Those that like Nora Roberts would also like Forgiven.
Forgiven is a wonderful historical novel. If you are looking for a great story, this has got to be it. This novel brings the past to life; an excellent example of historical fiction that paints a picture that feels like a real-life biography. Vivid descriptions of settings and situations in both South Africa and New Zealand will create a movie in your mind, and you will appreciate how Lawson has craftily created flawed characters who redeem themselves in the end … If you are looking for a spell binding novel, this is it!

In Victorian New Zealand, Rachel is, or at least she was, a socialite, but now she is an outcast; the victim of jealousy and malicious gossip. Her wealthy father wants her to marry an older man who can support her in the style she is accustomed to, but when Richard and Rachel meet, both know that something extraordinary has happened.

Unfortunately, Richard is a lowly farm labourer and it throws their lives into despair, for he will have to prove to her father that he is worthy enough to be her husband. Richard knows that tradition decrees that if he serves his Queen and Country, then Rachel’s father cannot refuse their wish to marry, so he joins the New Zealand Mounted Rifles and volunteers to fight in South Africa.

He soon learns that war is no pleasure cruise. Thin, and weary from overwork, he experiences a clash of culture with the glamorous but infuriating Lady Sarah. Then, ordered to escort her and protect her from harm, they are lead through a terrifying ordeal from which they luckily emerge, only to be thrown into an even more frightening and nerve shattering confrontation with murderous mercenary, Erich von Smidt. Richard, however is not out of the woods, for he is wounded and captured, and his morale plumets to rock bottom; and he pines for Rachel and home. However, while he contemplates his current crisis, drama enters Rachel’s life. Danger comes calling from an unexpected quarter, which leads her to a dramatic finale that shocks them all …

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