If you have not yet read Love and Other Mistakes, you should probably pick up a copy and read that before reading this review or synopsis…
A Girl’s Guide to the Outback
by Jessica Kate
Published by Thomas Nelson
Publication Date January 28, 2020
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Australia Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Romance author Jessica Kate explores the hilariously thin line between love and hate in her heartwarming new novel.
Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but beneath the surface, Sam’s still recovering from a failed business. His coworker—start-up expert Kimberly Foster—is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but her mother’s rejection from a young age till now has left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds—or more attracted to one another. And every day at work, the sparks are flying.
When Kimberly’s ambitious plans for Sam’s ministry butt up against his risk-averse nature, Sam decides that obligations to family trump his work for the church. He quits the ministry and flies home to Australia to help his family save their struggling farm—much to Kimberly’s chagrin. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. To what lengths will she go to get him back?
I would like to thank Celebrate Lit for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
You may remember Kimberly, the annoyingly perfect woman who competed with Natalie for the internship in Love and Other Mistakes. And you will, of course, remember Sam, the handsome, dynamic Australian youth pastor. Who could forget him?! Well, they’re back. . .
Kim and Sam’s three-and-a-half-year working relationship was full of misunderstandings. Both had read into the other’s words and reactions and had pictures of the other that were completely wrong. Kim’s aura of strength and confidence was born out of a desire to just once, please her mother and be good enough. Sam was insecure about his dyslexia and thought everyone considered him to be dumb.
I loved the way Sam and Kim began to see each other in a new light when they were no longer in the office environment. And as they saw the truth about each other, they were able to move past a world of hurts.
I appreciated that despite the fact kangaroos and koalas did make an appearance in the story, their presence wasn’t overblown, nor were other Australianisms. When expressions unique to that continent were used, they were explained in a manner that blended with the story instead of feeling stuck in there.
As a bonus, there were two romances here, not just one. Julia, Sam’s sister, and Mick, their neighbor-turned-vet had some very rough times. Yet Mick was so sweet to her. I loved the way he swept her away when she was dealing with her grief and knew just how to care for her.
I recommend this story for anyone who enjoys romance and changed lives.
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