Set in 1864 in Australia, this is a story of love in a foreign land, of discovering the world that opens to your heart when you embrace the things you fear the most. When her employer to whom she served as a companion dies, Englishwoman Amanda Davenport is suddenly stranded in Port Adelaide, Australia with no funds. Desperate and running out of money, she accepts a position as governess to Patrick O’Reilly’s three children in the isolated wilderness of the Flinders Ranges in the Outback (see picture below). Her only thought was to work for a year to secure passage home to England.
What happens when you love the man but hate the land he loves? And when he’s not even free to call you his own? That is the dilemma faced by Amanda. And the land she hates is harsh: “It was the endless, aching vistas of a land empty of all pretense, where everything was raw and vast and awe-inspiringly magnificent. A land as wild and wide open and untamable as a man’s soul.”
Proctor has once again served up a sweeping saga, a compelling tale of conflicting emotions, as the hero and heroine are forced to deal with the ghosts of their past and the failings of others.
Her descriptions of wild Outback Australia are so vivid you will feel like you’re there. She includes exciting scenes of a horse race that will have you on the edge of your seat and a massive dust storm that will make you taste the sand. The secondary characters are wonderful, especially the O’Reilly’s children.
As lovers of historical romance, we are used to reading about a man leaving a woman, but in this story it’s the O’Reilly men who fall in love with Englishwomen only to have them leave because they hate Australia. And when a woman comes along who might be different, whose love might compel her to stay, well…
Let me just say, you will not be disappointed with this one.