From the author of The Convict's Bounty Bride comes a new Australian historical about a free settler and the wife he chooses from a workhouse...
For Irish convict Colleen Malone, being framed, transported to Australia and forced into prostitution seemed like the worst that life could throw at her. Then she fell pregnant to a client and was sent back to prison by her cruel owner. Now, her only hope of a decent life for her and her baby is to find someone to marry.
Widower and former London businessman Samuel Biggs arrived in Australia hoping to put his grief behind him. When James Hunter offers him a job on his Parramatta farm, he accepts eagerly. He'll put his back into his new work, and bury any thoughts of new love and marriage in the rich earth of his new home.
However, all plans are compromised when Samuel is manipulated into visiting a workhouse to choose a new housekeeper, and Colleen seizes her chance – literally grabbing Samuel and begging for her life. The only way Samuel can oblige is by marrying her, but on one thing he stands firm – there is no way he will fall in love...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Good and Bad Moments I have a real affinity for books set in the Penal Colony Days of Australia. I like the interesting historical dynamics of this moment and what it might mean to start anew. Here we have a female convict who does not escape the horrors of being a woman in a penal state controlled by men and does her time on her back. This book is not graphic but it isn't shy about the harshness of what it would have been like to be in this situation. Our hero is a widower who has undergone a physical transformation into a much more muscular and active man due to the labor required of him on his journey from England. He is a free settler looking to start over. We have a lovely marriage of connivence plot which is complicated by some very real and compelling factors. The conflicts are spot on and well done and the love story that develops is a touching one. The historical details are finely wrought. Overall, I enjoyed this book but I didn't love it. Here is why... I didn't need the heroine to be falsely accused. She could be there wrongly but I didn't like how much the hero cared that she hadn't done it. If I had read the first book in the series (which I haven't), I think I would really dislike this book. The hero and heroine from that book are very featured in this one but we get no alone time with them or anything for their point of view. I don't like much of what the hero says about his wife nor how his wife is in many moments. Also, the hero from the last book has some past actions that come to light that aren't good, let's say. And we don't really process those and in fact the couple ends up separated over it. What the hero did, in the past, was wrong. It made him really unlikeable to me as there is never an acknowledgment of how and why it was wrong. The plot was too fast. The love story need more time to develop. However, it was still a good read and I will try this writer again. I was given this book for my honest review. So, there you have it.