Matthew “Quinn” Quinlan is a jackal; he transports diamonds from the mines to the home offices for De Beers Consolidated Mines. Because of his reputation as an honest man and his gentlemanly ways, Quinn is asked by a solicitor friend to escort Ms. Olivia St. John to Kimberley where she has inherited a boarding house from her uncle.
From their first meeting, Quinn has tried to discourage Olivia from staying in Africa. Life in the bush is hard and the mines are no place for a lady. He tries many arguments, but she will not budge. It doesn’t help that they are fiercely attracted to each other from the beginning.
Quinn has lived a hard life, first in the slums of London’s East End, and then as the “jackal” for De Beers. He has never experienced real love and believes that marriage is a trap. Olivia was a governess who didn’t want to live the rest of her life as an “outsider” - not a servant, yet not family. She saw her inheritance as a way to have something of her own. She really dreamed of a husband and children, a family of her own, but she figured, this is the next best thing.
Quinn and Olivia fight their attraction for each other, but soon the fire between them rages out of control. When Olivia realizes that she loves Quinn, she can’t live with being just his mistress, she wants it all. Now all she has to do is convince Quinn that he does too.
Set against the backdrop of Cape Town, South Africa in 1883 during the beginning of the diamond industry, Patricia Waddell has written a story full of the excitement and danger that was experienced by those who lived it. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I laughed and I even cried a little while watching these two stubborn people try so hard to do what was right for the other.
I hope you pick up this book and enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you Ms. Waddell.