🐨 🦘 "A Girl's Guide to the Outback" 🦘🐨 (2020) - Book Review #GirlsGuideTour

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

A Girl's Guide to the Outback
By Jessica Kate
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback, Audiobook &ebook, 368 Pages
January 28th 2020 by Thomas Nelson

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?

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

Australian author Jessica Kate writes inspirational romances with wit, sass, and grit. Jessica is a screenwriting groupie, cohost of the StoryNerds vlog and podcasts, and her favorite place to be—apart from Mum and Dad’s back deck—is a theme park. She has traveled North America and Australia, and samples her favorite pasta wherever she goes—but the best (so far) is still the place around the corner from her corporate day job as a training developer. She loves watching sitcoms with her housemates and being a leader in a new church plant.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a print copy of Love and Other Mistakes by Jessica Kate
US only
Ends February 12, 2020

My Review

[Thank you again to TNZ and Prism Book Tours. Book is from them, goodies were from friends, stamps were mine.]

Thank you in advance to the publisher, Thomas Nelson/TNZ Fiction, as well as Prism Book Tours for providing a complimentary copy to review. A positive review was NOT required, and all words are my own.

This is Jessica Kate’s follow up to “Love and Other Mistakes”, her debut book. While I had an “eBook” of it, I wasn’t able to read it. I have since ordered a physical copy on Amazon.

While some have called this a sequel to the first one, for me it was more of a standalone read. So the first book isn’t really required as the leads in this have enough introduction in the first chapter to move the story along.

Both covers are a “cutesy” and whimsical “cartoonish” drawing with the two leads.

But, while this starts off as a hate/love, romantic comedy, there is so much heart and depth to it.

With Kimberly heading to Australia to woo Sam back and exchanging her knowledge for the trade – she discovers what holds him back.

Despite this being an Australian writer, you won’t find a lot of “Aussie Slang” used.

There was a Crocodile Dundee reference. Though I am curious as to what some Australians think of him.

Anyway …

The characters could get on your nerves, but it was easy to see where they were BOTH coming from. Kim’s lack of family connection drove her to want to give back and provide some sense of family or belonging to wayward children. Sam’s past failures, along with a learning disability, kept him safe and grounded in not wanting to disappoint people or make mistakes. Their heart-wrenching honesty was an endearing part of this.

And, with seeing that – it was a bit frustrating to see the two characters butt heads, and egos. But, I appreciated the honesty with the deeply flawed characters. But, it wasn’t just Kim and Sam. I loved the side-story romance with Jules and Mick.

This is an absolutely adorable, heart-warming, and light-hearted read with serious messages throughout. The writer’s style was easy to follow and she moved the story along more and more. So much so that I found it hard to put this book down. It was just **THAT** good! Even when the writer threw in a realistic, heart-stopping, and shocking tragedy – I had to keep reading.

It is “light” on the “faith content”. By chapter 14, the only references were “youth pastor” and “light prayers” with messages of “having faith”.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Sci-Fi TV references. I watched Babylon 5 when I was in my late teens, but as a toddler I LOVED the 1978 edition of Battlestar Galactica.

While this has a happy ending, don’t look for saccharine sweet romance. This is a realistic approach that even though we try, bad things do happen on the way to “happily ever after”.

I am looking forward to the next book – hoping that it will be the Jules and Mick storyline.

I will be reviewing the previous book “Love and Other Mistakes” sometime down the road as my schedule allow.


4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐ /5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Goodreads

4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Bookbub

4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Personal Rating (see rating explanation in this blog: https://readingexcursions.blogspot.com/2020/01/rating-system-2020-changes.html)

Other Books In The Series:

“Love and Other Mistakes”
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (July 30, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0785229582
ISBN-13: 978-0785229582

[Click on the photo for purchase link]

“Natalie Groves once had big dreams. But soon after her fiancΓ©, Jeremy Walters, inexplicably broke off their engagement and left town, her father was diagnosed with cancer. Now tasked with keeping her family afloat, Natalie’s grand plans have evaporated . . . and God feels very far away.

Fast-forward seven years, and Jeremy is back in Charlottesville with an infant son and years of regrets. When his niece, Lili, lands on his doorstep in need of a place to stay, Jeremy needs help—and fast.

An internship opening finally presents Natalie a chance at her dream job, but she needs a second income to work around it—and the only offer available is Jeremy’s. They could be the solutions to one another’s problems, provided they don’t kill each other in the process. When they join forces, sparks fly. But they both know there’s a thin line between love and hate . . . and that love will turn out to be the best decision—or the biggest mistake—of all.”

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