Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Man Drought by Rachael Johns

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 1st January 2013
Pages: 365
Book Source: Thanks Harlequin Australia

Synopsis: 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?

My Thoughts:
My first time reading this Australian author but it won't be my last, Man Drought was a really delightful read. 

Rachael Johns has created characters to adore, not just human ones either, I fell in love with the old Majestic Hotel, the local watering hole in the town of Gibson Find, and mentally cheered as it was brought back to life. Imogen was easy to love, vulnerable in her grief but resolutely seeking happiness and a new sense of purpose as owner and publican of the pub.

Gibson Black was easy to lust after despite an unpleasant divorce giving him a craptacular attitude regarding women. But his mulishness masked a whole lot of hurt and it didn't take long to see a heart of gold. The chemistry between Imogen & Gibson was charged and after lustfully jumping each others bones, I loved that the author allowed their relationship to develop at a natural pace with the odd hiccup of guilt and uncertainty.  

I also had a soft spot for Gibson's grandfather Charlie, he's as much a part of the story as Imogen and Gibson and he reminded me of my dear pop who was the butcher in a small rural town in NSW. Imogen's besties Amy and Jenna aren't forgotten either. Rachael Johns has nailed it with the perfect balance of character driven and plot driven writing. 

Having worked in A&E with four-wheeler accident victims with brains the consistency of cottage cheese I got really annoyed reading this - 

"Do we need helmets?" Imogen asked when she eyed the red four-wheeler he planned on taking out.
"Nope." He shook his head. "We're tough in the bush." (umm bullshit)

I know ... it's a minor detail, just something I have a personal thing with, but seeing that kind of blithe stupidity in writing got up my nose. Ok rant over, back to more good stuff. 

Johns captures the essence of a small rural town, the genuine community spirit, loyalty, friendships, the highs and lows of life on the land with humour and honesty and an ease born of experience. Man Drought spoke to my romantic soul; putting your heart on the line and taking a chance made my heart glad.

Find Rachael Johns on her website or blog, facebook or twitter.


  1. WEll, it's speaking to my romantic soul too!! I think this sounds pretty good and I love that the hotel was a character in this book too!!!

    1. I think you'd love this one Staci, you'd love the characters for sure!!

  2. I thought this was a delightful romance :)

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  3. Excellent review Teddyree - the highs and the lows

    1. Thanks Joanne and my 1st Australian author read for 2013 :)

  4. Looks like fun! The helmet thing is annoying though.

    1. yeah just something I have a 'thing' about lol but it really was a wonderful read!


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