After an engineering degree and working in the mines of Western Australia, Garth has returned to the Outback and is home to stay. His goal is to settle down, start a family, and work his beloved land with the girl he's always loved. But if it comes to Lucy choosing between the glamour of the city or making a home with him in the Outback-he'd lose, hands down.
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Her Outback Cowboy
A Prickle Creek Novel
By Annie Seaton
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Annie Seaton
All rights reserved.
Lucy hung up the call and crossed her legs, clad in her favourite, redpolka-dotted tights. She pretended to ignore Sebastian, and he frowned as she flicked an imaginary speck of dust from her matching knee-length red leather boots.
"You are the softest touch, Luce. I cannot believe you! And correct me if I'm wrong but you agreed with her? Bloody hell."
"Oh, are you still here, Seb?" She would play the cranky card. She'd seen his eye roll when she'd disconnected and had decided that ignoring him was the best strategy. Sweetness didn't work in their family; they'd all learned that very early. And Seb could be a spoiled brat.
"You know full well I'm here, Lucy. Don't be a little smart-arse."
"So not Luce anymore? I'm Lucy now, am I?" She clicked the mouse and turned back to face him. All six foot six of her cousin, dressed in black, as usual. "Okay, so what's your problem this time, Sebastian Richards? You're always trying to boss me around, and it's way past time that you accept we're equal employees here at the agency."
"It's nothing to do with work, as you well know." He gestured to the phone. "I heard you talking to her. I told you not to answer it."
Lucy leaned back and folded her arms, her voice rising. "And since when do I listen to you?"
"Not when you should, that's for bloody sure." Seb ran his hand through his long hair, and Lucy softened. He really was upset.
"Did I really hear you agree to go out to the Pilliga Scrub and visit the old battleaxe?" Seb dangled his large hands between his knees and didn't look at her.
"You did. And don't call my grandmother an old battleaxe." Lucy injected primness into her voice.
"Our grandmother." He lifted his head, and his eyes were sad as he forced a smile.
"And you can't talk. You're as hard as nails." Lucy pointed at her cousin and ignored his plastered-on smile. She'd seen any sympathy he'd had for her disappear the instant she'd agreed to go home to see Gran and Pop.
"Of course I'll come, Gran. I hate to think of you out there by yourself." A note of worry had crept into her voice. "Pop is okay, isn't he?"
"Y ... e ... es. He's fine."
Sebastian shook his head when Lucy told him Gran had been teary. "The old battleaxe has you sucked in as usual."
"Sebastian. Stop it. We're all they've got left. Do I have to remind you of that?"
"No, of course you don't, but the old cow will use us for whatever purpose she has in mind. And you fell for it, baby. Hook, line, and sinker."
"Bugger off, Seb. There are times when I don't like you very much."
But instead of leaving, her cousin stood and crossed to the window overlooking Sydney Harbour. Lucy followed his gaze out over the harbour; she'd been so busy all day she'd paid scant attention to the day outside. When she'd left her apartment this morning, the weather had been clear and bright and it had put her in a good mood for the work she'd had ahead of her. But she always carried an umbrella in this fickle coastal weather.
As she'd walked through the Rocks this morning, the doormen of the five-star hotels she passed doffed their hats and smiled at her. She knew them all by name, and most mornings when she got off the bus at the end of George Street she would linger to chat, and was often late to work, much to Caleb's displeasure.
"Morning, Miss Lucy."
"Morning, Erwin, has that daughter of yours had her baby yet?" "Morning, Lucy."
"Hey, Reggie, how was the football game last night?"
The friendly chats made Lucy feel as though she belonged in the city-this was her place in the world--and the walk always put a smile on her face before she arrived at the office.
"Love those red polka dots." Erwin's grin had been wider than usual this morning as he'd looked at her outfit. Lucy liked to make a statement with her dress. It made her feel as though she was a part of the vibrant city and that she belonged to the arty graphic design community at the top of town.
"Thank you, Erwin." She'd smiled back at him and waved her frilly umbrella. "My tights match my umbrella."
He'd chuckled as she twirled around, the frills on the edge of the red-spotted umbrella fluttering in the stiff breeze.
In her teens, Gran's neighbour's son--Garth Mackenzie--had teased her about the colourful, zany clothes Lucy had worn to school every day. It hadn't taken long for her to realise he'd only teased her so he had an excuse to talk to her. She smiled: he'd never realised she'd chosen the crazy outfits so he would take notice of her. Last she'd heard, Garth had married a girl from the outback and moved to a cotton farm. He'd been her first love and the guy who had stolen her teenage heart. Lucy had pushed away the little feeling of sadness that had rippled through her.
