Published by Bastei Entertainment on June 12th 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
South Australia, 1866. Beautiful but destitute Abigail is forced to marry an old landowner who desperately needs heirs. But on their wedding night something terrible happens ...
Abbey flees Martindale Hall. She has no memory of the previous night, but no one believes her. With no one to trust, she seeks refuge in the neighbouring town of Clare. There, her luck seems to change. She meets Jack Hawker, who is looking for someone to tend to his mother on the remote farm Bungaree Station. Jack hires Abbey for the job. But Abbey's respite is short-lived. Days later, a visitor from Martindale Hall turns up on the farm, accusing Abbey of a horrible crime ... Will Jack believe her? Or is she doomed to a life of penance?
With an eye for detail, Elizabeth Haran is the author of numerous other romantic adventures including Island of Whispering Winds, Under a Flaming Sky, Dreams beneath a Red Sun, and River of Fortune, Staircase to the Moon, and Beyond the Red Horizon, all available as eBooks.
For fans of sagas set against a backdrop of beautiful landscapes, like Sarah Lark's, Island of a Thousand Springs or Kate Morton's, The Forgotten Garden.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Shadows in the Valley is a standalone novel by Elizabeth Haran.
Abigail is forced into a marriage she definitely doesn’t want with the man she holds responsible for her father and her fiance’s deaths. Something terrible happens on her wedding night and she flees for her life.
Needing to get far away and knowing she can’t go home she just aims to walk as far away as she can get. She has no money for food or a drink and when she eventually reaches a town she ends up collapsing.
Fortunately, she collapses practically into the arms of Jack who is just leaving an employment agency where he has been with his mother to find a companion for her. Once they bring Abbey around, Jack makes the decision that she can be his mother’s companion. She obviously needs looking after, and his mother hasn’t been able to make up her mind about who to hire. So Jack kills two birds with one stone and hires Abbey.
What follows is the story of life on a station in the outback, and of the wide variety of people that live on it. From its owner to the aboriginals who are none too happy about the white man taking their land. We read how Abbey settles into her new life, but how she is very much in danger from the son of the man she was forced to marry. We also read how Jack and Abbey start to have feelings for each other, ones that neither believes can lead to anything as Jack has a fiance, and Abbey has her secrets, plus is much lower class than the wealthy landowner.
This was a beautifully told story, with drama, culture, disaster, death, birth, love, happiness, determination, and funny moments! It is so much more than just a romance and it captured me from the very first pages. I was emotionally involved from the moment I read about Abbey living in the dugouts of a dried up old creek amongst other people who can’t afford proper roofs above their heads. The author sets a scene to perfection, so much so that you can easily picture yourself right there amongst the characters. You want to cry for them when they suffer losses and cheer for them when good things happen. You can even feel a little empathy for the villain in the story which to me proves just how good an author Elizabeth Haran is.
I enjoyed this book so much that I was actually disappointed when it finished. I wanted to stay amongst the pages, enjoying life in Australia, living on the station with Abbey and Jack and all the characters. In fact, I could just imagine the story as a TV series, one that can go for years and I would be it’s number one fan! But I shall just be happy with having spent a few hours with them in the pages of the book which if you haven’t guessed, I wholeheartedly recommend!!