expect from this novel. I figured it wouldn't be much more than a fluffy romantic comedy on paper, and it had all of those elements in spades. But to my surprise, that turned out to be a *good* thing. For me, the book didn't get going until the third chapter, but after that slow start - I found the main character shallow and borderline annoying, at first - it really took off, and I was able to gobble it up in a few days.

I don't think it will change your life, but
Warren Gossett
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book of three by Loretta Hill, a West Australian engineer turned novelist. They are set in the first decade of the 21st century on coal or iron export ports in Western Australia or Queensland. They feature as protagonist recent female engineering graduates working in a male dominated environment. They succeed in strengthening their femininity, proving themselves on the job and also finding a romantic partner among the me on the project, negotiating with finesse the obstacles th ...more
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Loretta was born in Perth, Western Australia, the eldest of four girls. She enjoyed writing from a very early age, spinning stories almost as soon as she could read them.

She was first published in the West Australian Newspaper with a short story about a circus horse when she was eleven years old. They paid her ten dollars for it and she knew she’d found her calling.

She put her dream on hold howeve
“He sighed raggedly. 'Do you ever give up?'
'Do you ever go away?'
'Do you ever do as you're told?'
'Not if I can help it.'
'Thank God.”
“Do you mind?" she finally breathed.
His lips twitched. "What's good for the goose."
Lena felt ice slide down her spine.
He had seen her checking him out.”
More quotes…