Somerset schoolmistress Elizabeth Thorne chafes against 19th-century restrictions on women. Her future holds marriage to a priggish clergyman, Robert Munro, and/or care of her aging parents. When Robert's younger brother Edward is sent down from Cambridge, he and Elizabeth experience an attraction that culminates in an afternoon of lovemaking. Uncertain about committing his future to a woman nine years his senior, Edward escapes to London and eventually to the Crimea. But he cannot forget Elizabeth, who enters a loveless marriage that takes her to Australia. Sully's pleasant but predictable novel will satisfy historical romance fans searching for a smoothly written diversion. The book's strongest sections are those set in Australia, especially the outback, where Elizabeth discovers some of the freedom she had always desired.-- Kathy Piehl, Mankato State Univ., Minn.