Return to Rosalee Station with bestselling Australian author Mandy Magro’s touching story of the search for belonging, love and healing.
Will the heartland of the outback bring her the healing – and love – she longs for?
City girl Melody Harrison finds herself questioning everything in the wake of her mother’s deathbed confession of a long-held secret – a secret that drives her far into the outback, to the wide-open skies of Rosalee Station…
Matt and Sarah Walsh have finally reached a time in their lives where they are at peace, but their happiness is again thrown into turmoil when Matt answers the door to a young woman with shocking news. But what is the truth? Only by offering her sanctuary at Rosalee Station will they find space to come to grips with each other.
Long ago accepting he’s never going to fit in with his wealthy family, Zai Wellstone has finally landed his dream job as head stockman at Rosalee Station. It’s here he crosses paths with the most intriguing woman he’s ever met, Melody, the new camp cook. Sparks fly between them from their first encounter, but will the secrets she’s keeping stand in their way?
Rosalee Station is the place where love is found and family ties mean more than anything – will its magic once again show a heartbroken young woman her way forward, to the healing and connection she craves?
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Excerpt from Road to Rosalee
by Mandy Magro
The fresh scent of the thousands of eucalypts the Blue Mountains were famous for lingered upon the air as dust-speckled dawn sunlight was snaking its way across the timeworn timber boards of the one-bedder farmhouse Lucy Harrison had called home for almost seven months. Her job as cook at the roadhouse out the front paid the rent.
She knew eighteen was too young to have a baby. She also knew she should have thought of that when she’d fallen into the charismatic stockman’s swag at the B&S ball, a virgin and more drunk than she’d realised, but clued in enough to lie to him, both about her age and the fact that she wasn’t on the pill. It wasn’t his fault she was in this predicament. She’d wanted him to want her, had spent half the night trying to woo him. If he didn’t live thousands of miles away, she might have told him she was pregnant. In hindsight, she should have, but it was too late to harbour those kinds of regrets now. She’d made her decision and now she had to follow through with it. She just wished she had someone to hold her hand right now, to tell her everything was going to be okay. But she was very much alone, and terrified of what lay ahead.
Hopefully, the ambulance she’d called would be arriving soon because the contractions were coming faster, detonating inside her like fireworks. With each wave of primal pain, a deep intrinsic need to protect her baby grew, to the point that she knew now she couldn’t put the child up for adoption. Her innate need to raise this child was almost overwhelming, ridding her of all her worries about not being able to handle motherhood.
Caressing the mound of her belly, she took in deep lungful of air, vowing to make her baby girl her life’s purpose. Her girl would know nothing like the hellhole she’d grown up in, with a drunkard father and an absent mother. Her baby deserved the best life she could give.
With the next swelling contraction seizing her, she bent forward and gripped the verandah railings so she didn’t buckle beneath the pain. After eight months of pretending, of covering it up with oversized clothes, it was really happening – she was going to be a mum. A single parent.
One day she would move to the big smoke to be reunited with her best friend, Sally, and start a new life. But for now, this ramshackle house was her home, and would soon be her baby’s home too.
One step at a time.
Melody Harrison hated the fact that today was her twenty-third birthday.
She didn’t want anyone to say the word ‘happy’ to her. She wasn’t happy, not in the slightest. Her mother was dying, her marriage was in ruins, she’d lost contact with her closest friends because of her insufferable husband and she was so bone-tired, she felt like curling into a ball and sleeping for a year. But she had to soldier on. One step at a time.
Finding a free seat amidst the chaos of commuters, she sank down and blinked back another onslaught of tears. Where had the strong, confident, happy young woman she’d been when she’d met Antonio four years ago gone? She’d give almost anything to find her again.
She was having a really hard time coming to terms with what the marriage counsellor had told her after their last session, on the quiet.
‘Even though he’s denying it, Antonio is a covert narcissist, Melody, and a very clever one. So don’t blame yourself for not seeing it earlier, or for his cheating. I know you’re hoping for a miracle, but he won’t change. They never do. Even when they say they will. It’s all a ploy to keep you tangled in their web. You can leave him, if that’s what you feel you want to do. You’re a strong woman. You can do this.’
Even though she’d lived through it, day in, day out, the words had been overwhelming in the moment. What was she meant to do with such information?
Once the fog had cleared, Melody had got to work. With a clinical diagnosis, she started researching on the web for countless hours. Now she was starting to very clearly understand the demise of her marriage … and of her self-worth. The intense love bombing, the devaluing, the breadcrumbs of false ‘I’m sorry’s and ‘I promise to get help’s, blow after blow to her trust, the crushing heartbreak, confusion, self-doubt. Then, when she was at her lowest point, manipulating her to believe in him again.
Even the fact that he had declared his love so quickly, and they’d married within months, only for him to change tune the minute she moved in, going from ‘I love you’ to ‘I choose to love you because you’re hard to love’. Now she saw the pattern so very clearly.
Her heart had been crushed when she’d discovered that her husband wasn’t the big romantic at heart he’d led her to believe he was. As a young married woman, she’d still held on to her high hopes for a happily-ever-after, even though a big part of her had screamed to run for the hills. So she’d stayed in the hope the romantic man she’d met would resurface. And here she was, years later, still waiting.
Bestselling Australian Author
Using experiences and adventures from outback and country Australia in my stories
Read more about Mandy and her books and discover where to follow her
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