Meredith and Lucy are two sisters as different from each other as they could be. Meredith is sensible and dependable, and doesn't take risks. Lucy is fun and craves adventure and romance. Throughout their lives they've stuck to their family roles - and to each other. While Meredith is perfectly happy with her life in London until fate takes her to the Australian outback - the last place she's ever wanted to go - in search of her sister, Lucy, loving every minute of her stay in the outback, has to go back to London, and swap the heat and the dust and the huge sky for crowded city streets - and a chance to prove herself to Guy Dangerfield.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
November 05, 0200
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Appointment at the Altar by Jessica Hart
LUCY leant on the fence and watched Kevin, perched on a rail on the far side of the corral, waiting his turn at bareback bronc riding. In his Akubra hat, checked shirt and dusty boots, he was outback man incarnate. Strong, silent, lean-jawed, quiet-eyed ... he made all her other boyfriends look like silly boys.
Not that he was a boyfriend, exactly, much as she would love to have been able to say so. But she was madly in love with him, and he had kissed her the other night. Things could only get better.
She sighed happily. In London now it would be cold and grey, but here she was in the red heart of Australia with its bright, brassy light and its fierce heat. Closing her eyes with a blissful shiver, Lucy turned her face up to the sunlight and breathed in the smell of dust and horses. She could hear the hup! hup! cries of the men coaxing reluctant animals into the chute, and feel the sun beating onto her borrowed hat.
I'm happy, she thought.
'Well, if it isn't Cinderella!'
The amused voice in her ear froze her smile and her eyes snapped open. She didn't need to turn her head to know who was standing beside her. There was only one person out here with that accent.
That English accent, reeking of privilege and most expensive education British money could buy.
Guy Dangerfield. She had been delighted that morning to find herself squeezed into a truck with Kevin and the other stockmen when they left Wirrindago. There had been no sign of either her intimidating boss, Hal Granger, or his deeply annoying English cousin, which meant that they could all relax and have a good time at the rodeo. But now here was Guy, after all, looking irritatingly handsome and sophisticated and utterly out of place in the outback.
'Oh,' she said, not bothering to disguise her lack of enthusiasm. 'It's you.'
'It is,' Guy agreed.
Lucy hated the way he could say something perfectly unexceptional like that with a straight face and yet still make it sound as if he was laughing at her. It was something to do with the ripple of amusement in his voice, or maybe it was to do with his blue, blue eyes, currently hidden by ridiculously mirrored sunglasses, where a smile always seemed to be lurking, even if he was only asking her to pass the toast.
What's so funny? she wanted to yell him, but she had the nasty feeling that the answer would be her. Nobody else at Wirrindago seemed to find him annoying. They all thought he was great.
Lucy couldn't understand it. Guy had the kind of assurance that she always associated with generations of privilege and a gold plated trust fund, and she didn't trust his practised charm for a moment. The self-deprecating humour and oh-so-engaging smile were completely wasted on her.
'Why do you always call me Cinderella?' she asked irritably.
'Because you're very pretty and you never seem to be allowed out of the kitchen,' said Guy.
'I'm a cook,' she reminded him a touch of sarcasm. 'Providing three meals a day for eight men - and the occasional visitor like you - tends to mean that you spend a lot of time in the kitchen.'
She was rather pleased with the subtle way she had managed to dismiss him as an 'occasional visitor'. It made her feel better to remember that he was just passing through, while she had every intention of staying forever.
'You certainly seem to work very hard,' Guy agreed. 'I'd say a day out is the least you deserve. I quite like the idea of a local rodeo as the outback equivalent of going to the ball, don't you?' he said, with one of those smiles that Lucy was sure were meant have her swooning with delight. 'Hal gets to be the fairy godmother who says you can go, the stockmen's old truck is the pumpkin that brought you here... now all you need is a Prince Charming!'
He made a show of patting his pockets. 'You know, I'm sure I had a glass slipper somewhere ...'
'I've already found my Prince Charming,' said Lucy crushingly, and looked pointedly across the ring to where Kevin was watching a snorting stallion being coaxed into the chute. 'You just get to be an ugly sister,' she said.
To her annoyance, Guy's good humour wasn't even dented, let alone crushed by her dismissive comment. He just laughed, and she sucked in her teeth in irritation. Prince Charming indeed! Of course, he would think that was his role. The man was unbelievably conceited. Yes, he was remarkably handsome - even she couldn't deny that - but that smooth, blond, blue-eyed look didn't do it for her. She preferred her men rather more rugged.
Like Kevin, in fact.
'I didn't realise that you were coming today,' she said frostily as she turned back to the arena.
'Hey, the ugly sisters always get to have a good time,' he reminded her. 'And rodeos are always fun - to watch, anyway,' he added as the stallion made short work of bucking the latest rider off his back. Guy winced as he hit the ground with a thud. 'Ouch,' he said. 'It's something different, too,' he went on. 'We don't get a lot of rodeos at home, do we?'