REVIEWS: Secret Confessions: Down & Dusty

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Secret Confessions: Down & Dusty

They say that no one has secrets in a small town—these women prove them wrong.

Eight brand-new stories from some of Australia’s hottest writers in Australia’s hottest genre. From the bar stools of the local pub to the wide open plains of the biggest stations in the world, these tales travel the dusty roads to the heart of Australia and the women who understand how to work hard—and play even harder.

In the latest in the wildly successful Secret Confessions series from Escape Publishing, the women of Down & Dusty invite you into their lives—and their bedrooms.


Down & Dusty review



Rachael Johns

Casey Cooper left her husband and the small town of Milpinyani Springs in her dust a year ago, vowing never to return. But a favour to a friend finds her back in town—and back in her husband’s garage, where he offers her a proposition too sexy to refuse. A naked Joel has always been the one thing Casey can’t resist—but can her heart handle the heat?


A sizzling read that, though short, really highlights Johns’ storytelling ability.

Casey & Joels love story is one of growing up and growing together, the vulnerability and passion of love and is a delightful mix of sweet romance and sizzling sensuality.

An incredible start to the series.



Cate Ellink

As the single female owner  of Milpinyani Spring’s only pub, Lucky has learned that her behaviour has to be above reproach. She works hard at home, and when she needs to play hard, she does so—far away from the prying eyes of her neighbours and friends. So when the hot new cop swaggers up to bar, she knows the rules: look, don’t touch. But Dare doesn’t know how to play her game, and he’s about to show her that the only rules that count are the ones that you break.


A happily-ever-after in the most unlikely of places.

Lucky is a straight-shooting publican who has sworn off sex and love. She’s a woman who doesn’t need saving. A woman who can handle pretty much anything and anyone by herself and is happy enough to do so… until the new cop in town walks through the doors of her pub.

Ellink delivers strong characters in Lucky and Dare, a fast moving storyline and some sizzling sex to boot.



Fiona Lowe

Kelly Wilkins’ marriage has always been a team effort, but lately, under the daily grind of work, kids, and an unrelenting drought, she feels like her team has dwindled to one. The lack of rain in Milpinyani Springs isn’t the only dry spell affecting her and, despite her best efforts, her once attentive husband hasn’t touched her in weeks. With the threat of a long, dry summer stretching out in front of them, can Kelly and Grant rediscover their spark, or will their relationship be another casualty of the drought?


Grant is the local (and incredibly hunky) flying doctor, his wife Kelly a local nurse both working hands-on in their local community caring for patients (who, as in almost all small town situations, are also friends). This is a story that is telling of many drought situations: times are tough and everyone in the community feels that—physically and psychologically.

What was interesting was seeing how that dynamic played out in Kelly and Grant’s marriage and how they use the adversity to forge ahead with a stronger marital base.

A romantic story that tells of re-evaluating and re-connecting. (P.S.: Lowe serves up some fantastic sexual chemistry).



Eden Summers

Brooke’s brothers practically define over-protective, and while Brooke appreciates their concern, their efforts have left her climbing the walls in sexual frustration. But no man in town is willing to risk their ire, and all Brooke wants is one guy who thinks she is worth the effort. One guy who will stand up for himself—and for her—against her overbearing, old-fashioned family, and whisk her away to sexual and emotional fulfilment. The only issue is that the one guy who looks like he might is the one guy who broke her heart—the one guy that she can’t risk falling for again.


Brooke’s older brothers are the epitome of protective dominating older brothers—they’re keeping tabs, and firm control, on Brooke’s love life and driving her insane in the meantime. Little do they know, Brooke is no stranger to a romantic tryst or two in the back of a ute… with their oldest and best mate, Heath.

Brooke and Heath’s love is evident right from the start and their sexual chemistry is impossible to deny.

A sweet, happily-for-now story from Eden Summers that typifies the ‘growing up in the country with big brothers’ experience! It’d be fantastic to see more of Brooke and Heath’s story (hint hint, Eden!!!).



Mel Teshco

Clarissa may have been daydreaming about her head stockman, Brandon, every day and night of the long, hot drought, but Brandon has never been anything more than friendly and professional, and Clarissa has long accepted that life will never imitate fantasy. Until Brandon recommends an old friend—a renowned bull-rider and stockman—for a job, and suddenly Clarissa finds herself in the middle of a competition between two of the hottest men that she’s ever seen. But Clarissa doesn’t fancy herself a prize—and with two cowboys willing to do whatever it takes to make her happy, she might just decide that the winner takes all.


You know when you start a Teshco book that there’s a couple of givens—scorching hot sex, strong capable male lead (or leads in this case), and an easy-going and compelling female heroine. And, Teshco does not disappoint.

Clarissa is a genuine and engaging character who is as strong as she is vulnerable—a contrast that is testament to Teshco’s writing skill. Likewise, both Brandon and Adam are well-developed characters given the length of the novel, both with contrasting personalities that compliment one another and collectively with quite the experienced sexual backstory.

This is a quick raunchy read that keeps the Down & Dusty series humming along nicely.






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