As a young child bound for a strange country, Sarah Whitaker dreamed of life with her father on his sprawling Australian ranch. But her hopes were shattered when she learned of his death and of her new role as heiress of the largest sheep farm in New Wales. Orphaned in a land greatly populated by petty criminals exiled from England, the future seemed grim. But now, ten years later, Sarah has defied the odds and become a successful businesswoman—much to the chagrin of her male counterparts. Hardened by the dishonesty of both her fellow ranchers and the felons in her employ, Sarah has learned one important truth: no one is to be trusted.
Daniel Burton is a lucky man. Sentenced to death for his role in a horse-race scandal, Daniel was granted reprieve thanks to the influence of his wealthy relatives. Now, rather than death, Daniel faces exile in Australia—an opportunity to put past mistakes behind him. But when he purchases land with the intention of farming it, he unwittingly arouses the wrath of his new neighbor, Sarah. What begins as a battle of wits, however, soon becomes a warm friendship—and perhaps something more. But when Daniel's secret past is revealed, will Sarah be able forgive yet another deception?
My review: I have to say very first that I just love the cover for this book. I love the magic and mystery that it sets for the story held within it's pages.
Wow, Sarah was such a great and complex character! I loved the way we saw her voyage to Australia through her childlike eyes and the way we see her later, grown up and even a bit jaded from the experiences she's been through. She doesn't trust anyone and there's no way she's going to let anyone into her life that she doesn't trust. I love the way that her eyes are opened later in the story and she realizes just how wrong she's been about her own life and also the lives of those around her, especially the people she's judged wrongly.
Then there's Daniel. I loved the way that he wanted to change and be better and how he felt that he didn't deserve to be living the way he is, outside of the prison that he feels he deserves. His great fortune has him looking at those around him and trying to make their situations better. This really is a great way to live, remembering we all have a secret past that no one knows about and trying to make life better for everyone around us.
The rest of the characters of this one are amazing and much loved as well. There are the aborigines that Daniel befriends, Mr. Thackeray, Sarah's oldest friend and pretty much only family she has left and really the whole colony in Australia.
I loved the feel of this one, it was like I stepped out my front door and found myself in the wilds of Australia with Sarah and Daniel.
And the plot was fabulous! I loved the whole thing from the very beginning to the very end. Make sure to grab a copy of this great book!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase links: Amazon - Deseret Book
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