Wednesday, September 15, 2021

A Girl's Guide to the Outback

Title: A Girl's Guide to the Outback

Author: Jessica Kate

Narrator: Lauren Woodward

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Humor, Christian Fiction, Romance

Source: Library

My Review:

Jessica Kate has produced an incredible story of foes to friends, with hysterical, witty lines that will have you laughing out loud in no time.

Filled with good humor this page-turner will keep you up well past your bedtime in your desire to know what happens with Kimberly, Sam, Jules, and Mick.

 Kimberly Foster jammed her phone into her pocket and rushed down the sunny Charlottesville street in a Mr. Potato Head costume, peep-toe heels, and murderous rage.  

From the time we encounter Kimberly in her potato head costume we are enamored with her personality and zest for life. As we get to know Kimberly, we see a side of her that is unexpected and makes her even more relatable. As she struggles with feelings of not being wanted, we can't help but root for her as we have all felt that at times.

People commented on her classic Hollywood sense of style and fast-rising career all the time, but her habit of blurting out whatever was sparking neurons meant she'd never been anyone's vote for Miss Congeniality.

We meet Sam in his Captain America costume and fall in love with this hero. Not your typical youth pastor, he is also fun-loving and full of life. He connects with his students on a level that Kimberly can only dream of. He is level-headed, a deep-thinker, and seemingly self-assured. The more we get to know him the more relatable he becomes as well, as he harbors insecurities and guilt that he is dealing with. He and Kimberly butt heads quite a bit, but their engagements are hilarious and full of zingers. If they could get along, would they accomplish more?

The little girl smelled of strawberry shampoo and turkey dinner.

I absolutely loved this story. It is well-written, the narrator possesses a wonderful voice and the Australian accent sticks with you. The descriptions are so colorful that they come alive, and you can see them. I was impressed over and over again with how engaging the story was, how descriptive the descriptions were, and the overall flow of the story. We not only get to meet and know Kimberly and Sam, but we also meet Jules, Sam's sister, and her ex-boyfriend/Sam's best friend, Mick, and we get to know their story as well. Usually, when you have so many characters some can get lost in the shuffle, but that did not happen here. I felt like I was there getting to know them all.

The kids had never appreciated her reference to investor Warren Buffet. 

I also enjoyed the references to pop culture that were thrown in. The only thing that bothered me about the story was that you couldn't always tell right away when the scene changed and a new speaker started. There was no pause in the narrator's reading to signal a switch. She did tell the chapters so it was obvious there, but not a pause when a scene changed. This was a minor detail and did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. I heartily recommend A Girl's Guide to the Outback to anyone who loves a good romantic comedy.  One day I will need to go back and just read the paperback and see if it changes or enhances my enjoyment of the story. I had never read anything by Jessica Kate before but I will be looking for more from this author, and I would advise you to do the same 😀


Synopsis (from Goodreads):

 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?


  1. This does sound like so much fun!

  2. So glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I'm always looking for good rom-coms, so I'll definitely be checking this one out. :)

  3. This sounds like so much fun! I already like Kimberly just reading your review. I am glad you enjoyed this one!

    1. It was a fabulous book to and obviously I can't recommend it enough :) I loved listening to it on audio, but imagine it would be a fun read as well!

  4. I read this one in paperback and as I remember, I really liked it! It was my favorite of the two by Jessica so far and made me curious to learn about what she'll eventually release next. :)

    1. Rissi, She is one I will be watching for new books, for sure :) Thanks for stopping by!