Book Review: The Bushranger’s Wife by Cheryl Adnams

The Bushranger’s Wife…

About the Book:

How do you tame a wild colonial boy? With an even wilder colonial girl.

Central Highlands of Victoria 1861

Jack the Devil’s reputation precedes him. The most notorious bushranger on the Central Highlands, nothing throws him off his game-until he holds up Prudence Stanforth and her grandmother. Jack can’t help but be captivated by the feisty Pru and her lack of fear in the face of danger.

Weeks later, Pru crosses paths with the respectable businessman Jack Fairweather, and it’s not long before she recognises him as the bushranger who stole her favourite necklace. His price for the locket’s return is a kiss-a kiss that ignites sparks in them both.

When Pru discovers her grandmother has been keeping a devastating secret, running away with Jack the Devil is the perfect escape for her broken heart. The dangerous nature of his less than salubrious occupation is a poetic contradiction to her sheltered upbringing, and only fuels their passion.

But as life becomes more complicated, will the return of dark elements from Jack’s past ruin their chance at happiness?

My Thoughts:

I’m quite partial to historical fiction set during Australia’s colonial days. The Bushranger’s Wife follows on from The Eureka Girl, taking a character that featured within those pages and bringing him to larger than life glory in a book of his own: Jack Fairweather aka Jack the Devil, the elusive, yet charmingly polite bushranger. While this novel contained a great deal more romance than is my normal preference, the adventurous aspect to the story, combined with the feisty and tough character of Prudence, made this quite an entertaining read all round for me. Cheryl Adnams has a knack for giving her readers a good dose of cheeky humour, as this exchange of dialogue showcases:

“Jack walked his prisoner towards the house and her eyes widened as she saw the man’s distinctive clothing.
‘What’s this?’
‘It’s a priest.’
‘I can see that,’ she said. ‘Why is he bound and gagged and standing on our doorstep?’
‘He wouldn’t come of his own accord.’
‘So … you kidnapped him?! You kidnapped a priest?’
‘He said we had to come to church on Sunday,’ Jack said, as though it ought to make sense to her. ‘But I needed him to marry us today. He refused. So I talked him into it.’”

I wasn’t entirely sure where Cheryl was taking us with this story. A certain level of foreboding set in for me about two-thirds of the way in and this was sustained almost to the end. Other historical stories about bushrangers kept popping into my head and for a while there I was bracing myself. I enjoyed watching both Jack and Pru evolve into their best selves and their relationship was progressive and uplifting for the times. This is the sort of novel that is a joy to pick up after a long and tiring week at work – which is exactly what I did! Recommended for fans of adventurous historical romance.


Thanks is extended to Escape Publishing via #NetGalley for providing me with a copy of #TheBushrangersWife for review.

About the Author:

Cheryl Adnams lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has published four Australian rural romance novels and this is her first Australian historical novel. Cheryl has a Diploma in Freelance Travel Writing and Photography and has lived and worked in the United States, Canada and spent two years with a tour company in Switzerland and Austria. Her passion for Italy, volcanology and cycling have made their way into her stories and her favourite writing retreats include Positano on the Amalfi Coast and Port Willunga Beach just south of Adelaide. When she’s not writing, Cheryl is still creating in her busy full time job as a trainer and learning designer.

The Bushranger’s Wife
Published by Escape Publishing
Released 12th August 2019

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