As she'd walked along the harbour, she'd hummed one of the country and western songs she and Garth had sung together when they were a couple.
And I'm hazy, crazy in love with you, she'd mouthed the final words of the song as heavy clouds had scudded across the sky over the harbour, matching the blue mood that had suddenly descended on her. The threatening rain--she could smell it in the strong southerly wind snapping the colourful banners on the Museum of Contemporary Art across the square--was very different to the dry and dusty outback.
"Lucy!" Sebastian's voice broke into her daydreaming. "Just because her own kids are gone doesn't give her rights to the next generation. You know what a controlling witch she is. She wants something from us and you know it. That's why I wouldn't talk to her when she rang. I tried to warn you." He stared at her, his dark brown eyes narrowed in a frown. "Come on, Lucy. Think about it. The farm! The sticky flies that crawl into your nose and into your mouth, the smelly cattle, the cat's head prickles, and that red dust that gets into everything. You hate it!" Lucy's attitude about the farm had been a standing joke in the family when they'd been kids and visited Gran and Pop's property in the school holidays. Even though they'd lived in the small country town not far from the farm, the joys of farm life had not been high on her list of holiday priorities. Dad had loved to tell the story of her standing in a cow pat when she was about ten years old, looking down her young nose with disdain.
I so hate farms, he'd mimicked her perfectly for years afterward. When I grow up I'm going to live in an apartment in the middle of the city. So no one had been surprised when Lucy had moved to the big smoke straight after high school.
Lucy had settled into city life when tragedy hit the family and she had been left alone. Mum and her two sisters had been killed in a car crash on their much-awaited European holiday. Before the year was up, Dad had moved to Canada, and he'd only been there a few months when Lucy received another tragic phone call--Dad had suffered a heart attack and hadn't even made it to the hospital.
A broken heart, Lucy liked to think. She knew how much her parents had loved each other, and after Mum had died, Dad had been utterly lost without her.
So Lucy had her new life, far away from the family farm and away from her family until Seb had arrived in the city when he came home from Europe. Being away from where they had grown up allowed her to keep the sad memories where they belonged. Locked away deep in her heart. In there, they ached, but it was bearable. Time healed, and she was making a life in the city.
Sad memories aside, the Pilliga Scrub hadn't been home to any of the cousins for a while. University, overseas trips, and Lucy's career in advertising had taken precedence over going back to Spring Downs, the small western New South Wales town where they had all grown up. Prickle Creek Farm was fifty kilometres west of town and apart from the funeral, Lucy had only been back a couple of times since she'd left when she was eighteen. She told everyone it was because she loved the city, but she knew that a big part of the reason was that Garth had left town. Spring Downs wasn't the same without him.
"I feel so guilty for staying away. You should have heard Gran's voice. She was pleading with me. It's time we all went back. They're getting old. We can't leave it till it's too late." Lucy brushed her hand across her eyes as tears threatened.
Her cousin shook his head and ignored her plea. "She's a cranky old bag."
"Come on, Seb, be kind. I know you had a blue with her a couple of Christmases back."
"That was three years ago."
"Well, that makes me feel even more guilty. I didn't realise it was so long since I'd been back. Be a sport--say you'll come with me. " "I'm not going." Seb's lips pursed obstinately, and Lucy shook her head.
"Well, I'm going because Pop's in hospital in Spring Downs," she said.
That got Seb's attention, and his eyes narrowed. "I didn't know the old codger was sick."
"It's nothing dire; he's having a knee replacement and Gran needs a hand on the property."
"So what are you going to be doing?" A reluctant smile finally cracked his face. "Gawd, Luce, you hated the farm when we were kids. I can't see you helping out in the paddocks. Liam, Jemmy, and I loved it, but you? I can still see your nose wrinkled up from the stench. 'Eww, smelly cattle!' You used to compare the cattle yards to the Bog of Eternal Stench movie you loved."
"Labyrinth, and I won't be going anywhere near the yards. I'm simply helping Gran out with the cooking for the contract workers. I won't have to go anywhere near the cows. Or outside on the farm at all."
"Not cows. They're cattle. Steers and heifers," Seb said distractedly. "Cows are in dairies." He frowned and stared through the window behind her head. "It's the end of February so they'll be in the middle of the last wheat harvest for the summer, if I have the right farm calendar in my memory. There'll be a dozen men working day and night with bloody big headers in those never-ending paddocks. And the trucks will be there, kicking up dust, collecting the grain to take to the silos in town."
