Author: Paula Marshall
Rescuer... Protector.... Husband
Miss Hester Waring's father was a wastrel and a drunkard, who had alientated most of Sydney society. When he died, Hester found herself destitute and alone, with no one to rely on. Her rescue came from a most likely source-- Mr. Tom Dilhorne, an ex-convict, now the richest man in Sydney. He engineered a teaching job for her, but knew that if he was to be accepted by society he needed a lady for a wife. And Hester was every inch a lady. Luckily the skinny schoolteacher wasn't at all his type, so he wouldn't be in danger of losing his heart... would he?
I've read a few bks by P Marshall and this one was not one of her best;. The heroine was facing starvation and her pride stood in the way of her even accepting food from her landlady, which I thought was ridiculous. Still, if you like P Marshall, you'll probably enjoy this bk too.
I absolutely adored this book. It's a bit of a Cinderella story, the heroine is literally starving. The hero helps her out behind the scenes, without her even knowing who her benefactor is, and then begins to court her, because he is looking for a wife with an upper-class background. Their story is so emotional and touching, it made me a bit teary-eyed at times.
It's written in a traditional Regency style for the most part, but the setting is anything but-it takes place in colonial Australia in the 1800's, when it was a wild and uncivilized place, populated largely by convicts who were exiled from England. Very original, and there's also a lot of wit and clever writing.
The hero, Tom Dilhorne,first appears in another Marshall book, "An Unconventional Heiress" which takes place before the events in this story, but it really doesn't matter if you read this one first.