When English society playboy Jonathan Hartley-Huntley is sent to outback Australia after a disastrous affair with his editor, all he wants is to take a few pictures, do a quick interview and get back to his usual life of luxury as soon as possible. Until he meets his host, the irresistible Charlie Hughes, and suddenly the back of beyond is a lot more appealing.
Running the pub is a labour of love for Charlie and she has no desire to ever leave the tiny town of Bindundilly. That is, until Jon discovers an old painting that raises questions about both their lives. Charlie impulsively decides to follow him to London, and as the feelings between them begin to deepen, she starts to wonder if there's more to life than the pub. But at Jon's family home, the magnificent Hartley Hall, they become acutely aware of the differences between them, and it soon seems clear they have no future together – especially if Jon's mother has her way.
Family and tradition threaten the course of true love in this warm and witty novel from the author of Outback Bride and Her Italian Aristocrat.
I read Louise's novella A Kirribilli Christmas and enjoyed it so much that I was delighted to accept this book and wasn't disappointed!
It's the story of Charlie, the proprietor of a remote outback pub in Australia, and Jon, a minor aristocrat in England. He is a journalist and they meet when he is covering a flood in the outback.
The contrast between Charlie's lifestyle and Jon's is dramatic but they manage to overcome this huge gulf and fall in love. But there is an elephant in the room in the shape of Jon's duty to provide an heir to the title. And Charlie doesn't want to be wooed if it's only for her child-bearing qualities! So their differences need to be sorted out. Jon's mother doesn't help - she is the epitome of British upper class reserve verging on the bitchy!
I'm not going to reveal any spoilers but the problems find answers in very unexpected ways!
I like the way Louise writes - her characters are vivid, with strong personalities. And there is a lot of humour in the books (the characters in the pub are a scream!)
I shall definitely look for more of her books :)
Amazon UK: Red Dirt Duchess
Amazon Australia: Red Dirt Duchess