Title: Win Me, Woo Me, Wait For Me
Authors: Joan Kilby, Karina Bliss, Sarah Mayberry
Series: The Outback Bachelor Ball
A cow, a cowgirl and a divorcee walk into a bar…
Three unlucky-in-love girlfriends make a road trip to the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball, a highlight of rural Australian life. One’s looking to move on, one’s thumbing her nose at romance, and one’s looking to slip away and hide. None of them are looking for love…
Three women are about to meet their match in a cowboy, a soldier and a country rock star. One magical night. One less than magical morning after.
Forty-eight hours can change your life.
This was such a fun, easy read with a lot of heart.
The Outback Bachelor Series is a story about three best friends who are brought together again because of their respective heartbreaks. The three stories are interconnected by the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball where the three friends meet their respective matches.
First up is Win Me by Joan Kilby. Ellie McFarlene has been in love with Rick Drummond all her life but it seemed like the cowboy see her as nothing but a pseudo little sister and competent cowhand. After six years, Ellie came back to her family cattle station, where Rick works, determined to move on and find a man who appreciates her.
I enjoyed this first story of an unrequited-requited love. Ellie was a feisty and strong heroine and Rick plays the perfect brooding cowboy. Rick took a bit of time to come around but once he did, it was glorious. Despite its relatively short length, Ms. Kilby was able to give us a solid back story for Rick and Ellie. Rick is driven to make a success of himself after he lost his father and his family homestead. He never felt like he was good enough for Ellie. I liked how the conflict was resolved. It was sweet but not overly so.
The second story is Karina Bliss called Woo Me. This one was sort of a nod to Cinderella or should I say Cowderella due to the cow costume the heroine wore to the Ball. Jen is a disillusioned hotel executive who declared she was done with men after her boyfriend dumped her for his ex. On a dare from her two friends, she wore a cow costume to the Ball where she meets Logan Turner.
Logan is an ex-Special Forces who got roped into helping his sister with the security of the Ball. To say that it wasn’t love at first sight between Logan and Jen is an understatement. They had this wonderfully snarky banter going that was a lot of fun to read. Before long, they realized that they want to explore more. But Jen is going back to New Zealand immediately and Logan is still in the process integrating back into civilian life. Will they take a chance or will Jen’s cynicism get the better of them.
Woo Me, like I said, was a fun take on Cinderella. Logan wasn’t your typical prince but the sacrifices he made to woo Jen was enormous. So yes, he’s definitely a prince in that regard.
Last but definitely not the least is Wait For Me by Sarah Mayberry. Beth Walker got burned pretty hard after her country star husband’s philandering ways became a fodder for the tabloids. Devastated, Beth retreated to the Outback together with her friends to lick her wounds. Jonah Masters was a rising country music star who Beth met years ago when he headlined her ex-husband’s tour.
They had a connection back then, something tangible that they didn’t pursue because Beth was married and Jonah isn’t the type to go after a married woman. But they meet again during the Outback Bachelor and Spinster Ball when Jonah, as a favor to a friend, stepped in as a performer at the last minute.
The attraction and connection they felt all those years ago flared again, and this time Beth was free. But Beth was in no condition to start something with Jonah. She doesn’t want him to be her rebound guy. Jonah just wants to make Beth feel better.
I adored both Jonah and Beth. Their friendship was great and their chemistry was amazing. And Jonah is by far my favorite hero in this series. He’s a solid guy whose feelings for Beth was evident and undeniable. He was so patient and considerate with Beth that my heart broke for him when it was clear that Beth needed time to heal.
Overall, this series was the perfect blend of sweet romance and humor. I adored the setting of the stories. It’s not everyday that I get to read romances set outside the US and the setting definitely added something special to the stories.
Recommended reading order: Win Me, Woo Me and Wait For Me.