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Get the hot goss with the Dear Reader letter only to be found in the front of the North American versions of the book, check out the book's reviews or devour a juicy excerpt...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

««««« CataRomance

 

"Ally Blake's books are a never-fail recipe but 'A Father in the Making' is the best yet. The characters were engaging. Laura and Ryan's interactions are delightful.

'A Father in the Making' by Ally Blake has emotional depth that shows the authors growth and maturity in her craft. The humor and vitality of this novel is a joy to behold and I look forward to more. Not a single thing would I change of this story!

Kelly Bowerman

 

 

«««« Romantic Times

 

Ally Blake's A FATHER IN THE MAKING centers around a realistic conflict, but the playful aspects of delightfully eccentric Laura's developing relationship with Ryan are what shine.

Catherine Witmer

 

 

 

"Your best book yet."

Nicola Marsh

Harlequin Romance author

 

 

"I loved your latest book.  Hands 
down, its the best one so far."
Timna
 
 

"I loved Ryan and Laura's story - I was suffused with the feeling that there are people who care about other people : even if they don't know them.  Laura was her own woman- who cooked!! Big Plus there for her too!!! I loved the quirky town's people too. I especially loved the goats.  Your story made me cry..."

Cindy

 

 

"I don't think I've never laughed or cried so much reading a romance novel"

Joyce

 

 

 

 

 

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Check out my interview about A FATHER IN THE MAKING

@ Cataromance

 

 


 

 

Kardinyarr is very much like a the tract of land owned by my hubby's Aunt, a place I have spent a lot of my down time over the years.  I even wrote my very first book, THE WEDDING WISH, sitting at a desk at Mel's with such glorious views to inspire me!

 

 

Our heroine's worker's cottage is situated atop a hill with similar views, the same gorgeous flowers around the veranda, grey kangaroos tripping across the driveway, the fallen tree with its family of rabbits, and a similar dam at the bottom of the hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

HARLEQUIN ROMANCE

- NORTH AMERICA April 2006 -

 

 

M&B ROMANCE

- UNITED KINGDOM  January 2006 -

 

SWEET ROMANCE

- AUSTRALIA / NZ February 2006 -

 

 

 


 

Join Ryan a city savvy economist with the world at his feet as he lays down his hat at Kardinyarr, a sprawling country property, and navigates the complexities of an Outback life he never wanted.

 

But navigate it he must if he is ever going to get the better of the utterly lovely Laura, a woman who sings to magpies, and still uses an apron when she cooks, and captures more than his interest...


 

 

If you drive not so very far north of Melbourne, braving congested traffic and suburbia as far as the eye can see, you will eventually find yourself on a long winding road leading you to a whole new world.

Think wombat holes hidden in tall grass, fallen logs that double as homes to families of wild rabbits, and yabby filled dams which are haunts of families of grey kangaroos.  From abundant hilltop farms, panoramic views reveal the smudge of the city skyline to the south, tracts of clear-cut green pastures to the west, distant eucalypt scattered hills to the east, and sweeping, burnt umber sunsets the likes of which you have never seen...

And though in my many visits to the region I have never met a Laura Somervale - singing her heart out to an audience of magpies as she hangs the washing on her wonky old clothesline - or seen such a magnificent property as Kardinyarr, nor a town quite like quirky Tandarah, the great Australian Outback hovering on the very edge of Melbourne offers inspiration enough to make them seem entirely possible!

Happy reading,

 


 

Ryan pulled off the winding country road onto a long gravel driveway and slowed his car to an idle.  A weathered, wooden sign at the turn read KARDINYARR.  He looked to return address on the letter laid flat on the passenger seat of his car.  Youthful handwriting on lavender stationery, dappled with fairies, smudged with tears, scrunched into a ball, and flattened again, told him that this was the place.  Kardinyarr was where he hoped against hope to find her.  Though she had written the letter several years earlier, Ryan had only stumbled upon it that week and it was all he had to go on.