"I'm impressed. You still know the farm lingo." She injected sarcasm into her voice and waved her hand. "Cows, cattle, whatever."
"You know what they say."
"You can take the boy out of the country ..."
"Oh, puh-leeze." Finally, Lucy let out a giggle. "Come with me. I can work on this portfolio while I'm out there."
"Nup. No way. She's up to something, and I'm not going anywhere near her. You might be naive, but I know dear old Gran and she wants more than a cook."
"Don't forget Gran and Pop lost their three daughters." Her voice trembled a little as she managed to put the past tragedy into words. It was something that they didn't speak about much. "No parent should lose a child, but they lost all three of their daughters in one day. And then we all left and followed our own lives."
"And we're happy. But now she wants something. Why the heck would she want us--all of us--out there all of a sudden? I mean, okay, Pop might be having a knee operation, but why would she need all of us out there? Besides, Liam's immersed in his newspaper job in London. He's not going to jump to her command. If he came home, I'd eat my hat and run around the paddock stark bollocky naked." Sebastian tapped his fingers on his thigh impatiently. "And really, can you imagine Jemima back there after she's spent most of the past two years on the catwalk in Europe?"
"Maybe Gran just misses us all and needs a hand to run the farm with Pop out of action?"
"And a graphic designer-slash-copywriter and a photographer from the city are going to do cattle work in the middle of nowhere? With a fashion model and her brother, the jet-setting journalist? Give me a break, Lucy. You always were the dreamer." He stood and put his hands on his hips. "She can afford to hire someone. They're loaded."
"Don't you feel one bit guilty that we haven't been home?"
He shook his head, and Lucy suppressed a groan. She wasn't going to let Sebastian see how reluctant she was to go out to the Pilliga. "Well, I'm going. I can cook for the harvesters, and someone can come and collect it from the house. I won't have to go out on the farm."
"And what about your big campaign? It's all you talk about, how busy you're going to be for the next couple of months."
"I'll work at night."
"Sure you will." He shook his head.
"Get out of here," she said. "If I'm going home to the Pilliga Scrub, I need to get some work done before I go."
"You know what I mean," she said.
Sebastian wandered out, but not before Lucy saw the guilty look that flashed across his face before he turned away.CHAPTER 2
"Thanks, Jim. I'll leave you to get cooking." Garth Mackenzie sniffed appreciatively as the aroma of beef stew filled the kitchen adjacent to the workmen's quarters. "I might eat down here with the men once the harvesting starts. Smells bloody good."
"You're welcome, boss. There'll be plenty to go around." The contracted cook had settled into the old building at the back of the farm, and he was ready to feed the workers when the harvesting started later in the week. Garth had bought two huge freezers and a large oven for the old shearing shed when his parents had left the farm. From the look of the pots bubbling on the stove and the aroma of baking bread coming from the oven, his workers were going to be well fed this year.
He whistled for Jack and waited till his old dog caught up to him before walking along the eastern boundary fence and checking the dam levels. Once he was done, he'd saddle up his horse and move the cattle to the back paddock, and then he'd check the dams on the other side of the farm. It had been so dry he was going to have to pump some water from the water table beneath the farm if it didn't rain soon. He looked over at Prickle Creek Farm and wondered how old Harry Peterkin was getting on. He'd been limping around for the past month or so. There was no point going over there to offer to help out. Since Garth had had words with Helena about the cattle, he'd noticed a padlock go up on the gate that joined the properties--the gate that had once been a meeting place for his and Lucy Bellamy's midnight swims in the dam. Garth shook his head; those weeks at the end of high school, before he'd left for university, had been some of the best days of his life.
Those days were long gone and the family farm was his now. Lucy had left town, and he often wondered where she'd ended up. He stood looking out over the waving heads of wheat, golden and ready to be harvested. The rich red coats of the Hereford cattle were glossy in the late-morning sun, and he smiled as they munched on the rich pasture beside the wheat paddock. The sky was a brilliant blue, and the forecast of rain looked like it wasn't going to eventuate. Satisfaction filled him; he'd worked hard to get himself to this position, and the dividends were beginning to show. It had been worth every one of the six years he'd spent away from the family farm. It was so good to be back, he didn't intend to go anywhere else for a long time. This wheat harvest was set to be the best one in years. His parents were settled down on the coast, and he was his own boss for the first time in his life.
