Published by Be on January 9th 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
England, 1918. World War One rages, and Victoria Hospital harbours the wounded. Between the falling bombs, a love is blooming. Nurse Elena and Doctor Lyle fall hard for each other. Their passion rivalled only by their desire to save lives. Doomed from the start, the young lovers must hide their relationship. But Lyle has kept a secret from Elena. Guilt-ridden, he breaks off contact and returns home to marry his ex-girlfriend. Elena's parents arrange her marriage to an older Italian who takes his unwilling bride to Australia. Years later, Lyle answers an ad for the Flying Doctor Service "Down Under". Meanwhile, Elena has learned to survive in the outback. And she has kept quiet all these years about a scandal that could tear her family apart. Beyond the Red Horizon is an epic historical romance. What if our soulmate slips through our fingers? Can true love stand the test of time—and the pain of betrayal?
Lyle began to circle the perimeter of the rocks, discovering deeper shade on the western side. As he walked around, carefully watching where he put his feet in case of snakes who liked to sunbathe around rocks, he spotted Marcus, who was sitting at the base of the rocks, holding his knees up under his chin and staring into yonder. Lyle could see he’d been crying and his heart went out to the boy. In that moment he missed Jamie so much that he felt physically ill.
“Marcus,” Lyle said softly, hoping not to startle him and afraid he might flee.
The boy’s head snapped around and his blood-shot eyes widened. Then he clambered to his feet and moved towards Lyle quite quickly.
Lyle imagined he was overwhelmingly happy to see a friendly face and expected Marcus to throw his arms around him. “Are you all right?” he asked.
Before Lyle could say any more, Marcus punched him in the face with his fist. He recoiled in shock. He staggered, just managing to keep his feet. His eyes watered as he’d been struck in the nose. “Marcus! What did you do that for?”
“You abandoned my mother when she needed you and now all our lives are messed up,” Marcus shouted at him.
Lyle was bewildered. “Abandoned your mother! What are you talking about, Marcus?”
“You know,” the boy shouted in angry frustration.
Lyle removed a handkerchief from his pocket and dabbed his face, looking at it to see if he had a blood nose. There was a spot of pink. “No, I don’t have any idea,” he said in confusion.
“You left my mother … when she was having me. How could you do that to her?”
“Having you? Marcus, where on earth did you get that idea? I’m not your father.”
“You’re a liar!” Marcus began to cry at the thought that Lyle hadn’t wanted him. He was also deeply wounded because he wouldn’t admit it.
Surprising Lyle yet again, Marcus took off, heading back towards his grandfather’s van. Lyle went after him, but he didn’t catch him until he’d just passed the van and was heading for the road. He grabbed him by the arm, stopping him.
“Marcus, stop! We have to talk about this,” he said.
“Let go of me,” Marcus yelled angrily, trying to shrug him off.
“No, Marcus. Not until you tell me where you got this idea,” Lyle said.
Marcus glared at him, his lower lip trembling with emotion. “I heard my parents talking in hospital. I heard my mama admit that I was not my papa’s son. My papa called her a prostituta. I might be young, but I know what that means. He said you were my father and she didn’t deny it.”
Lyle was flabbergasted but he was certain there was a misunderstanding. “That can’t be true, Marcus. I last saw your mother in November of 1918. You were born the following October. There is no way you can be my son. It’s just not possible.” He tried to be as gentle as he could with the boy, who was obviously confused and too young to know about gestational dates. “I think you must’ve heard incorrectly.”
“I was born in August 1919,” Marcus said firmly, still glowering at Lyle. “And I know what I heard.”
Lyle blinked in surprise. “That… can’t be,” he said bewildered. “You mother told me your birth date…”
“I know my own birthday, now let me go.” He ripped his arm from Lyle’s embrace, but it wasn’t hard as Lyle had gone limp with shock.
As Marcus’s words sank in, and he realized Elena had deliberately lied to him, Lyle felt faint and staggered backwards. He was so stunned that he just stared at Marcus in utter disbelief. Feeling suddenly light-headed, he made his way towards the van. Leaning on it for support, he stared off into oblivion, without seeing any features in the landscape. His mind had gone back to 1919 when he’d told Elena that he was marrying Millie because she was expecting his child. Why hadn’t Elena said that she was also expecting a baby? The truth was evident. Either she didn’t know, or she was too hurt because he was leaving her for another woman.
Marcus was shaken, but he was mesmerized, too. He could see by Lyle’s reaction that what he’d told him had come as a complete shock – and it wasn’t feigned shock. He watched him for a full minute in silence. Eventually, he took a few steps towards him.
“You didn’t know, did you?” Marcus said, still sounding resentful.
Lyle shook his head. “I hadn’t a clue. I would never have gone back to Scotland had I known.”
Marcus wanted to believe him, but he still had reservations. “Why did you leave my mother? Didn’t you love her?”
“I loved her more than you will ever know,” Lyle whispered.
“Then it was her idea to leave you. I hate her for deceiving us both.” Marcus started marching towards the plane.
This brought Lyle to life. “Wait, Marcus,” he said.
Elizabeth is giving away a digital copy of Beyond the Red Horizon.
For a chance to win just comment with your answer to this question…
Do you think you could cope living in Australia’s Outback be it in olden days or in modern ones?
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Beyond the Red Horizon is a stand-alone novel by Elizabeth Haran. It is an epic saga incorporating scenes in England, Scotland and Australia during and after World War One.
Elena is a nurse in the Victoria Hospital in Blackpool when she meets Lyle, a doctor from Scotland. They fall helplessly in love but their love is doomed from the start. Kyle is promised to a girl back home. Elena is Italian with a very strict Italian father who insists that when she marries it must be to an Italian Catholic man. The couple fully plan to run away to be together, but when Lyle goes home to break up with his girlfriend circumstances make it impossible, and it’s with a heavy heart that he knows he must tell Elena that they can’t be together.
Elena is devastated and ends up marrying an Italian man that her father has chosen for her, then the family move out to Australia.
Lyle marries his Scottish girlfriend, but he never gets over his love for Elena. After some devastating events, Lyle ends up working for the Flying Doctors in Australia where he eventually runs into Elena. They still have feelings for each other, but neither of them can act on them because of the situations both of them are in. Will this couple, so obviously soul mates, ever have a chance of being together when everything points to it never being possible? It doesn’t help that Elena has a huge secret that makes her need to avoid even trying being friends with Lyle
This book had me gripped from the very first pages. Elizabeth Haran writes such an emotional story that you would think she was talking from real life experience. Lyle and Elena were such good people, doing the right thing made them both so unhappy, but they got on with their lives and made the most of it. When they met again in Australia it was such a beautifully written moment, but bittersweet because they still couldn’t be together. I felt so emotional about it all. I just couldn’t read fast enough to see if they had their happy ending. What made the book so wonderful is that is was packed full of exciting, informative content. The scenes in Australia had me easily picturing myself there. I loved how the secondary characters played such a huge part in the story. Some I liked and laughed with, others, one, in particular, I wanted to just desperately smack! I got so involved in all of their lives. I especially wanted to know if Kyle and Elena ended up together, but the excitement of the rest of the story made getting to the ending all the more special.
I loved this book and the author is now definitely one of my very favourites. I fully intend to read all of her books.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.