He gunned the engine, his tyres skipping and jumping over the uneven dirt track.  He slowed again as a family of grey kangaroos bounced at the same pace along the other side of the neat wire fence, before leaping onto the road, hopping in front of his car, and bounding up the rise to his left and disappearing over the other side of the hill.

“Well that’s not something you see everyday,” he said.

Ryan ignored the “Private Road” sign at the first gate and drove up the hill.  At the fork in the drive he pulled left, coming to stop under a sprawling Banksia tree in the front yard of a rambling brick home.

The CD of a keynote speech he had given at a recent economic summit in London, an addendum to a University level economics textbook he was in the final stages of editing, came to a sharp halt as he switched off the car engine.  His mind otherwise engaged, he had barely heard a word of the familiar oration on the two-hour drive from Melbourne, but the deep well of silence that now filled the car was deafening.

So this was Kardinyarr House; the last home his little brother had known.  Backlit by the light of the setting sun, proudly situated atop its windy hill, it was just as Will had described it all those years before.  A black corrugated roof and matching shutters framed the clinker brick.  A neat veranda laced with black wrought iron trim hugged the house rendering a pretty finish to the sturdy structure.

Ryan’s recent hasty research told him it had been left vacant in the years since Will’s passing; the foreign owners of the property keeping the acreage as an investment rather than an operating farm.  As such, Ryan had expected scattered leaves, debris on the veranda, and obvious decay.  However, the place seemed neat and tidy.  Maintained.  Welcoming. 

There is no place like it, Will had emailed the family when he had first arrived at Kardinyarr.  The colour, the light.  The fresh air gets under your skin.

 Ryan opened the car door and took in a deep breath of clean country air.  Will had been right.  There was nothing quite like the mix of scents bombarding him – sweet pollens, swirling dust, and hazy country heat that seemed to have a scent all of its own.  The acrid smell of car fumes that he left behind in Melbourne faded to a memory.

“Okay, Will,” Ryan said aloud.  “It’s charming here.  I get it.  But so charming as to shoulder out all other options in your life?”  Ryan shook his head.

Kardinyarr had meant to have been a brief stop on Will’s winter backpacking trek around the country.  But from the chain of information Ryan had uncovered in the last few days, he believed that if his brother had not been killed, he may never have left at all.  All because of the girl in the crumpled lavender letter.

Ryan grabbed the offending document, folded it carefully, and placed it in the top pocket of his shirt.  He hopped out of the car, instinct causing him to lock it.  A wry smile tugged at his mouth.  He hadn’t seen another living soul for five kilometres bar the kangaroos and a half dozen cattle standing under the shade of a wide branched gum.  You can take the boy out of the city...

The pleasant breeze tickling at his hair dropped suddenly, and he heard a noise coming from the other branch of the gravel drive.  Classical music.  It had the sharp scratchy timbre of a record, and in the now still air, it carried past him and beyond, echoing in the gullies either side of the hilltop.  He swished a buzzing fly from his face and looked to the broken wooden gate that had long since been swallowed by lily pillies, climbing vines, and a lush Japanese maple.

On the other side of that gate he hoped to find the woman who had written that long ago, tear-smudged letter.  Perhaps she could tell him why his infuriating little brother had been offered the world, and refused it.

 

*   *   *

 

Laura’s head bounced up and down in time with the music.

She loved days like these; a little cloud cover to take the edge off the summer heat, but not enough to stop the differentiation of light and shadow playing across the Kardinyarr hills.  Once she had hung the washing, and finished dinner, she had a slot in her evening for a too hot bubble bath.  The very thought had her happy as a kookaburra!

The record player was turned up loud enough to create a hanging-out-the-washing soundtrack.  She hummed along with the orchestra and sang aloud in makeshift Italian to the magpies lined up on her roof gutters, tragic operatic hand movements and breast thumping included.  Okay, so she was no Pavarotti, but what did the magpies know?

