Published: Harlequin Mira Au
Genre: Contemporary rural romance
Source: Own book
Ruby wasn't looking for love, Drew wasn't looking to stay...until they found each other. Can their fling survive the darkness of Ruby's past and Drew's desire to move on?
Ruby Jones was always an optimist, but the trauma of her past had made her wary. So when she flees to the small rural community of Bunyip Bay to start afresh, she has her sights firmly set on establishing her horse-riding business and rebuilding her life. The last thing Ruby wants is a romance. In fact, after all she has been through, she can't imagine she will ever believe in love again.
Police officer Drew Noble has no intention of staying in Bunyip Bay — he is just an outsider seeking temporary refuge. But as the charm of the town sways him, Drew finds himself increasingly drawn to the community and its inhabitants, as well as another newcomer, the lovely Ruby Jones.
When Drew investigates a suspicious fire at Ruby's parents' business, he finds himself feeling strangely protective of the girl with the flowers in her hair. As the details of Ruby's past emerge and she comes once more under threat, Drew realises he will do all in his power to save her.
Soon these outsiders discover they have both lost their hearts — not only to the town but to each other.
Outback Blaze is #2 in the Bunyip Bay series by Australian author Rachael Johns. I have enjoyed the first and third of this series and this one was every bit as good.
Ruby has only been home about six months when a number of calamities hit her, you'd think one would be enough, but no, her author hit her up for three! I am not giving anything away by mentioning the first is a terrible fire that burns her parents' business down. It starts off a chain of investigation as to who might have done this terrible deed. Ruby is hit hard by two more shocking and heartbreaking events that would shake the bravest of heroines up.
The only bright light in the whole situation is the presence of Drew, just out to Australia from Liverpool. Unbeknown to Ruby he has a whole back story that could bring an end to their budding relationship. Drew has had a lot of tough experience policing and he is determined to find who has started the fire and... what turns up next.
The book is full of mystery, I had even pegged the cop boss, but no he turned out to be in the clear! There are all the elements of a small town - support, gossip, prejudice - you name it, Bunyip Bay has it. I loved meeting the characters from the other books, and just had to keep reading on to find out 'who dun it?'
Outback Blaze #2