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4 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Outback Brides: Belle’s Secret by Victoria Purman

Isabella Martenson never expected to be a runaway bride. She never expected to be a bride, period. She simply has the wrong DNA to do the whole happily married thing. Until one night in Vegas with a handsome winemaker changes everything…

A year later, Harry Harrison’s bride is still a mystery. Who was she? Where was she? And why did she run? When Harry flies to a Australia for his best friend’s wedding, he runs straight into the woman he’s never been able to forget.

All she asks is for their marriage to be kept a secret. All he asks is for a divorce. But after a week together, Harry and Isabella are forced to face what they really want.

Title:Outback Brides: Belle’s Secret
Author:Victoria Purman
Series:Outback Brides (Book 2)
Pages:220
Category / Genre(s):Contemporary
Trope(s):Marriage in Trouble
One Night Stand
Second Chance Romance
Point of View:
Location:Australia
HEA:✔️
Release Date:25th June, 2018
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An enjoyable, likeable romance

Despite this being book number 2 of a multi-author book series, this is the first of the Outback Brides novels that I have read. So I’m well qualified to tell you that you don’t have to have read the first book in the series (Maggie’s Run by Kelly Hunter) to understand and enjoy this story. And this story is wrapped up in this book, complete with HEA, so you don’t have to worry that you’re only being sold part of a book!

I was gripped by this story from the get go. I do love a second chance romance and this added a little international twist (the story takes place in Australia with an Ozzie heroine and an American hero) and a runaway bride vibe. The writing is vibrant, interesting and kept me turning those pages. You can tell that the author has a true love for the Australian outback and the world that she helped to create. The detail in the book transports you to the dusty, vibrant Wirralong community that sets the scene for, I’m assuming, all the Outback Bride stories.

As the story progresses, I really got to like Isabella/Bella. She was smart and bold while just having just enough baggage to make her vulnerable and likeable.

|You can tell that the author has a true love for … the world that she helped to create.”

And then of course there’s Harry. Who doesn’t love a man that’s so dedicated to winning the love of his life back – even if they’d only known each other for a few hours? And he was tall, too. Yum!

I just wished that we delved a little more into the background feelings and motivations of the characters. I believed that they fell in love quickly. I understood why Bella felt she had no choice but to run. I just wanted a little bit more as they rekindled their romance and fell in love all over again.

I also enjoyed the fact that there was a nice about of steam in the book. I always want more but I’m greedy that way. And yes, this book does use the f-word a number of times and I loved that, too.

If I’ve occasion to pick up another Outback Brides book I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to do so. But I definitely will be looking out for more by Victoria Purman as I enjoyed her storytelling, her characters and the passion she puts into her stories.

Victoria Purman is an Australian Top Ten and USA Today bestselling fiction author. Her bestselling The Land Girls was published in April 2019. The Last of the Bonegilla Girls, a novel based on her mother’s postwar migration to Australia, was published in 2018. Her previous novel The Three Miss Allens became a USA Today bestseller in April 2019.  Her novel, The Women’s Pages, was published in September 2020. She is a regular guest at writers festivals, is a workshop presenter and was a judge in the fiction category for the 2018 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature.

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Outback Brides Series:

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