Life abounds with possibilities, and one of those is the chance to rediscover that which has been lost to you. This is what Lara and Jack in Outback Bride are given – a second chance to rediscover love and their true selves.
What is Outback Bride about?
Legal star Lara Burke has worked hard to escape her country past and is finally on the way to being made a partner at her city law firm. At the worst possible time, her former flame Jake Forester arrives, bringing tragic news from home.
Forced to return to her family property, Jindaburra, Lara must confront her past at the home she loved and lost. But big-sky country and bittersweet memories are not all that await her at Jindaburra.
As Lara’s past and present collide, old passions are rekindled and new connections are formed. And as her visit comes to an end, how will Lara choose between the city life she’s grown to love, and the life she left behind?
So, here’s what I thought of Outback Bride!
Right from the start, the shared history and electric connection between Lara and Jack is evident. Louise Reynolds has done a fantastic job of balancing this chemistry and attraction that draws them together with the past events that drove them both from Sturts Crossing. Too often in reunion/second chance romances, the reasons for absence and separation feel a little flimsy and could easily be solved with a a few simple words.
The issues that existed for Lara and Jack would have never been solved so easily, and I love that Louise has given their separation real validity and power.
Returning to somewhere that is tainted with such painful memories is never an easy thing to accomplish. You can really sense this past warring with Lara’s rediscovery of her love for the land and the home she’d long denied herself. My heart ached for Lara and how she was treated by those who should have loved her unconditionally. It was lovely to see that she didn’t allow this less-than-stellar experience blind her completely from experiencing the world – she could have easily abandoned Jessie to the care of others, but her compassion and love shines through.
Jack’s life of privilege and wealth was not one filled with happiness. The life he has chosen is also difficult, but it’s so much more fulfilling. I love that he was brave enough to tell his eminently powerful father that he wanted no part of it. He has that great blend of Aussie blokeyness and a caring, romantic nature. He sounds pretty hot, too.
The road to happiness is still not entirely smooth, dotted with potholes and roadblocks, however you never lose the sense of hope and renewal.
As a side note, I am really glad that Jessie (Lara’s niece), the catalyst for her rediscovery of Jindaburra, was not written as simply a plot advancement device. I love that it is left to the reader to imagine her five-year-old voice – thankfully Louise has refrained from over-using sickly-sweet kiddie speak.
If you like rural romance with a dash of city, and love seeing people fall in love all over again, this is definitely for you. It’s perfect for a summer afternoon’s reading.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Release Date: 14 August 2013
Note: I was provided with an advance reader copy by Destiny Romance, an imprint of Penguin Australia via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.