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.
Published by Destiny Romance on September 2, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
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When jaded city girl Maddy McIntrye packs up and leaves Adelaide for a new job in the country, it's not only a chance at a fresh start. Six months ago, the first guy she'd ever loved shattered her heart before moving home to Broken Hill. Deep down inside, Maddy is hoping that living in the same town will give her an opportunity to prove to Luke that she's one temptation he can't resist.
But when she arrives in Broken Hill, Luke White is not the same guy she knew in the city. And it soon seems very clear that he doesn't want her there. Although Maddy settles in quickly, excelling at work and partying with her new friends, she can't understand why Luke is remaining so distant. Particularly when all her instincts are telling her that they're meant to be together – and that he feels the same burning attraction.
As Maddy learns more about Luke's family and background, she begins to understand that his mixed messages are caused by balancing what's expected of him with what he really wants. Maddy gave Luke her heart long ago and, despite their differences, she knows she'll only ever be happy with her hot country boy. But how can she convince him that she's the risk he needs to take?
Charming the Outback, Leesa Bow’s September release from Destiny Romance, is the follow-up to her wonderful debut release, Winning the Player, which I reviewed here back in April. While you don’t need to necessarily have read book 1 before book 2, I’d recommend you do.
This time around, we get to discover more about Maddy (Hunter’s cousin and BFF to Aubree) and her wish for a second chance with the one that got away. Let’s face it, we all wonder about that one from our past…
Charming the Outback is New Adult romance of the highest order, revelling in all the angsty drama and fun that life in your twenties brings.
So, what did I think of Charming the Outback?
I really enjoyed this story. Maddy isn’t necessarily trying to work her way back into Luke’s life, she just wants to know why things went wrong for them. Watching her find a way to prove to herself as much as Luke that she could be a part of his world was really cool. Best of all, I loved that even with her trying to fit in, Maddy doesn’t feel she should have to totally change herself.
Luke, Luke, Luke … I feel for him. It’s obvious to all and sundry that his feelings for Maddy are still there, but I totally understand why he backed off. With all that is going on in his life, Luke didn’t want to burden Maddy with it – maybe he could have told her why he broke it off a little earlier, but hey, he’s a man in his early twenties – they’re not always free and easy with their feelings.
The chemistry between Maddy and Luke is off the charts, and while they are quite opposite to each other in a lot of ways, I really enjoyed them as a couple. There is much to-ing and fro-ing, and lots of fabulous NA angst, in their relationship, which is one of the things that is so true about love at this age.
It was lovely to catch up with Hunter and Aubree again, and I enjoyed getting to know the new crowd of friends that Maddy makes in her new life in Broken Hill. It gave me flashbacks to my early twenties reading about their antics. Please give Zane some love, Leesa! I would love to read more about him – he was a definite fictional hottie!
A great sophomore offering from a wonderful voice in Australian NA romance, Charming the Outback is well worth reading. Keep it coming, Leesa!