Item description for The Lighthorseman (The Lighthorseman series) by Marjorie Jones...
Dale Winters rode in the great charge at Beersheba in the final months of The Great War and has never forgiven himself for surviving. His younger brother did not. As a result, guilt-ridden, Dale gives up the passion in his life -- horses. If his brother could no longer ride the animals he loved so much, then neither would he. A shattered man, Dale returns to his home in Western Australia. Emily Castle, late of Arizona, inherited one-half of the Castle Winters Sheep Station in Western Australia when her Uncle Charles passed away. For years, through his letters, her uncle had regaled Emily with tales of the exploits of the boys he had fostered. With a heart full of hope and happiness, she moves to her new home and an inevitable meeting with the amazing and adventurous Dale Winters. But the man who comes home from the war is not the one she envisioned in her dreams. Broken promises and a vow made to a dead man have stolen away his joy of life. Then Emily wagers her share of the station, and herself, on a horse race and becomes unable to ride. Will Dale learn, before it's too late, that some promises are meant to be broken?
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.69" Width: 4.17" Height: 0.55" Weight: 0.49 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2006
Publisher Medallion Press
ISBN 1932815457 ISBN13 9781932815450
Reviews - What do customers think about The Lighthorseman (The Lighthorseman series)?
Thank goodness I finally finished this book! Dec 4, 2007
When I discovered this book by Marjorie Jones I was tempted to buy it and the second book of the series instantly. I am so very glad that I only bought this one. There are only three other reviews of this book at the time of my writing. I will definitely give you an alternative point of view.
I cut my romantic fiction teeth on the Harlequin books long, long ago about life in the Australian outback. I was totally fascinated by the mystery which seemed to surround the places and the people living there. I have since moved on to other authors, locals and historical times but my memories of those early days Harlequins remain incredibly vivid. I was thrilled to find this book because of the location, historical time period and views of life lived on a sheep station. For the first 44 pages, this book was quite interesting for me. The problem is that there are 430 pages in the book.
After Emily has exchanged 19 (yes, 19) words with Dale Winters the author writes these words: "The horse dodged the lumbering automobile, but the wagon tilted and Emily swayed against Dale's arm and thigh. A shock of something that reminded her of lightning over the desert made her limbs tremble. The feeling, one she'd never experienced before, settled in her womb." Excuse me? She had been in this mans presence for all of 10 or 15 minutes and she had a feeling in her womb? I just closed the book and groaned! I did pick it back up later to begin to read again. Surely it had to get better. No, sorry. Not for me. The writing in this book just left me cold. Example #1: Now you tell me, if you were going to go out for a very long, very fast gallop on a horse and you had hair down to your waist in a "riot" of curls, would you not have made darn sure you secured that hair so that you wouldn't have to cut it all off because you couldn't get a brush or comb through the tangles? Not Miss Emily. And Dale found the tangles and knots enchanting (quite against his will, of course). Example #2: Dale awakens in the morning to the sound of a lyrical female voice singing something about bubbles. He goes to his window and sees Emily sitting in a bathtub beneath his window covered in bubbles while she takes a bath. In the backyard of the house! On a sheep station with working men and women supposedly all around. Was the twit so stupid she never knew she was directly below his window? Why was she bathing outside in the yard in the first place? Every other time the bath took place indoors in a bedroom. It was those types of things which just drove me absolutely around the bend. Unrealistic. Improbable. Impossible. Unlikely. Those are all words which came to mind when I was reading here. And let me just tell you, I had to FORCE myself to finish the book.
Dale Winters was a wonderful character, for the time when the author was concentrating on his military experiences. He was depicted as a player in the horror of war during a time when the killing was done close up. He saw the face of his enemy, he saw his friends and comrads killed. It is no spoiler for me to tell you that he was present when his younger brother died. Up to this part I'm fine with the character of Dale Winters. The trouble is, that part lasted only 44 pages. Then he returned to Australia and the sheep station he had been born and raised on. From then on not one single page went by without this character wallowing in guilt. He would be dealing with guilt #1. Emily would help him solve it just by being herself (?). Then he would move on to guilt #2. Emily would help him solve it by shaking her mane of curly hair. Then he would move on to guilt #3. Emily would help him solve it by flashing her "violet" eyes at him. I had all I wanted by the time we had worked through guilt #2 but we went on to guilt #3 and even guilt #4. Too, too much!
This was supposed to be a working, HUGE, sheep station. In this entire 430 page book Dale repaired a fence one day and in the epilogue he sheared a sheep. The whole rest of the time we were working on his guilty feelings. This poor man was made to feel guilty about everything, never mind whether logic said it could never have been his fault, he still managed to wallow in the guilt. Maybe if I hadn't read all those really, really good depictions of life on an outback station all those years ago this might have been better, but I don't think so.
