Title: Man Drought
Author: Rachael Johns
My Rating: B+
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Main Characters: Imogen and Gibson
Release Date: January 2013
Publisher: Harlequin- Australia
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy
Imogen Bates moved to the small rural town of Gibson’s Find to start a new life for herself after the death of her husband. Tired of being haunted by the painful memories of her old life, Imogen set her last remaining hopes on the little town and, in particular, pouring her heart and savings into restoring The Majestic Hotel to its former glory. But while the female-starved town might be glad to see a young woman move in, not everyone is happy about Imogen’s arrival.
Sheep and crop farmer Gibson Black once dreamed of having the kind of family his grandfather reminisces about, but he’s learnt not to dream anymore. Living in the mostly male town suits Gibson down to the ground...and he won’t have anyone — least of all a hot redhead from the city — change a thing.
Imogen has never been one to back down from a challenge, especially when it concerns her last chance at happiness. She’s determined to rebuild the pub and create a future for the little town. But can she create a future for Gibson and herself, too
If you're a romantic at heart, (let's face it...you're reading the romance genre... the chances are pretty good that you're a romantic at heart) then you will love the theme of this book. Imogen always believed that everyone has The One out there for them. For her, she found that person in Jamie. They had a perfect love, but it was cut way too short when he tragically died doing his job as a firefighter. He was her One and she's accepted that the rest of her life will be spent alone.
As a result, she feels the need for a new start...somewhere where her every move isn't shadowed by the specter of her tragic circumstance. She needs to go somewhere where no one knows about Jamie so that maybe she can find some semblance of happiness. A romantic nostalgia for countryside pubs brings her to Gibson's Find as the newest owner and publican of the local rundown inn and tavern. There she finds new focus and challenge for her life and is surprised by how quickly she comes to love this small rural town.
One of the members of that town is Gibson. Unlike Imogen, his marriage was not a happy one. After his divorce, he's completely disillusioned by love and women and that definitely affects his relationship with Imogen. He keeps expecting her to be like the shallow woman his wife was. But there is one person who continues to bring them together, Gibson's grandfather and Imogen's barkeep, Charlie. I loved Charlie. He and Imogen connect because the love of his life died really young too. They have that in common. Charlie's story line added so much to this story. I loved Gibson's devotion to him and I loved how he connected with Imogen.
In fact, I loved most of the characters in this book. There's a fairly large cast of them from both Gibson's Find and Imogen's friends from Perth. There was even a secondary love story between Jenna and Guy which was a really surprising match-up, but they worked together. And there were just tons of really sweet moments in the story...the birth of Amy & Ryan's baby and the town working on the pub, immediately come to mind.
This is a book about true love and how you have to hang on to it when you find it. Imogen was lucky enough to find her second "One" and it truly made for a super-romantic read. Yes, I'm a sucker for stories like that. There were moments when I just wanted to stop the story and hug both the main characters. They've had a hard go at it and watching them find their new Happily Ever After was just incredibly sweet. This was a fun book to read. And I have to add, it was a great book to really take you into rural life of Australia. The pictures Rachael Johns paints...*sigh*...someday I am going to visit there!! But in the meantime, visiting via her books is almost as good.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.