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Her Outback Driver: A fake-identity road trip romance set across the Australian Outback Kindle Edition
"An excellent debut novel... I loved it!" - NICOLA CORNICK, International Best Selling Author
"Hot and steamy, just like the Australian landscape." - Chick Lit Central, Book Blogger
"A heart-warming romance, with the heat turned up!" - Splashes into Books, Book Blogger
"A strong debut by a confident new author. This is no flowery, fairy tale romance, but a lusty, immediate physical attraction that grows into something emotional and mature." - A Little Book Problem, Book Blogger
"Hot, escapist and infused with tension... I loved it!" - JULIA WILD, Award winning author of Illusions
"A sizzling romance from a sparkling new talent." - LYNNE SHELBY, Author of There She Goes
"The perfect amount of steam to make it my kind of story." - Lisa Loves Literature, Book Blogger
"Giulia Skye really captures the beauty and remoteness of the Australian Outback." - Chapter & Cake, Book Blogger
"This is a book filled with adventure, great scenery and a romance where I wasn't completely convinced I'd get the ending I wanted... I really enjoyed the author's writing, the pacing and just the whole story." - Rachel's Random Reads, Book Blogger
From the Author
"Take a holiday from your life". This perfectly sums up why the hero and heroine of this book find themselves in the same place at the same time far from home - but for very different reasons. "Adam" is a Canadian Olympic athlete on the run from scandal pretending to be someone he's not, and Evie is a British backpacker, looking for adventure as she recovers from a failed relationship.
For this novel, I needed a destination like no other. Somewhere unique. Somewhere vast and remote yet accessible for "ordinary" travellers. And - most importantly - somewhere with no pesky mobile phone reception to throw a spanner into the credibility of the story!
I've always been fascinated by extremes of weather - wild winds, torrential rain, lightning strikes - but in particular soaring temperatures. Be it arid and dusty or humid and sultry, I absolutely love the heat so I knew that if I was to immerse myself into a story world for many months, that world had better be hot! And the hottest place I have ever visited is the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia.
This is an unimaginably vast and sparsely populated area the size of France and Germany combined. It has extremes of climate, from massive rainfall in the wet season to severe heat in the dry. It's a remote land of wild, intensely coloured gorges, rugged ranges, semi-arid savanna-like plains, freshwater pools and waterfalls. It's stunningly beautiful but also extremely harsh. If you're not careful, disaster can strike in the blink of an eye.
As carefree backpackers (in a previous life before children), My Man and I travelled through the Kimberley from Broome to Darwin on a two week tour, taking in parts of the famous Gibb River Road - a former cattle route which runs for almost 660km through the heart of the region. We barely scratched the surface! It was early October and we were on one of the last tour buses to leave Broome during the "build up" (the weeks leading up to the wet season). Temperatures were already shooting past 40°C and rain clouds were beginning to gather.
I remember looking out toward the horizon early one morning while camping on a cattle station half the size of England and all I could see for miles upon miles was red earth, squat bushes and the occasional gum tree. It was glorious - so pretty and peaceful - but also quite unnerving to feel so dwarfed by the expanse.
However, despite its isolation, its vastness and its reputation for being "Australia's last frontier", the Kimberley region - for certain months of the year at least - has a booming tourist industry. It has become a top adventure travel destination. The dry season, from May until September, is jam-packed. Accommodation and vehicles have to be booked months in advance, campsites are crammed, and "the Gibb" becomes a trail of caravans and trailer-tugging 4WDs.
Then, come October, the temperature rises and tourists dwindle. By November/December, the region returns to relative quiet. No one in their right mind would venture into the "outback" at this time of year. It's lethally hot and massive downpours are likely to flood vast areas, bursting river banks and closing major roads until April/May.
Her Outback Driver starts in late October, at the end of the tourist season. The Kimberleys are almost empty of tourists but there's still time to explore. This was key to the story. It's hot, vast, remote and, with no mobile reception, Adam and Evie are cut off from the rest of the world - for a few weeks at least. The perfect place to take a holiday from their lives, but what awaits when they return to civilisation?
If you're interested in learning more about the Kimberleys, I share my personal travel photos of the places that feature in the story, like Windjana Gorge, Derby and the red sandy beach of Roebuck Bay in Broome. And if you've ever visited the area yourself, please get in touch as I always love swapping travel tales! giuliaskye.com
- ASIN : B081HDK38Y
- Publication date : February 7, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 4956 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 362 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #375,580 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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But as usual when it’s not an Aussie writing it, I find little thing’s I’m not happy with when my country is written about. For one, why was there no camel tours mentioned when they were in Broome? Don’t they know that’s one of biggest tourist attractions for that area? A sunrise/sunset camel ride tour along the beach?
The arid feel, the dry landscape, the red earth. That was all pretty bang on. I liked that Giulia didn’t try to describe the landscape and its famous sites in too much detail as that’s something that’ll get caught out by someone who’s been there.
However. Right near the end of the book she tripped up by (and this is my interpretation of what was written) having Evie wake up at Uluru, take a brief walk along Kings Canyon and have breakfast at Alice Springs. FYI, Kings Canyon is a 4-hour drive north of Uluru with Alice Springs being another 4 hours northeast of Kings Canyon. Literally a quick check on Google Maps could have avoided that mix up.
I'm hoping this is corrected in the published version since I read an advance reading copy.
That’s a whole day of travelling just to get to Alice Springs from Uluru. If you have an early breakfast at Uluru, go to Kings Canyon for a walk around then continue to Alice Springs for a late dinner then yes it could be done in one day. But that’s not what I took from the way it was written.
