Book Recommendation – A Girl’s Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate

Book Description:

How far will a girl go to win back a guy she can’t stand? This funny, sweet, and romantic story proves that opposites do attract—and that God has a sense of humor. 

Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s still recovering from the blow of a failed business and insecurities he can’t shake. His coworker, start-up expert Kimberly Foster, is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but years of personal rejection have 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 sure do fly. 

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 heads home to Australia to help his sister, Jules, save her struggling farm. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. Together they strike up a deal: If Kimberly comes to work on Jules’s dairy farm and lends her business brains to their endeavor, then maybe—just maybe—Sam will reconsider his future with the church. 

As Kimberly tries her hand at Australian farm life, she learns more about herself than she could’ve ever expected. Meanwhile Sam is forced to re-evaluate this spunky woman he thought he already knew. As foes slowly morph into friends, they wonder if they might be something even more. But when disaster strikes the farm, will Sam find it within himself to take a risk that could lead to love? And will Kimberly trust God with her future?

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading A Girl’s Guide to the Outback by Aussie author Jessica Kate. This is my favorite Jessica Kate book, and the story is hilarious. It’s primarily set on a dairy farm in Queensland, Australia.

Kimberly is an American city girl who has a difficult working relationship with Sam, the Aussie youth pastor who is living in Virginia. Kimberly wants to expand Sam’s successful ministry into new locations, but Sam’s fear of failure means he rejects Kimberly’s ideas. Sam quits his pastor job and returns to Australia to help his sister save the family dairy farm.

A deal is struck that results in Kimberly landing in Australia and working on the dairy farm while trying to woo Sam back to his old job in the US. Kimberly is a fish-out-of-water on a farm in outback Australia. An incident at the dam involving Kimberly sets the tone for a series of farm-related LOL funny situations that draw Kimberly and Sam closer together.

My favourite character in the story is Sam’s sister, Jules. The romantic subplot with Jules and Mick, her childhood sweetheart who’s now a vet living on the Goldie (Gold Coast) is both sweet and hilarious. Jules is very Aussie, and her character is a great example of what Aussie’s affectionately call ‘the little Aussie battler’. Farming is a tough gig, and Jules is fighting to keep their family farm from going under financially. For readers who don’t like any barnyard animals to unexpectedly die during a story, they may need to brace themselves toward the end if they have any emotional attachments to chooks (free range chickens who lay eggs).

I recommend A Girl’s Guide to the Outback to contemporary romance readers who like enemies to love romantic comedy set on an Aussie dairy farm.

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