by Mariza Hill
On a bright October morning in 1909, Captain Michael Dunbar leads his troop of Natal Mounted Riflemen across a wooden bridge into the picturesque little town of Langton Falls, blissfully unaware of the fact that he has just stepped into the greatest adventure of his life.
It’s here, in the little town with its majestic 300-foot waterfall and famous hotel, somewhere in the sun-drenched Midlands of Royal Natal, where he meets the extraordinary beauty, Leonora Stanford. The lovely nurse, also the highly esteemed midwife of Langton Falls, declares war when he incurs her wrath for no apparent reason. As their lives intertwine with those of the colourful characters in the town, their paths cross often, and so do their swords. She gets under his skin, only to captivate him completely, against his better judgement, for Captain Dunbar has burnt his fingers before.
The enigmatic girl has him wondering. What is she doing at Lion’s Gorge at daybreak and why does she often ride out alone to the old trappers’ cabin on the riverbank at Campbell’s Cliffs, miles from town? She soon has his head and heart in turmoil. Why does she hate him so, with such underserving passion? What does she see in the insufferably pretentious James Morgan, son of a sugar baron, and what is the true extent of her relationship with Dr Paul Williams?
Captain Dunbar has his hands full in trying to maintain order not only in the barracks, but also in the town and nearby Zulu village, while at the same time being irresistibly drawn to his beautiful and very intriguing opponent.
His explorations prove the town to be equally mysterious and not so sleepy at all.
Who owns the incredibly scenic farmland and plantations at Lion’s Gorge and why was the place abandoned? What is the reason for the strange but unmistakable presence he senses at the magnificent yet sadly deserted farmstead?
A devastating tragedy reveals the true reasons behind Leonora’s animosity and the captain is faced with more questions, life-altering questions, as he realises he has lost his heart irretrievably to a girl who can never return his affections.
When a shocking event rocks the captain’s home in Northumberland, he is forced to return to England, and as circumstances separate Michael and Leonora again to put thousands of miles between them, Leonora learns that there is no impassable gorge between love and hate, but only a thin, shadowy line the heart can cross in one single step.
But it’s too late…isn’t it?
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