The Horseman’s Promise
by Cathryn Hein
Read a few words from the author
Read an excerpt
A father with something to hide, a jockey with a taste for blackmail, a man with an agonising secret . . . and a young woman in love, defying them all.
Sophie Dixon is determined to leave her tragic past behind and forge a bright future on her beloved farm. While looking to buy a new horse, she is drawn into her neighbour Aaron’s Laidlaw’s orbit, despite the bad blood between their families.
As the racing season unfolds, Sophie and Aaron’s feelings for each other deepen. But Aaron is torn, haunted by a dark secret he fears can never be forgiven – especially by Sophie.
Sophie believes herself strong, but the truth behind her mother’s death will test her strength, and her love, to the limit. She’s been broken once. No one wants to see her broken again. Least of all the man who has grown to love her.
An emotional small-town romance about love, loyalty and forgiveness.
A few words from Cathryn Hein
I’m so thrilled that THE HORSEMAN’S PROMISE is out not only in Australia but throughout the world. Some of you may know this book as my debut rural romance PROMISES, which released in 2011, but with global distribution it’s been re-released with a new title and cover, and I think it’s gorgeous.
This is a Romeo and Juliet themed story, with two feuding families, dark secrets no one wants revealed, and a couple who fall in love against all odds. But never fear, this is a romance so you’re guaranteed a happily-ever-after, although I can’t promise there won’t be tears and fears along the way.
THE HORSEMAN’S PROMISE is a book of my heart. I hope it’ll become one of yours too.
Excerpt from The Horseman’s Promise by Cathryn Hein
He closed his eyes. The room swam. ‘Go home, Sophie.’
‘No. I want to stay. With you.’
She tried to tuck her hand in his. He yanked it away, angry with her, but even more furious with himself. ‘You don’t. And you know why you don’t? Because when you find out what I did, you won’t be able to scrub hard enough to clean yourself of me, that’s why.’ He grabbed her face and stared into it, trying to make her understand. ‘I don’t want to do that to you, Soph. I don’t want to hurt you any more than I already have.’
‘Nothing can be that bad, Aaron. Nothing.’
But it was.
He dropped his hands and retreated to the other side of the table, out of harm’s way. ‘Please, you have to leave.’
She looked at him for a long time, hurt swimming through her wide eyes. Finally, she sighed. ‘Fine. If that’s what you want, I’ll leave.’
Her boots thudded dully as she walked to the door. Cold air swirled into the kitchen as she held it open. His throat felt like it was seared shut with regret. Then she turned around and smiled so gently it filled his chest to bursting.
‘One day you’ll see that the past no longer matters. That no matter what you’ve done, I’ll still love you. I’m strong enough to face anything, Aaron. Even your demons.’
It was what she believed, but he knew she was wrong.