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A Girl’s Guide to the Outback

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  879 ratings  ·  306 reviews
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 beneath 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 Fo
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by Thomas Nelson
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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3 stars

A Girl's Guide to the Outback started out not good for me... honestly it was really slow, I couldn't connect with any of the characters, and I found most of them rather unlikable. As time went on, I did start to enjoy the book more and like at least a few of the main characters (primarily this follows Kim and Sam, but also Sam's sister, Jules and her love interest). This story was about family and faith, and those parts were executed well, but the romance fell pretty flat for me.

Sarah Sundin
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Full of humor and snappy banter, A Girl’s Guide to the Outback is loaded with fish-out-of-water Australian fun. And yet Jessica Kate tells a far deeper story. Kimberly and Sam and Jules are each hurting in their own ways, each searching for identity, and each running from what they most need. These three compelling characters pulled me in to the story and had me finishing it in record time – despite a crazy-busy schedule on my end! Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended!
Jacob Proffitt
This is a heavily Christian romance with two couples. Unfortunately, one of each couple bugged me heavily and the Christian aspect fell flat, too. I persisted to the finish because the setting was on the awesome side of interesting and I really wanted Kimberly to be happy.

It was a little jarring the first time we hit Jules's PoV because I thought this was a single-couple romance. Also because Jules is an emotional goblin who reads years younger than her stated 31. It's probably just as well we d
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

Well not bad. I just didn't realize when I got this via NetGalley this was a Christian romance. I tend to stay away from that genre because I just don't enjoy it at all. It didn't help that I realized half way through that this was a sequel to another novel with some of the same characters. This was cute though and I just gave it four stars though it didn't wow me that much. A very solid romance that I c
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. I think from the very start it was the characters that drew me in.
I found all the characters so incredibly likeable.

I loved the Aussie accent, phrases and the descriptions of Australian life and the land.

I was rooting for the jules and Mick and was happy with their ending as much as Kim and Sam.

I lovely read.

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Jes Drew
This book was so completely hilarious and absolutely swoon-worthy at the same time, it is one of the tales that genuinely deserves the title of rom-com. Of course, how can it be anything but with the four most stubborn young, single people in any kind of proximity together?

We have the lead couple, practical Kim the business woman come to get back the charismic youth pastor, Samuel- even though they can't stand each other (despite the fact that they are both attracted to the other). Then there is
Bethany Turner
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had the great pleasure of reading Jessica Kate's sophomore novel, A Girl’s Guide to the Outback, for endorsement, and let me just say...I loved it! Kate's first novel, Love and Other Mistakes, was a different sort of read for me. I still found myself recommending it because, as a storyteller, Jessica Kate has so many skills that come through on the page, even if the story wasn't exactly for me. But A Girl's Guide to the Outback gave me exactly what I wanted. It is a rom-com with depth, but wit ...more
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
"She has more faith in me that I have in myself."

Kimberly Foster and Samuel Payton endured (or enjoyed . . . depending on who you asked or what day of the week it was) a love/hate, fire/ice relationship for three wonderful years. . . if you cared to define butting heads twenty-four-seven as a "relationship". It ended badly. Sam resolutely returned to Australia to help his sister stabilize their fledgling family farm business and Kimberly unsuccessfully led the once vibrant Wildfire yout
Hallie (Hallie Reads)

What a delight. With characters from her debut Love and Other Mistakes, Jessica Kate’s A Girl’s Guide to the Outback delivers an entertaining rom-com with plenty of heart and depth.

Ministry leader Samuel Payton is passionate, charismatic, and a tad risk-averse. Co-worker Kimberly Foster has great, but expensive plans to expand the ministry, so naturally, she and Sam can’t help butting heads. He figures it is time for him to leave when he gets a call that his family could use his help in Austr
~4.5 stars!~

This was the perfect book for me to read on our cruise. I found it in the ship's library and was pleasantly surprised with the selection of books they had! The last cruise I had been on only had a couple because of covid. But on this one I think they sanitize them before putting them back on the shelf so that's a win win lol I have never heard of this author before, but found out she has another one as well that I'm looking for to listening to on hoopla later 😄

I love the enemies to
Christine Indorf
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
A reread for me. I am glad I read the 1st book in the series Love and Other Mistakes later this year for it to make more sense. Samuel is the youth pastor for a organization. Kimberly is in charge of the business side of the organization. One Samuel and Kimberly butt heads over a new program Samuel moves back to Australia. The program isn't working they want Samuel back so Kimberly flies down under to get him to come back. They she goes on their farm and gets knee deep in farm work but also trie ...more
Gretchen Garrison
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the second time that I have been privileged to read a Jessica Kate book on #netgalley. While I enjoyed her first book at times, it was a bit too personal. That rarely happened in her second book. The storyline is excellent and complicated. While parts of the story have a happy ending, parts do not. I feel like this is true to real life. Because the author is from Australia, the setting is definitely true to life. I really enjoyed the setting and the characters. Several main themes includ ...more
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! A Girl’s Guide to the Outback was such a fun romance in a great setting. Sam and Kimberly were secondary characters in the book Love and Other Mistakes, however, this book definitely reads as a stand alone novel and there are no worries if you have not read Love and Other Mistakes.

This book had so much heart and I loved all of the nuances to this unique story. It was interesting to see how both Sam and Kimberly struggled with things that had happened in their pasts and allowed
Alysha (For The Love of Christian Fiction)
4.5/5 stars!
Full review to come!
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jessica Kate's second full-length novel is a delight. This Australia-set romance is a breath of fresh air. Sam and Kimberly's enemies-to-lovers potential has only grown more pronounced since they were introduced in Love and Other Mistakes. Though they share a passion to minister to hurting youth, their different visions on the future of the Wildfire ministry have only grown more pronounced as the two continually clash, driving Sam home to his family's farm in Australia. With Wildfire in jeopardy ...more
Lovely Day
Jun 09, 2021 rated it liked it

First thing to note is, wow is there a TON of pop culture references!!!!! Too many for my taste.