Aside from that one little thing (which in the grand scheme of the book is nothing!) the writing was well done. I felt like I could feel the heat beating down on my skin and hear the birds and wildlife around me as if I was there with them.
We were given enough descriptions of the blossoming and developing romance to feel enraptured by it. But not enough for it to drag on. It was well balanced and perfectly mixed with the descriptions of the landscape to allow me to feel like I was on the journey with them. It’s exactly what you want when you want a destination romance read to take you away from your dreary life and see another place without leaving the comfort of your couch.
It even reinforced my desire to travel the top end properly like they did. It’s been a dream for a while and my partner and I have talked about getting a camping trailer and touring the country to see these remote places. It’s something I’m probably going to push for more than I have in the past.
Trapped in a fake marriage to a glamour model and media-hungry, Saskia Williams, Michael Adams escapes to Australia. The impulsive trip begins badly after he's involved in a fight with paparazzi in Port Douglas. It stirs up a media storm and attention he's trying to avoid. With no choice but to hide, he re-invents himself as "Adam" and embarks on an extended break. His itinerary is non-existent as he embarks on a life-changing journey in the outback.
Evie Blake is taking a year out from her busy life in London. Originally, she was supposed to be accompanied by her long-time partner, but unfortunately, they've split and gone there separate ways. Unfazed, she embraces the freedom of travelling around Australia alone, that's until she meets fellow traveller, Adam from Canada. He's broke and she has money to split travel costs. Therefore, they set out together on a road trip across the Kimberley region of Western Australia to Darwin. It's a win-win situating until truths from the past catch-up with them.
As a hero, I shouldn't have liked Adam but I did. His 'economical with the truth' persona is a red-flag, but knowing why he acts and behaves the way he does is justified… I liked the contrast between him and Evie, a woman who is grieving for a life she hoped to have. She's straightforward and practical in her new surroundings in a way Adam isn't. Not surprisingly, the sparse living arrangements trigger a mutual attraction unlike either has experienced before. Only, the plan is for them to go their separate way once they reach Darwin because both have to return to where they live, half a world apart.
The road trip "sings" to my love of all things to do with travelling. I've been to Western Australia a few times, but haven't ventured as far north as the protagonists. Additionally, meeting characters like Frieda, Bill and Terry, not forgetting Webbo too...is a delight. The shared travelling camaraderie is both fun and insightful and I wished I was there with them all too.
The author's written an entertaining narrative which kept my interest the whole time. It's a perfect blend of elements I love; romance and travel. It's a fun and fully relatable narrative which tugged at my wanderlust nature! It also covers a sensitive topic and highlights the emotions of those in a similar situation to Evie. As a début novel, this is first class and I highly recommend to anyone who loves reading a virtual escape to another part of the world.
***Review copy received courtesy of the publisher via Rachel's Random Resources***
Top reviews from other countries
The author whisks us off to the Kimberley region of Australia, a place few of the readers of the book will have visited in person, as it is a remote and often hostile environment, well away from the normal tourist trail. This is exactly why it has attracted the two protagonists in the book, who are both running from something in their every day lives. It is somewhere that the author has obviously visited though, as she describes it in vivid and beautiful detail, making the landscape come alive to the extent that it becomes an additional character in the book, and an essential part of the story. I felt like I was exploring and experiencing the harsh landscape and amazing sights along with Adam and Evie as they went on their journey.
Aside from the allure of the great unexplored landscapes, the emotional journey that the protagonists go on in the book is equally compelling. The author has drawn two interesting and complex characters to explore, and created a complicated relationship dynamic between them, woven through with real emotion and sizzling chemistry. The writing felt honest and real – this is no flowery, fairytale romance, but a proper, lusty, immediate physical attraction that grows into something emotional and mature. A relationship written the way relationships actually are, rather than the way we imagine they might be before we’ve actually experienced life (except Adam has a much better physique than any man I’ve come across in real life, and Evie is much nicer than most people, but it wouldn’t be fiction if it were too close to real life, would it? We always need a hint of escapism!)
The plot is novel and interesting, containing enough tension and twists to make the reader want to pursue it to the very end. I was invested enough in both characters to care what happened to them, and I enjoyed all the fun little escapades that were fed in along the way (Webbo and his novel travelling companion were a particular highlight!) Giulia doesn’t shy away from writing the love scenes with *ahem* passion either!
This is a strong debut by a confident new author and I will be watching eagerly to see what she does next. Having looked at what she has planned for her follow ups, I am sure I will be taking more exotic adventures with her characters soon. One to keep an eye on.
The book is set in The Kimberleys in North West Australia, vividly described by Giulia, making me want to return there. It certainly brought back memories of my backpacking travels in the area.
It tells the story of Michael Adams, former Olympic swimmer, who wants to escape his life as Canada’s leading reality TV star. To do this he takes off to Australia, assuming a new identity as Adam, a tourist travelling in the Outback. In contrast, English accountant Evie is on a gap year travelling her way round Australia.
After her first startling encounter with Adam at the camp site she’s working at, it isn’t long before they become travelling companions touring through the wild landscape with hilarious and breath-taking results. Adam and Evie are well rounded likeable characters, but they follow a rocky road to find love, reflected in the scenery.
The book is a page turner, keeping you on the edge of your seat as the plot twists and turns right until the end – will they or won’t they stay together?
Giulia is a hot new writing talent and I can’t wait for her next book. Congratulations Giulia!
It's also beautifully well written - not just the characters (especially their interior lives) but the Australian landscape too. I could picture the gorgeous scenery - even though I've never been to Australia!
Giulia Skye is a writer to watch and I can't wait for book 2. Highly recommended.