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?
A Girl’s Guide to the Outback is a cute, sweet, and funny read. Somehow I missed the fact that it was a Christian romance (I know, I know–clearly I didn’t read the blurb very carefully, or maybe at all?) but for the most part the story just gives gentle nudges toward listening to God and following His will rather than trying to suffocate readers with a specific set of views or beliefs, which for me was a relief. Even though Sam’s a pastor, most of the book takes place on his family farm where one’s faith rather than religion is the focus; I honestly often forgot it was an inspirational romance half of the time 😉
I liked both Sam and Kimberly, though it’s good that we get both of their POVs here, because they really do have a problem with communication for a lot of the book. We barely get to see the two of them sharing an office, since that part of the story’s over practically before it begins, but it’s hard to imagine how they could have worked so closely together yet still not have a clue what was motivating the other or what their true intentions were–it takes them ages to finally sort all of that out, which was frustrating at times. Ms Kate does do a good job of showing how paralyzing their fears are, though, and allows them to work through them, giving us a very sweet HEA in the end.
The secondary romance between Sam’s sister Julia and her ex, Mick, was a lot of fun as well–I almost wish they’d had their own book, because things inside Mick’s head could have been a lot of fun to see as well.
Plus, puppies. Who doesn’t want to read more puppies? 🙂
Rating: 4 stars / B
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
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.
One winner will receive a print copy of Love and Other Mistakes by Jessica Kate
Ends February 12, 2020