His carefree bachelor days over, Christopher Matcham returns to Sydney to take responsibility for his mother, two stepsisters, and the family property. Fortune smiles on him when he is introduced to Matilda Sweet, a woman in need of work. Though unusual, Christopher senses that her fresh ideals and positive outlook can only benefit his sisters, so he hires her as a companion.
By the time they arrive at Christopher's family home, the two are fast friends. But Matilda's unorthodox ways and her convict heritage make her a second class citizen to the family. Christopher has responsibilities, and they include an advantageous match. A breeches–wearing, fish–pond–swimming, plain–talking convict's daughter will never figure in. After all, romance is a luxury the upper classes cannot afford...
Born into the rough, but still privileged society of the Australian colonial landowners, Lilibeth Dungarven finds herself married, widowed, and, much to her distress, back under her father's thumb, all before her twenty–first birthday. Determined not to forgo her dream of breeding the perfect racehorse, Lilibeth ignores propriety and sets out to restore the family's flagging fortunes.
When Captain Tom and his mismatched band of bushrangers stumble across a mob of the best horses they've ever seen, and the daughter of the famed Dungarven horse stud, they know their fortunes have changed. Their catch is worth a king's ransom. All they have to do is hold the daughter for seven days. How hard can it be to control the pampered daughter of a colonial upstart?
Can she save her family's horse stud and reputation?
When India Kilhampton is caught up in the heart–stopping excitement of the first Melbourne Cup her mind is made up. She will breed a horse to win the coveted trophy and reunite her fractured family. Determined to make her dream a reality she advertises for a horse breeder.
Jim Mawgan arrives at Helligen Stud in the Hunter Valley to take up the position. Jim however, has a mission: he must fulfil his father's dying wish to right past wrongs and prove his ownership of the prized stallion Jefferson.
Jim and India discover they share a common goal but as the secrets of the past unravel old enmities surface. Although betrayed, will India save Jim before he is branded a horse thief and sentenced to death?
Two women, a century apart, are drawn into a mystery surrounding the biggest scientific controversy of the nineteenth century, the classification of the platypus.
1808 Agnes Banks, NSW
Rose Winton wants nothing more than to work with her father, eminent naturalist Charles Winton, on his groundbreaking study of the platypus. Not only does she love him with all her heart, but the discoveries they have made could turn the scientific world on its head. When Charles is unable to make the long sea journey to present his findings to the prestigious Royal Society in England, Rose must venture forth in his stead. What she discovers there will change the lives of future generations.
1908 Sydney, NSW
Tamsin Alleyn has been given a mission: travel to the Hunter Valley and retrieve an old sketchbook of debateable value, gifted to the Mitchell Library by a recluse. But when she gets there, she finds there is more to the book than meets the eye, and more than one interested party. Shaw Everdene, a young antiquarian bookseller and lawyer, seems to have his own agenda when it comes to the book but Tamsin decides to work with him to try and discover the book's true provenance. The deeper they delve, the more intricate the mystery becomes.
As the lives of two women a century apart converge, discoveries rise up from the past and reach into the future, with irrevocable consequences...
Even if time heals all wounds, you still bear the scars...
Wollombi: 1855. When Roisin Ogilvie moves to Wollombi her thoughts are only of protecting her illegitimate son, Ruan, from the grasps of his powerful and dangerous father. Posing as an impoverished widow, she settles into a quiet existence as a local dressmaker. She doesn't expect to catch the attention of Irish champion cedar cutter Carrick O'Connor, or any other man for that matter.
Carrick O'Connor may have won the coveted Wollombi Wood Chop, but his mind is on the beautiful seamstress and her son. Or rather, on who they remind him of. Determined to exact revenge for the horrors of his past, Carrick plans to return to Ireland to seek revenge on the land agent who was responsible for the death of his wife and child, and his transportation. Then, hopefully, he can return to Wollombi to start life afresh.
But a murder charge, a kidnapping, a growing attraction, and a past that refuses to stay silent will turn both his and Roisin's lives upside down and will lead them to a hard choice. Redemption? Or cutters' justice?
Determined to throw off the shackles of her convict past, Charlotte Oliver accepts her employer's marriage proposal, even though she does not love him, and together they board a refitted whaling schooner bound for Sydney to begin their new life.
But life has a way of disrupting plans, and during the voyage the Zephyrus undergoes a mutiny. Captain Christian Charity loses his ship, but he also risks losing so much more.Charlotte has in her possession a tiny blue bottle and an Angel coin. On their own, they mean nothing more than a keepsake, but to Christian, they could mean everything – a past remade and a future with love.
As her father's only heir, Catherine Cottingham expects to inherit their sprawling property in the Hunter Valley. What she doesn't understand is why her father is trying to push her into a marriage to the pompous and repulsive Sydney businessman Henry W. Bartholomew.
When the will is read it becomes clear money, or the lack of it, lay behind her father's plans. Catherine is mortified – as a married woman all her possessions will pass to her husband, the overbearing Bartholomew. Her only alternative is to wait until her twenty–first birthday and inherit the property in her own right, but can she elude such a determined man until then?
A chance encounter with a travelling circus and its fiery lead performer, Sergey Petrov, offers the perfect solution and Catherine escapes to the goldfields. But there is more to the circus than spangles and sawdust and Catherine finds herself drawn into a far–reaching web of fraud and forgery...
A stunning new novel from the bestselling author of The Horse Thief and The Cedar Cutter