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The Game won the Omgea Writers CALEB Prize for Fiction, 2010.
Mr Jonathon Fordham, the most eligible bachelor in Sydney and heir to a noble title in England, treats matters of the heart like a game. Living in the newly forged Australian Colony in 1844, Jack Fordham buries his past beneath an indifferent facade. In spite of his rakish reputation, Jack’s dashing smile and suave flattery would melt any woman’s heart. Any that is, it seems, except for Miss Margaret Wingrove.
The beautiful governess is strangely unmoved by the nonpareil’s many attractions, nor his beguiling charm. When Meg does not fall into his arms as he presumes she will, his game of pursuit begins in earnest.
As Meg continues to resist his advances, Jack’s determination to win her intensifies. But can he risk exposing his true heart to find the love he desires before his game unravels? And can he embrace, or will he simply deny the obstacle which stands between them…her faith?
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING...
“The Game is an excellent story. It is a well written and captivating story that held my interest right from the start. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.”
Meredith Resce, author of the Heart of Green Valley series.
“Amanda Deed’s work is an inspired vision of the great redeeming story that crosses generations, personality types and social milieus as the paramount, unforgettable experience of a lifetime.”
Wendy M McNeice, author of Redemption Coming series.
"...it caught my eye instantly with the promise of romance and the tussle of love verses faith. I was hooked before I even opened the front cover...Like me she believes in happy endings, but the twists and turns she will take you on to get to the ending are nothing short of amazing."
Dorothy Adamek, Ink Dots. (Click for full review/interview)
"This has to be one of the most charming historical romances I have read in many years."
Chrissy Siggee, The Cypress Times (Click for full review)
"I sprinted through The Game by Amanda Deed in less than a day. I couldn't put it down!"
Review by Omega Writers. (Click for full review)
NOW READ THE FIRST CHAPTER...
'You…you would banish me!’ Jack Fordham exclaimed, his face white with horror and disbelief. He wondered what could have so suddenly and vehemently turned his father against him. The Viscount had just returned from Paris and without so much as a ‘how do you do,’ had summoned his son to his study, where he had let forth with a tirade like Jack had never known.
‘Your uncle told me about Mademoiselle Antoinette de Louise,’ Viscount Fordham said through gritted teeth.
Jack froze at that, a new wave of shock assaulting him. ‘He…he did?’
His father paced up and down behind his desk in an agitated fashion, clearly at a loss for words. Eventually he sighed and turned pained eyes to his son. ‘How could you even think of carrying a girl off, let alone one who is already betrothed? You have scandalised her family and your own.’
‘What? No!’ Jack reeled in confusion.
‘Indeed, you were fortunate your uncle intervened when he did,’ his father continued. 'It is only through him the sorry ordeal was kept secret, but even then the damage was done. The girl was betrothed to the Marquis de Rouget. It was a brilliant match. But when he learned of your disgraceful behaviour he would have none of her.'
Jack’s voice was barely more than a whisper. ‘They have laid all this at my feet?'
The Viscount became angry again. ‘She laid it at your feet!' He said accusingly. 'After you were sent back to London, Mademoiselle Antoinette told her father the whole sordid story.'
Jack felt his world spinning out of control.
‘How you wooed and cajoled her. How you promised her everything. How you convinced her to defy her father and run away with you.’
‘That is not what happened!' It was Jack's turn to become angry.
‘I will have none of your insolence!’
‘But what of the truth?’ Jack looked pleadingly at his father. ‘Will you not hear me?’
Viscount Fordham’s gaze held deep regret. ‘Your silence for the past two years tells me all I need to know.’
‘But they begged me…’
‘Enough! I am done with you.’
Jack stared hopelessly at the man who had raised him and when he spoke there was a bitter edge to his voice. ‘So you would send me to Australia as though I were a common criminal.’
The Viscount turned his back and gazed out the window. ‘I’ve seen the way you allow the ladies to dangle after you; the way you charm them. I’ve seen the games you play. I will not have you destroy our good name with your reckless behaviour. You have grown too idle. The change will do you good.’
‘But sir, it is a land of cut-throats and savages,’ Jack said imploringly.
John Fordham turned back to face his son, his face softening somewhat. ‘It is not as bad as all that. You have your sister to go to. And your brother-in-law has informed me there is good, fertile land there. I have procured some cuttings from France. You will establish a vineyard for me.’
Jack sighed deeply, knowing his life in England was over. ‘You will not reconsider then?’
The Viscount stepped closer to his son and Jack could see his eyes were glazed with emotion. ‘You are my son and heir. One day, when you have purged yourself of this restlessness, you may return.’
Though Jonathon Fordham junior had many a heated argument with his father over the following few weeks, the Viscount would not be moved. Jack was summarily packed off to Australia without a chance to redeem himself.