Book Review, Shadows in the Dust by Suzanne Cass

This novel takes place in Australia and some of the names of things are a little different than I’m used to in the West of the USA, and will be explained as we proceed.

Jenna Smith escaped from a gang of thugs headed by a man named Liam and has been on the run for two years. The thugs killed her father, Joe, in a cruel murder and Liam wanted to take her to a man named Alexander when she escaped. Over time, moving from place to place, she ends up at the Shiralee Cattle Station in the northern part of Australia thinking Liam won’t find her at this isolated place. She goes to work as a jillaroo (female cowgirl or ranch hand), and the crew “musters” the cattle (roundups) for selling and branding, etc. Enter the romance part, which is about two-thirds of the book, when she meets Dan, one of the jackaroos (cowboys or ranch hands).

The story moves along using the ranch setting for the romance until Liam re-enters the picture with some of his thugs and the suspense grows until the climactic end.

The ranch setting, surrounded by desert and a few hills and mountains is well described as are the romantic scenes and as I became more involved in the reading, the better I liked the story. It was well constructed and the suspense and romance make it a fine book. I give it four-and-a-half stars.