Penguin Books Australia
When her beloved father dies, Eliza Mayberry’s privileged world comes crashing down around her ears. On the verge of losing the business that has been in her family for generations, she has no option but to take over the last remaining case: tracking down the elusive Fingal McLeod in outback New South Wales and bringing him back to Sydney.
Fin, however, has other ideas. Determined to find the legendary Dark Flame, a rare opal that has eluded opal-hunters for decades, he has no intention of leaving his mine, Rebel’s Ruin, to reunite with the family of the man who abandoned him – even for the beguiling Miss Mayberry.
Drawn to the people and starkly beautiful landscape of the desert, Eliza discovers the new start that she’s been seeking in this unlikely place and with a man who is as infuriating as he is intriguing. But as passion blooms under the scorching outback sun, secrets from the past and present are bubbling below the surface – secrets that could destroy both the fragile trust between Eliza and Fin, and the bright promise of the future.
This Australian rural narrative/romantic mystery, is full of spectacular scenery, vibrant characters and with an interesting plot that has the requisite dramas (standover men, vengeful sister of ex-boyfriend , corrupt mining companies etc) and the necessary happy ending…do you feel a BUT coming?
But it is also peppered with what I consider unnecessary vivid sex scenes. I make no excuses, I just don’t enjoy knowing every single close encounter of the sexual kind, I prefer sex scenes to leave a little something to the imagination – and believe me there were a few places in this novel where nothing was left to the imagination (eg outdoor shower scene). To me this sparkling narrative just didn’t need this level of salacious detail.
Aside from this one issue, and this is a personal issue, the writing was admirable. This book maybe for you, sadly it wasnt for me.