Thursday, November 27, 2014

Review - Ouback Blaze by Rachael Johns

Outback BlazeOutback Blaze by Rachael Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published May 1st 2014 by Harlequin MIRA
Source: Publisher for Review

'Ruby wasn't looking for love, Drew wasn't looking to stay...until they found each other. Can their fling survive the darkness of Ruby's past and Drew's desire to move on?

Ruby Jones was always an optimist, but the trauma of her past had made her wary. So when she flees to the small rural community of Bunyip Bay to start afresh, she has her sights firmly set on establishing her horse-riding business and rebuilding her life. The last thing Ruby wants is a romance. In fact, after all she has been through, she can't imagine she will ever believe in love again.

Police officer Drew Noble has no intention of staying in Bunyip Bay — he is just an outsider seeking temporary refuge. But as the charm of the town sways him, Drew finds himself increasingly drawn to the community and its inhabitants, as well as another newcomer, the lovely Ruby Jones.

When Drew investigates a suspicious fire at Ruby's parents' business, he finds himself feeling strangely protective of the girl with the flowers in her hair. As the details of Ruby's past emerge and she comes once more under threat, Drew realises he will do all in his power to save her.

Soon these outsiders discover they have both lost their hearts — not only to the town but to each other.

My Thoughts:
Outback Blaze is the second installment in the Bunyip Bay series and I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this small rural Australian town after reading Outback Dreams a little while ago.

I found the main female character, Ruby Jones, very likeable and I've come to realise that Rachael Johns develops her female leads quite well. Ruby has a very painful past and was doing her best to rebuild her life back in Bunyip Bay and live a normal life. The way her and Drew come together and develop their romance is nice and believable without seeming too forced and I prefer this type of romance to the sappy, 'fall head over heels in a heartbeat' kind.

I really enjoyed the interesting back story as to why Drew came to join this little town and I also found his character developed in a realistic way. You really wanted these two people to be together and find happiness within each other.

As for the other characters in the book, there were some interesting developments that those who have read Outback Dreams and are familiar with the history of some of the original characters will certainly appreciate. This doesn't mean you have to have read Outback Dreams to enjoy Outback Blaze at all as it could quite easily be read as a standalone story in itself.

The addition of the suspense element broke this book up nicely and I always find that reading books like these really make me long to experience living life in a small rural town one day just to see what it is really like.

I definitely look forward to reading the third installment in the series, Outback Ghost, in the near future.

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