12 February 2020

A Girl's Guide to the Outback | Book Review + Excerpt


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?

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: January 28, 2020



What a delight. With characters from her debut Love and Other Mistakes, Jessica Kate’s A Girl’s Guide to the Outback delivers an entertaining rom-com with plenty of heart and depth.

Ministry leader Samuel Payton is passionate, charismatic, and a tad risk-averse. Co-worker Kimberly Foster has great, but expensive plans to expand the ministry, so naturally, she and Sam can’t help butting heads. He figures it is time for him to leave when he gets a call that his family could use his help in Australia—but Kim cannot let him go that easily.

The story then follows the (mis)adventures of this pair—and another charming couple, too!—as they work through the predicaments before them (and the baggage holding them back). I enjoyed every word of their experience and definitely look forward to reading more from Jessica Kate. In the meantime, if you need a rom-com pick-me-up read (especially with Valentine’s Day this week), I highly recommend reading this one.


I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.


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.


Read the first few chapters now.


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