This is a review of “Man Drought” by Rachael Johns.
I had wanted to read this book for a while. I was on the verge of purchasing it, when I actually won a copy in an Australia Day Giveaway hosted by Each Day A Gift. It was a wonderful prize to win, and I am very thankful.
Imogen Bates is a young woman who has decided to move to the small country town of Gibson’s Find. She’s decided to buy the local pub The Majestic and do it up. It’s her little dream, and she wants to fulfil it. She’s ready to move on with her life after the unexpected death of her husband Jamie. Her friends think she’s a little crazy, but they want more than anything to see her happy again. So Imogen begins her adventure.
Gibson’s Find is a small rural community in Western Australia. The Majestic is a popular place to be. But there’s a serious shortage of women in the area. There’s many a man who’d quite like to settle down. Imogen is a very welcome addition in their eyes. But Imogen, while not wanting to disclose her past, is not ready at all to move on romantically. Jamie was The One for her, and she’s not sure she can ever love another. Nor does she want anyone else’s pity. She wants to keep her history to herself for the time being.
The farmer wants a wife. (Well according to the Australian tv show on Channel Nine he does). But there’s one farmer who definitely does not want a wife. Gibson Black is a divorced farmer, who is quite bitter regarding women, and his ex-wife Serena in particular. He’s not too happy about the new publican. But his old grand-dad Charlie works as a Barman at The Majestic, and he’s promised his parents he’d keep an eye on him. He finds himself exposed to Imogen much more than he’s comfortable with.
Can Imogen breathe life back into The Majestic? Will her idea of hosting a “Man Drought” weekend bring women back to Gibson’s Find? Is she ready to move on in all areas of her life? Can Gibson get over his failed marriage? And why exactly did it fail in the first place?
I really liked “Man Drought”. I am not usually a big romance novel reader. But I had read a number of reviews of this book and some reviews of Rachael John’s other books, and I saw that she was ranked rather highly in Booktopia’s recent “Australia’s Favourite Author” poll, so I was keen to check out some of her work. I thought that “Man Drought” was quite realistic, especially as I live in a rural town, and an accurate representation of rural Australian life. I liked the different emotions that were explored, and thought that both Imogen’s and Gibson’s reactions to the new romance were very believable. I read this rather quickly, as it was an engaging read. I liked the birth scene, the character of Charlie, and while there were a few sad parts (Charlie’s Elsie story for one!) there were also some funny laugh-out-loud parts. Well worth a read.