Book Review: Secret Confessions: Down and Dusty – Casey

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Author: Rachael Johns
ISBN: 9780857992925
RRP: $1.19

Escape Publishing have brought together eight talented Aussie authors for a collaborative series of short stories set in the small Queensland town of Milpinyani Springs.

The first of these stories is Casey, written by Rachael Johns, and I knew I had to read it. Ever since reading Jilted back in 2012 I have followed Rachael’s career and don’t think I have missed any of her releases. Over the past couple of years she has been part of a number of collaborative series and I have read her story but not the rest of the series.

Secret Confessions: Down & Dusty has been marketed by Escape Publishing a little differently and I received a copy of the entire series via NetGalley, so I read the entire series. To be honest, I probably would not have sought out the whole series simply because my towering TBR pile screams for attention.

Casey was born and bred in Milpinyani Springs but has been living on a station a couple of hours drive away since leaving her husband of almost a decade. We meet her returning to town to work in the pub over the rodeo weekend.

Calling a series Secret Confessions leaves me thinking about raunchy fantasies, and that’s exactly what this series is about.


Casey is returning to the town her estranged husband still lives in and she’s hoping to spend as little time with him as possible, but she does plan to settle their unfinished business.

I think this was the perfect story to open the series with, it is steamy and there’s a little more heat than I’m used to from Johns but it was still very much what I’ve come to love about her work.

A couple of high school sweethearts who drifted apart but never lost the spark.

Casey’s story is about 20 pages so it’s a mid-morning snack over coffee. The word count is very limited which offers the author a challenge to give us time to get to know the characters and enough about their history to be invested in the snapshot of time covered in the story. Johns manages to do this, giving us just enough glimpses into the shared past of Casey and Joel for us to know what they had and understand a little about where they are now.

I really enjoyed Casey and Joel’s story and it was an engaging introduction to Milpinyani Springs and resident publican Lucky.

The Secret Confessions: Down & Dusty series can be found at Escape Publishing.
Down & Dusty – Casey is available January 3rd.

Secret Confessions: Down and Dusty – Casey was book #76 for #AWW2015

Secret Confessions: Down & Dusty
Casey – Rachael Johns
Lucky – Cate Ellink
Kelly – Fiona Lowe
Brooke – Eden Summers
Clarissa – Mel Teshco
Skye – Rhyll Biest
Maree – Elizabeth Dunk
Frankie – Jackie Ashenden

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