Life was bloody good.
Maybe it was time for a trip into Spring Downs Returned Soldiers' Club--affectionately known to locals as the RSL or the rissole--to catch up with some of his friends one Friday night. It could get a bit lonely at times. Jack nudged at his thigh, and Garth reached down and absentmindedly rubbed his head. "Come on, old fella. We'll go and get you some dinner and then you can spend the afternoon sleeping in the shade. Some of us have to work, you know."
* * *
On Friday, a week after Gran's call, Lucy set off from Sydney just after dawn. Even that early, the traffic was chaotic as commuters headed to work. She sighed as she caught red light after red light. Finally she was out of the city and heading up the M1. She turned off the new Hunter Express bypass and onto the Golden Highway, and soon the green paddocks of the horse studs of the upper Hunter Valley were flashing by. Peace and serenity replaced the angst caused by the congestion on the roads, and she turned off the air conditioning and slid the window down, taking a deep breath of fresh country air.
Excerpted from Her Outback Cowboy by Annie Seaton. Copyright © 2017 Annie Seaton. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Lucy loves working in advertising and being in the city suits her. She grew up as a country girl and when her grandmother calls her and her cousins, asking them to come back home, she reluctantly agrees. Returning to the family farm brings back some difficult memories, but maybe being there will also heal Lucy and make her feel more fulfilled. The last person Lucy expects to meet is her old flame Garth. He's taken over the farm next door and is still single. He'd love to get reacquainted with Lucy, but she isn't there to stay, will this be a good idea? Garth loves living in a small town and being a farmer suits him. He's happy to be home and discovering that Lucy is there once more puts him in an even better mood. He knows she intends to go back to the city, but maybe he can find a way to make her stay. Their old sparks fly again straight after their first meeting, but will that be enough to convince Lucy to give Garth and countryside living a chance? Her Outback Cowboy is a sweet romantic story. Lucy is a cheerful girl. She loves bright dresses and I liked her fiery attitude. She fights for what she wants. She's lost a lot and this has made her a little bit extra cautious, but she also makes sure she lives and I admired that about her character. She and Garth are amazing together. They have a special connection on many different levels and I loved reading about their relationship. I couldn't wait to find out if Garth could convince Lucy to choose him and the family farm and this kept me glued to the pages. Annie Seaton writes about family in a wonderful heartwarming way. I could easily picture Lucy and her cousins. I loved reading about the farm and the animals and enjoyed finding out more about Lucy's history with Garth. Annie Seaton makes her outback setting come to life incredibly well and I could easily picture the beautiful land and its vastness and appeal. I absolutely loved Her Outback Cowboy, it's a fantastic entertaining, cute and charming story.
I am very happy to say that I requested and was gifted a copy of this novel via NetGalley; this is my honest opinion after choosing to read this delightful book. The pivotal character in the story is the Grandmother, Helena, who contacts her four grandchildren(Lucy, Sebastian, Jemima, and Liam) and instigates their return to her home, Pickle Creek Farm near Pilliga Scrub, where they all grew up after a tragic accident killed their parents. Gran is a true matriarchal figure and all four cousins, with varying degrees of reluctance, leave their homes and jobs to visit. They discover their grandfather is in hospital for surgery and Gran wants to talk to them about the future. One of the cousins is advertising art director Lucy Bellamy. She is busy creating a new ad campaign and is surprised when returning to the place she’d always wanted to escape from actually revives some happy memories rather than the resentment she felt as an orphan. When she meets with Garth Mackenzie, now the owner of what had been his parents’ farm next door to Pickle Creek Farm, the attraction between them is instantly rekindled. However, Lucy has no intention of staying on the farm, whilst Garth has returned to stay after university and then working as an engineer. She’s always been the one for him but she still seems to want the city life whilst he prefers his Outback farm. As more revelations are made, can love find a way to help these two move on to their HEA together or will past resentments drive them apart again? This is a great start to a new series and it was a pleasure to escape into the Australian Outback setting which the author brought to life in my imagination whilstI was reading the story. The interactions between the characters are superbly portrayed, making them feel ‘real’. There are some fantastic twists that add to the angst and turmoil, keeping the dramatic story flowing and the reader enthralled. It is a fun, light hearted and enjoyable story that I have no hesitation in highly recommending. I can’t wait to read more in this series, presuming the other books will focus on Sebastian, Jemima and Liam but still let readers know more about how Lucy and Garth’s relationship progresses!
