Aussie Book Review: Outback Dreams by Rachael Johns

outback Outback Dreams by Rachael Johns

Paperback (Uncorrected Proof Copy)

Review copy provided by publisher

Harlequin Mira, October 2013

Synopsis- Faith and Monty are both looking for love…but they’re looking in the wrong direction.

Faith Forrester is at a crossroads. Single, thirty and living on a farm in a small Western Australian town, she’s sick of being treated like a kitchen slave by her brother and father. Ten years ago, her mother died of breast cancer, and Faith has been treading water ever since. She wants to get her hands dirty on the family farm. She wants to prove to herself that she’s done something worthwhile with her life. And she wants to find a man…

For as long as he can remember, Daniel ‘Monty’ Montgomery has been Faith’s best friend. When he was ten, his parents sold the family property and moved to Perth, and ever since, Monty’s dreamed of having his own farm. So for the last ten years, he’s been back on the land, working odd jobs and saving every dollar to put toward his dream. Now he finally has the deposit. But there’s still something missing…

So when Faith embarks on a mission to raise money for a charity close to her heart, and Monty’s dream property comes on the market, things seem like they are falling into place for them both. Until a drunken night out ends with them sleeping together. Suddenly, the best friends are faced with a new load of challenges…

Monty and Faith are both ready to find a life partner and settle down, but have they both been looking in all the wrong places?

Review- Outback Dreams is a rural romance based on the trope of best friends falling in love.

Faith is a great heroine, she’s a bit of a tomboy but she’s nurturing and caring and a loyal friend. Monty, her best mate is following his dreams to own his own farm while trying to woo the new girl in town, Ruby. While on a weekend away, Faith and Monty pretend to be in a relationship to present Monty in a good light to the vendors of a farm he hopes to purchase. However, their ‘pretence’ ends up becoming reality when they drink too much and then sleep together.

Monty is quick to say it was a mistake and fears he’s made a mess of his attempts to start a relationship with Ruby. But Faith realises she actually has strong feelings for Monty and is unsure whether they can remain friends following their one-night stand. There are plenty of misunderstandings, some soul-searching and some small town gossip, but it was good to see them work it all out in the end.

Rachael John’s is an author I’ve grown to excitedly anticipate her upcoming releases, especially Outback Dreams. So, I was surprised to find myself not as gripped and invested in completing this book as I have with her former books. There isn’t anything specific that stands out to me about the story that I didn’t like. I enjoyed the town and the characters but there was something lacking for me. I think it was the lack of build-up and conflict in the second half of the book as it pretty much plateaued by that stage. There wasn’t a huge climatic ending either with the problems being resolved quite easily by the end.

While Outback Dreams was an easy, sweet read, it didn’t really grip me or reel me in to finish it in a hurry. However, I certainly won’t hesitate to pick up another Johns novel in the future though.

Overall Rating

3/5

“It was okay”

Outback Dreams can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers

This book was read as part of the AWW2013 challenge:

awwbadge_2013

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