Kimberley, passionate about Wildfire (an organization that loves on & and shares the Gospel with teenagers) sets out on what some might call a fool’s errand. That is, leaving the US for the Australian outback to try to convince Wildfire’s former Youth Pastor, Sam, to return to the ministry.

As she is welcomed to their family farm by his sister Jules, things get a bit tense between Kimberley & Sam
Chautona Havig
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
3 Reasons to Love & Fear the Outback
Not only have I never read anything by Jessica Kate before, but before reading the synopsis of her book, I’d never heard of her. Right about that time, friends started buzzing about her debut novel, Love and Other Mistakes. Reviews were mixed, but none bad. I had to read this one for myself.

Not only was I treated to a well-written, humorous look at the psyches of two psychologically damaged humans. The way Ms. Kate then took her characters through a process of
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was a total surprise. I don't know what made me request it, but I'm glad I did. So, so good!

Kim and Sam are the main characters but we also see Jules and Mick, who already have a past relationship between them.

When Kim goes to Australia to help Sam's sister, Jules, with her dairy farm's financial situation, she's hoping to convince Sam to return to the US to continue is work as a youth pastor in charge. Kim is new to everything but she doesn't hesitate to help with whatever is needed.
Ebos Aifuobhokhan
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You'd find two love stories in this book. Love stories between two different set of people but above all between the individuals and God.

There is a lesson in this book for everyone. This book is filled with sweet humor, breathtaking chemistry, grit, fearlessness, loyalty, trust in God...

First of, we meet the fiery, fearless Kim and the sweet, scared Sam. Their's was a roller coaster of insecurities, unrequited admiration and respect and a lot of self discoveries. I've never seen a book deal wit
Rachel Scott
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: want-to-read
This story was a charming read. What I found myself loving most was the setting. Having never been down under, I've enjoyed learning the culture through this fun book. This novel was well-written - filled with witty banter and engaging characters. I can't wait for more from this talented author. ...more
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So funny! So cute! So lovely! This author got my attention.
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
A GIRL'S GUIDE TO THE OUTBACK is a story of finding self worth not in others, but in the God who loves you, and being willing to let go of fear in order to let God work in your life. The setting is rugged and charming, with characters who struggle with self-doubt and loss, but who find friendship, family, and love. Highly recommended to inspirational romance fans!

This story was a roller-coaster ride of humor, friendship, struggle, disaster, faith, family, and romance that pulled on all my emotio
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Full of Aussie slangs and humour, this delightful book will have you laughing and crying as the characters wade their way through major life decisions and romantic entanglements (and a whole heap of cow muck).

Kimberley does everything she can to keep Wildfire, a youth drop-in Center, surviving. She even has big plans for expansion, if she could just get founder and youth pastor Sam on board. But instead, they constantly butt heads. When Sam up and leaves the program after rejecting her expansi
Thank you to Jessica Kate, Thomas Nelson Books & NetGalley for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

When I received this novel, I didn't know that it was a sequel. It isn't listed as so, therefore, I had no clue. I read this book really with no problem, but after reading the first book, Love and Other Mistakes, I really understand the characters more than I did before and can give a true review on A Girl's Guide to the Outback.

The first thing I really enjoyed about this novel wa
Apr 02, 2022 rated it really liked it
This was such a cute read. For most of the book this was 3-3.5 for me, I got distracted many times and had a hard time connecting at times to the characters but the ending 25% made it bump to 4 stars. Super cute read and liked the Christian faith content. 💙 More to come in a reading vlog update ☺️
=^.^= Janet
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: zz-2019ng-wir
I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

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 humour.

Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s
Amanda Tero
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Once again, being a romcom (and me a not-so-romantic), I wasn’t 100% sure what I was getting into. But I love comedy, so why not give it a try? And it was funny. Sometimes really awkwardly funny more than just can’t-help-but-laugh funny, but there was humor twined throughout the story.

The Australian setting was really cool, and I feel like Jessica gives a great tour-guide in her book, explaining terminology and such that we Americans aren’t used to.

The storyline overall was very interesting. In
Maria Clara
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
What a fun book! Once again, Jessica Kate has shown to be an unforgettable author entering the rom-com world.
Full of her usual "sass", "A Girl's Guide to the Outback" also brings back the thoughtfulness of this author to write characters with such depth and growth.

Kimberly Foster and Samuel Payton have each given each other some really hard time over the past three years.
But, my favorite part about this book was how the characters started seeing each other through new eyes by doing what th
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2020
Last summer, I read Jessica Kate's debut novel, Love and Other Mistakes. While I enjoyed it, I also had mixed feelings about it and didn't think it lived up to the hype. (Some of the fault definitely lies with the publisher, who marketed the book as a romantic comedy when it was definitely much more of a drama.) But I appreciated the author's writing style, so I knew I would give her next book a chance.

I am so, so glad I did!!!

A Girl's Guide to the Outback is everything I wanted Love and Other M
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I’m so happy that we get to find out what happens to Sam, the youth minister who was introduced in Love and Other Mistakes.

This book mostly takes place on a farm in the Australian outback and is a Christian friends to lovers (and by lovers I mean there is smooching) romance with a second chances romance as a secondary plot line. Kimberly is a straight talking business woman who is passionate about ministry but has a hard time communicating. Sam is the founder of a youth ministry who quits out of
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