Can she hold on to her dreams …?
Pippa learns the hard way about the unforgiving nature of the bush, sometimes with devastating consequences. And when unfortunate circumstance leads to Pippa tending the farm alone, it is the friendship of neighbouring estate owner Gil Ashford-Smith that helps her through.
Then an unexpected visitor from England arrives, putting Pippa’s dreams in jeopardy. But she refuses to let go. She will hold onto her family’s land, even if it means losing everything else …
From the first page I was completely drawn into this story of the Noble family. It’s 1850 and they have arrived in Australia to begin a new life. Gerald Noble is a likeable man; he dotes on his twin daughters Philippa and Hilary and is extremely tolerant of his difficult wife Esther who has fought against coming here to live. However, he’s had no option. Losing the family’s fortune due to bad investments and gambling this is his last chance to turn things around. Arriving with a loan from his cousin, he intends to purchase land and open a profitable stud.
Philippa and Hilary may be twins but their personalities are totally different. While Hilary is calm and quiet, Philippa is fearless and ambitious. She is also keen to begin her new life away from the heartbreak and rejection dealt her by a man she really loved. She persuades their father to let her accompany him on his journey to see their land for the first time. As he employs a manager (Rob Robson) to oversee his new workforce and they begin the construction of the stud he is called back to Sydney. Philippa asks to remain insisting someone from the family needs to be there. Reluctantly Gerald agrees. With her father gone she takes charge, embracing her new life with enthusiasm. Her good head for business coupled with common sense become extremely useful as she faces some challenging situations during the construction of the stud and the family home.
This is a lovely read full of great characters. The Australian outback is a wonderful backdrop for the story. It’s described in such a way that it enhances rather than intrudes into the action going on. Philippa (Pippa) is a worthy heroine. She’s tough, confident and single-minded – sometimes a little bossy – and the author puts her through an awful lot of challenges (both mental and physical) before we reach the end of the book.
Gil Ashford-Smith, the son of a neighbouring family, who Pippa meets and becomes close friends with is the quintessential hero. Desperately in love with Pippa he realises all too soon that making a success of her family’s business leaves no room for romance in her life. However, Philippa eventually discovers the path she has chosen, while making her wealthy, won’t bring her love or happiness. But has she left it too late to find those things with Gil?
A fabulous romantic saga. I absolutely loved it!
I would like to thank Choc Lit for an AVC copy in exchange for an honest review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Australian born AnneMarie Brear writes historical novels and modern romances and sometimes the odd short story, too. Her passions, apart from writing, are travelling, reading, researching, roaming historical sites and gardening. She is currently living in England.
AnneMarie Brear on the web: