Monday, 8 September 2014

Review: Charming the Outback

Charming the Outback by Leesa Bow
Title: Charming the Outback
Series: none
Author: Leesa Bow
Published: Destiny Romance; 2014
276 pages, kindle edition
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 2.5 stars
 Description (from Goodreads):

When jaded city girl Maddy McIntyre 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?

My Thoughts:

As soon as I read the description for Charming the Outback I was hooked. A girl from my own little Adelaide city? That's an instant win for me and I had to request it immediately. Unfortunately, this turned out to be nothing more than a glorified soap opera-like drama. Boring, tedious, repetitive and dull, dull, dull!

The plot alone was enough to drive me insane. I thought this was going to be a sweet romance about two lost lovers slowing finding their way back to each other, overcoming their differences, falling back in love again, all that cute, sappy romantic stuff that I love. But no. What we got instead was two moody, broody characters that had a hot and cold relationship - one minute they would declare their love for each other and the next they were screaming at each other, running back home to hide, only to come running back to each other for make-up sex. How are we expected to love these characters when they torment each other like this? They could barely stand each other for the most part (when they weren't declaring their love for each other) so why should we?

The characters were just awful really. I couldn't stand Maddy's hypocrisy or her random mood swings and I certainly didn't like Luke or his angry jealous rages. The secondary characters could have been good if they didn't all dote over Maddy like she was the bloody bees' knees. I mean what was so good about her apart from the fact that she was oh-so-hot? Zane could have been such a great character if his infatuation with Maddy had been downgraded, or removed altogether really.

The only thing that kept me reading this was my love for the setting. It isn't very often that I get to read a book set in my home country let alone my own city, in fact, I think this is the first one! I simply adored the way the writing bought the country life with all its dry heat, dirty shoes and dusty roads right off the pages. I loved the familiar dialogue and all the talk of proper footy - not that crappy American grid iron stuff! Although the fact that the team names were changed to Blackbirds and Thunder instead of Crows and Port Power was a little bit annoying.

While Charming the Outback was not what I was hoping for, I am still willing to pick up more of the author's work to see if her charming writing can bring a better plotline to life. Winning the Player is already on request!

Note: a copy was provided courtesy of Leesa Bow and Penguin Books Australia | Destiny Romance, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given or taken during this process.


  1. Thanks for this review, Rachel! I'm a sucker for long-lost lovers romance books, so when I was reading the description I thought this might could be good. But then after reading your review, I think I'm going to stay away.. lol. I'm looking forward to reading more of your reviews about this author! I'm sure she has something that we can enjoy. :)

    1. If you love those sorts of books too you have to check out "Don't Let Go" by Sharla Lovelace! I loved it and the romance is sooo cute! Well, I am glad I was able to save you from this. It certainly isn't one I would recommend.

      Thanks! Hopefully her other books are more enjoyable. :)