Red Dirt Duchess by Louise Reynolds: Review

September 24, 2014 Reviews 1 ★★★★½

I was provided with an advance reader copy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I received no financial incentives to review this book.

Red Dirt Duchess by Louise Reynolds: ReviewRed Dirt Duchess by Louise Reynolds
Published by Destiny Romance on August 5, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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When English society playboy Jonathan Hartley-Huntley is sent to outback Australia after a disastrous affair with his editor, all he wants is to take a few pictures, do a quick interview and get back to his usual life of luxury as soon as possible. Until he meets his host, the irresistible Charlie Hughes, and suddenly the back of beyond is a lot more appealing.

Running the pub is a labour of love for Charlie and she has no desire to ever leave the tiny town of Bindundilly. That is, until Jon discovers an old painting that raises questions about both their lives. Charlie impulsively decides to follow him to London, and as the feelings between them begin to deepen, she starts to wonder if there's more to life than the pub. But at Jon's family home, the magnificent Hartley Hall, they become acutely aware of the differences between them, and it soon seems clear they have no future together – especially if Jon's mother has her way.

Family and tradition threaten the course of true love in this warm and witty novel from the author of Outback Bride and Her Italian Aristocrat.

When I got the chance to review Red Dirt Duchess, I could not have been happier. Louise Reynolds gave me one of my favourite reads for 2013 with Outback Bride, and I have been waiting with bated breath for another delicious morsel from her pen.

Well, I can let go of that breath now, because with her August release from Destiny Romance, Louise has definitely given me another keeper for the bookshelf.

Here are my thoughts on Red Dirt Duchess:

From the moment Jonathon ends up at that lonely, dusty airstrip, I knew that I would enjoy reading this story. There is a real visual quality to Red Dirt Duchess, something that I was super glad to see carry over from Louise’s previous book. It was so easy to picture the scenes unfolding on the pages, be they in the dusty red Australian outback or the cool, damp corners of Shropshire.

However, the real strength of Red Dirt Duchess is the couple at its heart. I loved that Charlie and Jonathon had such great emotional chemistry, as well as that physical connection. The dialogue and banter between them is electric, and more often than not, laced with real humour. Charlie’s strength and lust for life is definitely what Jonathan needs in his internal war between his desire for independence and the weight of familial expectations.

There is an enthralling mystery that weaves its way through the story – as things progressed, I found myself at the edge of my seat just wanting to know where it would lead me. Its resolution is both surprising and fascinating.

Supporting characters, once again, add some real light and interest to Red Dirt Duchess. From the Bindundilly pub crowd to Jonathon’s colourful aristocratic family, each rang true and I loved meeting each and every one of them.

A delightful, visual and often humorous read, with a sweet and sexy romance at its heart – you will not be disappointed!

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