This is book one in the Prickle Creek series and it features Lucy Bellamy and Garth MacKenzie. Although there are other things happening in this story and with other characters, Lucy's decision on where to live her life and what to do with it is the main thread. Annie Seaton writes in a way that takes me to Australia, though I've never been, and I can almost feel the weather, the red dusty roads, the roos and the dogs. I also feel a tremendous sense of family in her stories. There were a couple of moments that brought tears to my eyes but the one that got me the hardest was when Lucy says: "Listen Gran. Close your eyes and listen. Can you hear it?" "Hear what?" "I can hear Mum, Aunty Jean and Aunty Carol laughing. They're here with us in spirit." ...and the tears started flowing. BRAVO Annie Seaton! Beautiful and emotional! Excellent writing with fabulous characters. I can't wait for the next book in this series.
My first thought while reading this book was that I really hope this is the first in a new series. I am really interested in Liam and Sebastian's histories. This book had such a strong, but a little vulnerable family dynamic. Lucy and her cousins reminded me of mine. Although you may not see each other often, once reunited it is like you haven't been apart. They were supportive and joking with each other, such a great part to the story. And when Gran told the reason for her mood, like an arrow to the heart. That was so sweet. Now, on to Garth and Lucy. I loved the easy comfort of their friendship and how smoothly they transformed into something more. They were a couple to root for. Garth was simply a great caring generous guy. I really liked him all the way to the end. And Lucy was great as well, but made me want to talk some sense into her while she struggled with her decision making. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
3.75 stars--HER OUTBACK COWBOY is the first installment in Annie Seaton’s contemporary, adult PRICKLE CREEK romance series focusing on a once tight knit family of cousins (Lucy Bellamy, Jemima Smythe, Sebastian Richards, and Liam Smythe) torn apart by the accident that caused the death of their three mothers. This is advertising art director Lucy Bellamy, and ranch owner Garth Mackenzie. Told from several third person perspectives including Lucy and Garth HER OUTBACK COWBOY focuses on the second chance relationship between advertising art director Lucy Bellamy, and ranch owner Garth Mackenzie. Six years earlier Lucy lost her mother to a tragic accident, then one year later her father died of a broken heart leaving Lucy alone to grieve at a time when her life and career was about to take off. Fast forward to present day, when Lucy, along with her cousins Jemima, Sebastian and Liam are called home to Pilliga Scrub, back to the family ranch of Prickle Creek, Australia, where decisions are made about their future and their lives. Enter Garth Mackenzie, neighbor and ranch owner, and the man who once owned Lucy’s heart. What ensues is the rekindling relationship between Lucy and Garth, and Lucy’s bullheaded decision to never make the ‘country’ and Prickle Creek Farm her permanent home. The relationship between Garth and Lucy is one of second chances. Garth has never forgotten about the girl who walked away; and Lucy was determined to put time and distance between the man who broke her heart, and the heartbreaking memories of family and love. With her return, Garth is hoping for a second chance but Lucy wants nothing to do with working a ranch, or living without her city amenities. The $ex scenes are all implied and fade to black. We are introduced to Lucy’s cousins- Jemima Smythe, Sebastian Richards, and Liam Smythe- each of whom lost their mother to the same accident that claimed the life of Lucy’s mom. And we can’t forget the cousin’s grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Peterkin who are desperate to pull the extended family together. Be forewarned, because the author lives in Australia, HER OUTBACK COWBOY contains expressions of slang and language terminology that may not be familiar to North American readers. e.g. ute = utility vehicle: blue=argument HER OUTBACK COWBOY is a sweet story of romance and second chances with engaging characters and spirited beliefs. The premise is encouraging; the romance is fated but mostly implied; the characters are passionate and realistic. Annie Seaton pulls the reader into a story line about family, love, loss and starting over.
