Her journey to Australia should have been her new beginning…what she found was a love her past was determined to destroy.
Maria Venetti fled the streets of London and the life of crime she’d been forced into, boarding a ship to Australia. Once aboard the Lady Douglas, Maria was determined to keep a low profile, isolating herself from the other passengers. Her plan was perfect…until she met the dark-haired stranger sitting across the dinner table.
Nathaniel Ward was looking for a new start for himself and his daughter. When the Italian beauty, Maria, joined him in the dining hall, he was captivated by her wit, and ached to share so much more than a card game with her.
When she agreed to model for one of his sketches, he feared he would no longer be able to deny his growing desire for her. What he feared most was losing his usually well-guarded heart to her, opening himself up again to heartache.
Their relationship growing, Maria hoped that at last she would be free to start her life anew…that was until she learned a man from her past, Harold Beaxley, was also on the ship, threatening to destroy everything she’d hoped to find in Nathaniel’s arms.
Arriving in Australia, they stumble upon a web of seduction and deceit weaved by Harold — a man whose lies are determined to rip the lovers apart all for his amusement and greed.
Will Nathaniel and Maria’s love be strong enough to protect them from the pasts they so desperately wanted to escape? Or will they fall victim to the lies and betrayal that followed them across the ocean?
Content Warning: contains sex, strong language, and some violence