I do not recommend this book. My reaction to it is 100% different from the other three reviewers. I could see it as a 200 page book. At that length it might not have been really good for me but I also might not have just been mind numbingly bored. An owner of a sheep station in 1917 who refuses to ride a horse ever again because his brother is dead and so the brother can't ride? Does that make any sense to you? Neither did the book to me.
****Added on 12/05/07 For those of you who want to know before you buy, there is sex before marriage in this book. The author kept Emily a shy, innocent virgin until 3/4 of the way through the book. (Actually, Emily was an always-changing character. Up, down, fiery, timid, confident, unsure.) It only took place on one night (but obviously went on all night long and turned Emily into an incredibly talented sexual partner)but the entire situation seemed forced to me. The build-up began about page 53 so it was no secret that this would happen. It was certainly not erotic, not even sensual. It felt to me as if it was a requirement for publication, maybe not the authors favorite thing to write about. Once again, never was a thought given to the consequences of these actions. Even in 1917 they knew how babies were made and even how to prevent conception!****
The Lighthorseman Mar 12, 2007
Dale Winters fought in the war alongside his younger brother Joel. When Joel is killed, Dale is left guilt ridden and devastated. Dale's friend Paul Campbell tracks him down and drags him back home to Australia.
When Charles Castle dies, his niece Emily comes from America to take care of things at his sheep station in Australia. His partner was Andrew Winters, Dale's father. Through her uncle's letters, Emily learned about Dale, so it was when she was young that she fell in love with him.
Because of his guilt, Dale is a mere shadow of the man he once was. Emily wants desperately to help him, but her efforts seem futile. Just when Dale is about to give up on himself, an accident forces him to face his feelings for Emily and challenges him to do things he has long given up hope of ever doing again.
The Lighthorseman is a very moving story. With Dale's and Emily's emotions so vividly depicted, my heart went out to them. Emily is just darling. She is a true savior for Dale and Dale is an honorable passionate man. Their relationship grows beautifully and sensually throughout the story until it's tender conclusion. I was very moved by The Lighthorseman. It is a dramatic story with two wonderful characters
Nannette Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
An Amazing Tale! Dec 31, 2006
Ms. Jones has created another wonderful romance in a unique setting and time period that is largely overlooked by many readers and writers alike.
Dale Winters and his younger brother Joel are close brothers. They have shared everything and Dale sees himself as his brother's protector. He promised his mother long ago that he would always watch out for Joel. So when they both go off to war and participate in the great charge of Beersheba where he survives but his younger brother does not. As a result Dale is guilt ridden and he looses his will to live life to it's fullest. He promises he will no longer enjoy the things that he and his brother once shared and loved. So his return to Australia and his families sheep station is a journey he puts off for over a year. When he returns it is to see that some things have changed and one of the bigger changes is his guardian's niece is now calling his home hers.
Emily Castle came to Western Australia to take care of her ailing uncle. She also came with the hopes of finally meeting Dale Winters. Over the course of years she fell in love with the man her uncle wrote about. She is thrilled to find out he is finally coming home from the war but she is not prepared for the wounded soul that steps off the ship. Wanting to give Dale a reason to live. She challenges him to a horse race. She is hoping that his desire to win the station in order to sell it will bring him back. But, when Emily can't ride and everything is on the line will Dale realize that he can break a promise and still find a happy ending, and forgive himself in order to go on with life?
This was an amazing story. Ms. Jones lyrical prose will place the reader in the desert of Palestine or the outback of Western Australia. Emily and Dale are an engaging pair and their story is one that will entertain until the final page. Ms. Jones is an author to watch.
terrific historical tale Mar 8, 2006
In 1917 as part of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign the Australian Light Horsemen brigade attacks the enemy lines at Beersheba. Dale Winters and his younger brother were amongst the soldiers who obeyed orders that all know probably mean their death. Dale lived while his sibling died. With the Great War over, Dale returns to the family station a broken man who feels guilt for surviving while his sibling, who followed him as kids and into the military, died.
Arizonian Emily Castle always wanted to visit her Uncle Charles' Castle Winters Sheep Station in Australia as she always marveled at the tales he told in his letters. When her uncle dies, she inherits half the station. She travels to Australia looking forward to meeting the two boys Charles raised, but learns one died in the war and the other acts dead. Though half in love with the Dale of the letters, she knows this is not her romanticized champion. When Emily bets her half of their station on a horserace, she begs Dale to ride for her, but that would mean breaking a death pledge.
This historical tale with a supporting romantic subplot is a timely terrific look at the human cost of war based on a real unit and their famous charge (see the movie The Lighthorsemen for more insight). The story line focuses on the mentally broken Dale and the woman who hopes her love for him nurtures him back to being whole. This gripping character driven tale takes no prisoners as to who truly sacrifices vs. who patriotically calls for others to sacrifice through the anguish of the battle fatigue syndrome protagonist. Only the patience and nurturing of a loved one can provide solace and even that may not be enough.