Review: Outback Treasure 2 by Ann Grech

Outback Treasure 2 Book Cover

The Outback Treasure Duet is the story of Scottie Pearce and Pete McKenzie.  Scottie is the owner of an enormous cattle station (ranch) in Australia’s very isolated Outback. Pete is a young college graduate who has spent most of the past decade chasing a myth; trying to discover if the legends of finding gold in the Outback were true. 

Scottie is gay.  We don’t get to know much about his back story, or when he realized this about himself, but there is no question in his own mind.  He knows who he is – but he has terrible difficulty accepting it.  Because of the environment he lives in, Scottie is deeply in the closet, and he has no hope of ever being able to come out.  He believes it would put the Station at risk – homophobia is so deeply ingrained in the culture that he is certain his suppliers and customers would refuse to deal with him if they knew his secret. 

“My secret was one that could never be revealed. It’d destroy everything as quickly as quickly as an excavator digging that mine would.”

– scottie pearce

Pete, on the other hand, is younger and was raised in the city where attitudes are more progressive.  He has been out for ages and hasn’t ever had to deal with the bigotry Scottie has lived with his entire life. 

Pete arrives on the Station to investigate his wild theory that gold may be located on Pearce Station.  Pete and Scottie connect immediately, and their attraction quickly turns into more.  In the space of a few short days, the two men fall deeply in love. 

Book 1 ends with a horrible misunderstanding between them – Scottie discovers that Pete holds a mining permit for his land – and, terrified that Pete wants to tear up his beloved ranch with open pit mines, Scottie demands Pete leave. 

After a few miserable days where both men are heartbroken, Scottie’s beloved grandmother, affectionately called Nan, sits him down and tells him she, his Ma and his sister Ally all know his secret. They all want him to go get Pete and bring him home.  The fact that Scottie is gay doesn’t matter one bit to the people who matter most.

“Oh, Scottie, I wish we hadn’t failed you. I wish you didn’t feel like you had to hide from us.”

– Nan

Even though the immediate family knows and fully accepts Scottie and Pete’s relationship, Scottie is still convinced that he must keep their love a secret in order to protect the ranch.  He fears losing everything because people will stop dealing with the station.  His Nan and his Ma both try to convince him to come out – but he hesitates. 

Pete, unused to having to hide who he is, finds it increasingly difficult to be back in the closet.  He wants nothing more than to be able to touch Scottie in public without becoming a pariah. But he knows what the consequences could be, and he can’t risk it.  He’s willing to hide for as long as it takes. 

Scottie continues to hide until Mother Nature threatens both their lives.  All at once it becomes blindingly clear to Scottie that Pete is more important to him than anything.  That stark reality gives him the courage to finally, fully accept who he is. 

“I turned my gaze inwards and really looked at myself.  Summoned up every scathing remark I’d heard and cast them aside.  I couldn’t love Pete until I could accept myself.  And in that moment, I realized I didn’t care what anyone said. I accepted me.  I was gay.”

– scottie pearce

I devoured this lovely story. I fell in love with Scottie from the start, and the message about not being able to truly love anyone until you accept yourself is so real…  As someone in her 40’s who took a LONG time to accept herself – I KNOW this to be true.  

Ann’s website says she will be writing a third book in this world, Outback Heart, focusing on Scottie’s sister, Ally.  I seriously can’t wait to get back to the Outback for that one. 

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Meet Ann Grech

By day Ann Grech lives in the corporate world and can be found sitting behind a desk typing away at reports and papers or lecturing to a room full of students. She graduated with a PhD in 2016 and is now an over-qualified nerd. Glasses, briefcase, high heels and a pencil skirt, she’s got the librarian look nailed too. If only they knew! She swears like a sailor, so that’s got to be a hint. The other one was “the look” from her tattoo artist when she told him that she wanted her kids initials “B” and “J” tattooed on her foot. It took a second to register that it might be a bad idea.

She’s never entirely fit in and loves escaping into a book—whether it’s reading or writing one. But she’s found her tribe now and loves her MM book world family. She dislikes cooking, but loves eating, can’t figure out technology, but is addicted to it, and her guilty pleasure is Byron Bay Cookies. Oh and shoes. And lingerie. And maybe handbags too. Well, if we’re being honest, we’d probably have to add her library too given the state of her credit card every month (what can she say, she’s a bookworm at heart)!

She also publishes her raunchier short stories under her pen name, Olive Hiscock.

Pearce Station Duet book covers
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