‘A Girl’s Guide to the Outback’: A Comedy of Duty and Love!


STORY | Going halfway around the world isn’t exactly something on Kimberley Foster’s busy to-do list. But when her boss up and leaves their Virginia ministry for his outback homeland in Australia, Kimberley finds she’s just desperate enough to follow him (keep in mind, this is a man she doesn’t exactly like) there in the hopes she can convince him to return to the U.S. If not, their mission just may have to close. girl’s guide to the outback

Sam Payton is done with his work as a youth pastor. He’s home to help his sister pick up the pieces of their failing ancestral farm, and he’s determined to make a go of this. What he never anticipates is the arrival of Kimberley on their doorstep. But with her arrival comes more of the same issues they disagree on, only this time, it’s his family’s legacy on the line.

A Girl’s Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate | Why You Should Read this Zany Rom-Com

girl's guide to the outback

+ There’s something about a romantic-comedy that just “speaks” to my book (or story) lovin’ soul. This story is no different. The romantic-comedy game is strong in ‘Guide,’ and it’s a game plan that is successful in its execution. Whether it’s the new Netflix originals that never cease to make me smile or the influx of the contemporary romance in inspy fiction, I am here for all these vibes.

+ One of the most important things to any good book, no matter the genre, is good characters. Sam and Kimberley fall (easily!) into this group, and endear themselves before any time passes. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we meet them both in Jessica Kate’s Love and Other Mistakes.) These two aren’t just magic together (because don’t we all love a dislike-to-love trope?), they also have backstories that will most certainly tug on the heartstrings of any reader.

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+ When it comes to fiction, one of the best experiences it can impart is the chance to “adventure.” This novel is one of the best armchair adventures because we get to travel to Australia, and to lend all the more authenticity to the book, its author is a native Aussie. Needless to say, this shows in the writing, and it’s pure delight from first to last page.

Those looking for a solid (and fun!) new romantic comedy need look no further than A Girl’s Guide to the Outback. It’s charming and such an entertaining little story that’ll leave you with a smile, and a curiosity for what this author next writes.

‘A Girl's Guide to the Outback’: A Comedy of Duty and Love! Review of the 2020 novel by Jessica Kate. @TNZFiction #Bookreview #Romance #Fiction Click To Tweet


Author: Jessica Kate
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (HarperCollins)
Publication Date: 2020
Source: Publisher Provided – thank you, Jessica and Thomas Nelson!
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance
Find the Book Elsewhere: Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★

Content: There’s nothing in this book to consider “offensive” in terms of content. The romance is “clean,” although there is some sassy (which I love!) banter.

‘A Girl's Guide to the Outback’: A Comedy of Duty and Love! Review of the 2020 novel by Jessica Kate. All review text © Rissi JC | girl's guide to the outback

Sincere thanks to Thomas Nelson, and Jessica Kate for kindly sending a copy of this novel in consideration of review; all opinions are my own.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. Hallo, Hallo Rissi,

    For reasons which even surprised myself – I couldn’t feel totally glued into this novel. I even mentioned it a bit on my review – as it was the first time I felt it was writ for the generation after me (as I’m GenX). I honestly didn’t get the same vibes you did – however, I enjoyed reading your review mostly as I have a feeling this is best read ‘after’ the first novel – as you said, there is a carry-over effect with the lead characters and I think in a way I was hindered by not reading the first one. We all gravitate towards different stories and for whichever reason… this one just wasn’t a favourite of mine.

    1. There is some “carry over,” but for me the two novels really work alone fine as the main characters from book one don’t make an appearance here. That said, nothing wrong with feeling a little disconnected to the story. I have experienced this far too often, and sometimes I think it must be only me because everyone else will LOVE a novel. :) Hope your next (or current!) read is one that you thoroughly enjoy.

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