Enough, it seemed, as soon they skedaddled, flying off in muddled formation to land in a gum tree further along the hill.  “Come on guys,” she shouted.  “You’ll usually put up with a great deal when you know there is honeyed bread in it for you!”

The song finished, another began, and Laura went back to her chore.  She grabbed a heavy white cotton sheet and lobbed it over the clothesline thinking she would teach them a lesson.  “No honey on your bread today.  So there!

 

Ryan pushed his hands deep into his jeans pockets as he walked up the gravel drive.

I have never felt so alive, Will had once emailed their sister Sam.  You guys have to come out here.  You have to come and see what I mean.  Only then will you understand why I plan to stay.

 But they hadn’t come.  They had all been too busy.  His sister Jen, as first violin of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.  Sam, with her young family, and her self-funded quilting magazine with its monthly worldwide readership in hundreds of thousands.  And his parents, wildlife documentary filmmakers, who spent all their time in faraway jungles.

Within a fortnight of that email having been sent, Will had been buried back in their home town of Melbourne.  It had been a drizzly winter’s day with a hundred people watching over him, or so Ryan had later been told.

Past the broken wooden gate and atop the short rise, a small transformed worker’s cottage came into view.  Multi-coloured flowers bordered the full-length portico, trying desperately to cling to life in the dry conditions.  A water tank sat rust-free against the near wall.  The fence was neat and the grass was short but in need of rain.  And through the white sheets flapping on the old-fashioned circular clothesline, Ryan caught sight of an ambiguous female form.  Laura Somervale.

What would she be like, the woman for whom Will had given up an Oxford scholarship?  Would she be quiet and bookish?  Would she be artistic and soulful?  Or would she simply be a girl.  A country girl who had caught the eye of a lonely, mixed up, directionless city boy?  Would life have worn her down, or would there still be a glimmer of the girl with the fairy stationery?  What sort of woman could make a Gasper turn his back on the brass ring?

Some kind of woman, Ryan thought sardonically, for here she was doing it again.  She had drawn him out of his perfectly civilised world of five-star hotels, and nightly political debate over cocktails, and into her world of dirt, and heat, and flies, with a page of tear smudged words written many years before.

The circular clothesline turned and Ryan glimpsed a flash of sun-kissed auburn curls. 

She’s adorable, Will had emailed to Sam.  And sweet.  She makes me laugh.  She makes me feel ten-feet-tall.  This is her home, and as such, it feels like my home too.

 A wry smile crossed Ryan’s mouth.  Will must have known exactly the response his realist big brother would have given to such poetic musings, which is why he had never let Ryan in on the exact nature of his feelings about the girl he’d met at Kardinyarr.  Will had saved the deep and meaningful outpourings for their sister.

“Adorable” Ryan didn’t need.  Answers.  Information.  Reason.  Those things he could tie off in a neat contained system once he closed the page on the question still buzzing in the back of his mind after all this time.  Why here, Will?  Why?

 

v

 

From "A FATHER IN THE MAKING" by Ally Blake
Mills and Boon Tender Romance January 2006
ISBN:  
0-263-18781-0 Copyright: © 2005 Ally Blake
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher. The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A. For more romance information surf to: http://www.eHarlequin.com

 


To my friend Mel, for a trillion different reasons, with an extra hug thrown in for the loan of the gorgeous view from the corner of her desk way back at the beginning of all of this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A Night with the Society Playboy  |  Hired: The Boss's Bride  |  The Magnate's Indecent Proposal

Falling for the Rebel Heir  |   Steamy Surrender  |  Millionaire to the Rescue  |  Billionaire on Her Doorstep

Getting Down to Business  |  Meant-To-Be Mother  |  Wanted: Outback Wife  |  A Father in the Making  |  The Shock Engagement  

A Mother For His Daughter  |  How to Marry a Billionaire  |  Marriage Make-Over  |  Marriage Material  |  The Wedding Wish

 
 

 

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