1854, Ballarat, Victoria When Nell Amberton's husband is shot dead by a bushranger, there are few who grieve his passing, and Nell least of all. How could she miss the monster who had abused her from the day they wed – the man who had already killed his innocent first wife? But his death triggers a chain of events that seem to revolve around the handsome bushranger who murdered him – a man to whom Nell, against her better judgement, is drawn.
But Nell has far more than a mysterious stranger to worry about. With a mess of complications around her late husband's will, a vicious scoundrel of a father trying to sell her off in matrimony, and angry relatives pursuing her for her husband's gold, she is more concerned with trying to ensure her safety and that of her friend, goldfields laundry woman Flora, than dealing with the kind of feelings that led her astray so catastrophically before.
After the violence on the goldfields, Nell's fate also hangs in the balance. It seems that, after all, she might need to do the one thing she has avoided at all costs ... ask for the help of a man.
Darry Fraser's first novel, Daughter of the Murray, is set on her beloved River Murray where she spent part of her childhood. Where The Murray River Runs, her second novel, is set in Bendigo in the 1890s, and her third novel, The Widow of Ballarat, takes place on the Ballarat goldfields in the 1850s. Darry currently lives, works and writes on Kangaroo Island, an awe-inspiring place off the coast of South Australia.
To find out more, visit Darry on her website.
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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
A nineteenth–century story of greed, honour and an overwhelming love
Ard O'Rourke is Linley Seymour's perfect man. They've known each other since they were children and she has never wanted anyone else. But when she discovers Ard has fathered a child with another woman, her dreams turn to dust.
Then fate takes a hand. Linley and her Aunt Cee Cee run a women's refuge and Linley finds herself unexpectedly and painfully the guardian of Ard's baby: a child that needs her protection from the greed–filled schemes of a violent man.
Ard knows he has no hope with Linley and decides to follow his own path: one that brings him close to redemption. But when he learns Linley and the child are in danger, his own child at that, he cannot stop himself speeding to their aid.
Will he prevail? Can Linley find it in her heart to forgive him? Or will their love come to nothing at the hands of a violent man?
A compulsively readable historical adventure, set on the banks of the mighty Murray River.
1895, Renmark, South Australia
Maggie O'Rourke has always had a hard head. No man was going to tie her down to a life of babies and domestic slavery, even if that man was as good (and as annoyingly attractive) as Sam Taylor. Maggie is happily earning her own way as a maid in a house on the Murray River when disaster strikes.
Forced to defend herself and a friend from assault by an evil man, she flees downriver on a paddle steamer. With death at her heels, Maggie begins to realise that a man like Sam might be just who she wants in her hour of need. As for Sam, well, Maggie has always been what he wants.
The further Maggie runs, the more she discovers there are some things she cannot escape...
PRAISE FOR DARRY FRASER
'Outstanding prose that flows and ripples through every page.'- Starts at 60
'Darry has done a fabulous job with some wonderful storytelling and puts herself right up there with the best.' - Green Reads and Tea Leaves
1896 Robe, South Australia
When Elsa Goody's father and brother George die in quick succession she and her sister Rosie are in trouble. Pursued by an unpleasant suitor with dubious motivation, Elsa leaves for Victoria on the hunt for a fortune in gold coins that her brother has hidden. If Elsa can find it she will be able to save Rosie and herself from married slavery.
Their quest leads them on a cross-country journey to find the last man who saw her brother alive, Ezekiel Jones. But Elsa is not the only one looking for buried treasure. She and Rosie are beset by bushrangers and in the confusion Elsa is accused of being an accomplice. Luckily not everyone believes that Elsa is a criminal. When she finally catches up with Ezekiel, it's clear that for him she can do no wrong.
But with everyone chasing her and bloody violence on the horizon, life is becoming increasingly complicated. Will she and Rosie ever manage to solve the mystery, find the gold and free themselves from a dark future?