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In book 4 of the Settlers Series, we catch up with most members of the extended family from the previous three books. Annie at 18 is the eldest Carstairs girl. She has lived out at Bathurst west of the Blue Mountains, where she was born just after her Mama, Bella and Papa, Tiger settled there back in 1824. After visiting her brother Tim and his wife Jo just before Christmas 1843, Annie decides to stay in Port Philip, seeking adventure much as her brother did when he set out with Jo the previous year. Annie has inherited her mother’s independent streak, a character trait that sometimes leads her to make the wrong choices.
Jacob O’Quinn works for her brother, and the likeable young carpenter catches Annie’s eye. Jacob is quiet and reserved in his manner, having spent his life with his widowed mother. When handsome Zachary McDowell, the complete opposite to steady Jacob comes along, he sweeps Annie off her feet. Heedless of advice given by others, Annie makes a choice that turns out to be the worst she could ever make.
Restless, Annie decides to return to her home, and Jacob makes the decision to escort her. The journey back across the mountains proves to be a lot more eventful than she assumed it could ever be. The road itself may have seen improvements through the years but there will always be unexpected incidents to turn life around on its axis. A suspected murder brings the might of the law down on the shoulders of the young couple.
This is a sweet story and yet one with enough substance that it’s hard to put down. While this is a romance, which I might add is not my favorite genre, there really isn’t much romance to it. I’m using the wrong description here. There is romance, the kind where people fall in love or hope to. But...there isn’t sex; nothing embarrassing. That may be why I enjoyed it so much. Just a feel-good story with plenty of trials and tribulations. I think I have just described something that both adults and the YA genre (young adults) can read.
The characters were sweet and yet very realistic for the time period the story is set in, and they were easy to picture. Always makes a story better if you can see them in your mind.
Overall a nice read. The perfect curl up in a chair kind.
read an excerpt...
“You are changing the subject. I have yet to learn your name, sir. And also why I should not see you as some ruffian who makes it his business to intrude on a lone young woman’s privacy.”
With a small bow of the head he said, “My name is Zachary McDowell. I reside with my uncle’s family, as I am an orphan.” This fact did not seem to upset him overly. “My parents came over from Scotland when I was but a small child, and alas they died of a fever on the ship, therefore it was left to my dear Uncle and Aunt to foster this poor lad.” He pointed to his chest again, which she could not fail to notice was well proportioned.
“Oh, I am sorry. Did they also arrive on the same vessel?”
“My Uncle did, but met my aunt and married her soon after his arrival in the colonies. She was a martyr and accepted this unfortunate child as her own.”
“So, it is them you are attending church with?”
He nodded. “Now it is your turn to explain to me why you left the church before the service had run its course—and also, I would be honoured it you would tell me your name.”
“I am Annie Carstairs, and I spent all my life on the property of my Pa and Mama at Bathurst…
about Tricia McGill...
Award winning author Tricia McGill was born in London, England, and moved to Australia many years ago, settling near Melbourne. The youngest in a large, loving family she was never lonely or alone. Surrounded by avid readers, who encouraged her to read from an early age, is it any wonder she became a writer? The local library was a treasure trove and magical world of
Tricia’s love of animals has always shown up in her books. Tricia devotes as much time and money as she can spare to supporting worldwide conservation groups and is passionate about supporting those who do all they can to preserve our wildlife for future generations. She also volunteers for a local community group that helps disabled adults and children to connect to the internet with provided computer equipment. When people ask what she does in her spare time, she is heard to ask, “Spare time, what is that?”
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