His Convict Bride – Lena Dowling

HCB

I heard on the EDGE the other day (a local radio station for those of you who do not live in the Greater Toronto Area) that music you listen to between the ages of fifteen and twenty five is likely to be your preferred musical genre for the rest of your life. Though I do not have any empirical evidence at hand I am certain that there is a similar phenomena when it comes to books.

I was in the fifth grade when I watched The Thorn Birds, perhaps not the most appropriate television viewing for a ten year old girl but it is what it is. Although I did find it perplexing when my mother refused to let me read the book before I was fourteen, but I digress. I think that watching The Thorn Birds cemented a life long enduring love of Australia in my mind. Though I am so horrified at some of their exotic insect species I don’t know if I count ever visit for fear of the opening scene of Arachnophobia coming to fruition.

Granted there is very little commonality between His Convict Bride and The Thorn Birds but my beloved Australian setting was enough to sell me on this particular work. Colleen Malone and her cousin were cruelly deported after being set up for a crime they did not commit.

For Irish convict Colleen Malone, being framed, transported to Australia and forced into prostitution seemed like the worst that life could throw at her. Then she fell pregnant to a client and was sent back to prison by her cruel owner. Now, her only hope of a decent life for her and her baby is to find someone to marry.

Widower and former London businessman Samuel Biggs arrived in Australia hoping to put his grief behind him. When James Hunter offers him a job on his Parramatta farm, he accepts eagerly. He’ll put his back into his new work, and bury any thoughts of new love and marriage in the rich earth of his new home.

Upon arrival in Australia, Colleen and her cousin end up having to survive by earning their way in the local brothel. Unsurprisingly, except perhaps in that it took seven years, Colleen becomes pregnant and finds she has no other choice than to return to the workhouse where she can at least keep her child for a while. Newly widowed Samuel Biggs has no intention of marrying again when he arrives in Australia looking for a new start. A trip to the workhouse in search of a new housekeeper derails his plans. With no other choice besides marriage to rescue Colleen from incarceration, Samuel is determined to maintain a relationship of convenience. What is inconvenient is his attraction to his new wife.

His Convict Bride was an entertaining story, if predictable in its execution but sometimes it is that story where things happen the way they should in the manner you expect that are the most comfortable.

Disclaimer: ARC was kindly provided by the publisher for an honest review. 

http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9780857991102

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