Outback Secrets (Bunyip Bay #5) by Rachael Johns
Keeping secrets comes naturally to him … but will it ruin his chance at love?
Liam Castle knows the secrets of everyone in Bunyip Bay. As the owner of the pub, he’s heard it all – from marriage proposals and farming disasters to family rifts and everything in between. The locals love to confide in him, but no one knows he’s hiding a tragic past.
And he wants to keep it that way.
Agricultural pilot Henrietta Forward lives for her job, choosing work over romance. But when an incident in the air brings Henri home to Bunyip Bay earlier than planned, she finds herself questioning everything she believes about herself.
But Henri’s secret isn’t her only problem.
Her mother will stop at nothing to have her settled down back in the Bay, and while Henri had always known domesticity wasn’t the life for her, now she wonders what her future holds. So when Liam – always the first to lend a hand to those in need – agrees to play along with Henri’s scheme to ward off her mother, she has mixed feelings. What happens when a pretend romance starts to feel like the real thing?
Will Henri’s demons and Liam’s traumatic past prove too great a barrier to love?
Published 27 October 2021| Publisher: Harlequin Australia | RRP: AUD$29.99
Buy it at: Dymocks | Booktopia | A&R | Abbey’s | QBD
My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)
While I don’t read many rural romances, I do have a penchant for them. Outback Ghost (book 3 of Bunyip Bay) was my one of my first reads of this genre and I enjoyed it very much that I bought Outback Dreams (book 1). This is one of the rare times that I have read out of order but you know, I didn’t know any better back then. The only one in the series I skipped is book 4 because it’s a trope I absolutely cannot stand but I can’t help myself with this most recent instalment; I had to get back to Bunyip Bay.
Fans of the series will be familiar with Liam Castle, the enigmatic pub owner, and his story has been a long time coming! Of course, earlier on, I’d have put him with another Bunyip Bay character but it’s not to be and while I’m a little bit put out, Henrietta Forward easily becomes a new favourite character.
A lot of the times, I nit-picked certain details that aren’t quite pertinent to the story but it frustrates me a lot of the time that author mentioned it in passing but didn’t follow through. In Outback Secrets though, as soon as I thought of the question, it was resolved. My OCD-self appreciates this so very very much.
My favourite romance trope is BFF to lover but fake-dating is my second and I just love how Rachael Johns weaved that through Outback Secrets; and pssst, that’s not the only secret in town! Oh, it is also set around Christmas time so if you’re after a Christmas feel good read, pick this one!
My thanks to Harlequin Australia for ecopy of book via NetGalley in exchange of my honest thoughts
About the author