This is a tough one to review for me. I had a tough time with this one, I've read better by Annie. It was basically Lucy I think that didn't sit well with me, totally unrelateable and Garth wasn't that much better. I liked Liam and the rest of the cousins however they were minor players. I loved Gran and Pops! Now those two made the book. She was strict, hardworking and yet so kind to her grands when it came down to it. Gran calls the 4 kids home without telling them why, Lucy hates the outback and the farm and her memories of the boy next door Garth. Who she doesn't realize is now back home running his family farm. Lucy hasn't a nice thing to say about the farm, so Gran keeps her busy with her in the kitchen. It's harvest time, Pops is having knee surgery and they need help. There's a bottom line to Gran's calling the kids home also, you have to read the book to find that one out. Also where they're all headed, who ends up where and how it all plays out. Lots of little twists and turns. I thought Garth and Lucy were both selfish, self centered people and what surprised me was the attraction there. Yeah well, selfish is as selfish does. You may need a Bex toward the end of this one! I have to lowball this and give it 3.5 but rounded it up because of Gran and Pops. Not the best Annie has written. That's just me, please read it because it's Annie. **arc from Netgalley and Entangled in exchange for a fair review**
I always wanted to go to Australia but after reading this, I’m not so sure! They have lots of flies and other irritating and dangerous critters! If it weren’t for the cowboy next door, Lucy would stay away from the worst of it too! Lucy and her three cousins are asked to come back to their grandparent’s ranch. Lucy is the first to say yes I will come but also the one who wants to be the first to leave. They don’t know why they were asked to come home. When they all get there, their grandmother proposes they take the ranch and it stays in the family. The others are quick to make it work. But Lucy likes the city and all things less critters. She doesn’t mind the work, but she wants to go back to her work life too. She is just a little fickle! But Garth is the boy who she left behind. The one she left her heart with many years ago. He is also back and has worked hard to buy his parent’s ranch next door and he is a hard worker. He also left his heart with Lucy. Garth is lonely and is ready to settle down and have a family. Lucy wants to go back to her city life. The longer the two are together the deeper their relationship goes. But Lucy keeps telling him, she is going back to town and where they are having fun together, she isn’t staying. Garth thinks he can change her mind. The chemistry is strong between these two. I love the family dynamics of Lucy’s family. They are all a little quirky. I am looking forward to reading books on each of the cousins. I had a hard time with a lot of the words. The Australian terminology is different and some things I couldn’t figure out that they do on the ranch. So I just went with it. At the end there was a glossary but by then it was too late and there were still words that weren’t explained. Oh well, I got what I wanted out of the book and that was a good romance! If you like Australia, ranches, cattle, gardens, flies, snakes, fishing, family, second chances, romance, utes, finding who you were meant to be with then this might be for you!
The last place Lucy Bellamy wants to be is the family spread in the Australian Outback. She's made a very nice life for herself in the city and that's where she wants to stay. Family calls though so off she goes along with her 3 cousins. When faced with the fact that they will need to take over the family ranch or it will be sold since the grandparents are getting older, the four decide to each put in their time to keep that from happening. Seeing her ex Garth Mackenzie is a nice perk of being back but not even Garth can get her stay. Can he? A fabulous fun story with great secondary characters that should gives us more great stories in the future. This is a light easy read with little angst and a lot of fun. Definitely one I recommend.
As far back as Lucy can remember, she has always thrived on adventure. So despite the people and heartache she left behind, she set off to spread her wings. She never counted on family responsibilities and the boy of heart calling her home. Can the man of her dreams bring her wandering days to an end? Annie Seaton can be counted on to light up a day with her brand of humor, heart and hope. She keeps readers on their toes by showing that in life the highs can far outweigh the lows.
Her Outback Cowboy by Annie Seaton Prickle Creek #1 Four phone calls are made to cousins requesting they return to Prickle Creek. Two men and two women who have found their way into the world and have successful jobs are called back to see their grandfather in hospital. The four are faced with a huge decision presented by their grandmother and my guess is that there will be four books in this series that will star Lucy Bellamy (first), Sebastian “Seb” Richardson, Jemima Smythe and her brother Liam. All have fond memories of time spent with their families on their grandparents’ ranch. All lost their mothers at the same time. All have ties to their ancestral land. But, are those ties strong enough to draw them from their jobs and lives and take on the responsibilities of country life on a large tract of land? That is the first question. But, as that question is dealt with in the series the next question I Lucy’s and it deals with the fact that she believes she is a city girl unable to live happily in the country. She might go back for a short period of time to help out but to live there and not in the city? Not likely. Even meeting up with her old flame Garth MacKenzie might not be enough to lure her back to her roots. It takes some time and angst and pain for the two to work things out but eventually they do get their HEA AND I am eager to find out which one of the three remaining cousins will have their story told next. It was a thrill to have my wish granted by Entangled Press LLC! I hoped when requesting this book on NetGalley that I would have my wish granted so was stoked to find out that I did indeed have the opportunity to read and review this first book in what will be a great series. Why did I want to read and review this book? Because I have read a few other books by this author, enjoyed them and wanted another crack at a book she has written…especially since they are not in local bookstores. 4 Stars