Hidden Valley by Australian author Annie Seaton is the fourth and final book of the Porter Sisters series following Kakadu Sunset, Daintree and Diamond Sky. Reading all three previous books this was long-awaited and it did not disappoint. This book can be read alone but it is extra special if you conclude with Hidden Valley.
Deanne (Dee) Peters is an only child working on her parent’s 300-acre macadamia farm “Hilltop Nuts” in Byron Bay, Hinterland NSW. She has put in tireless hours to build the business up for the success it sees today. Her father, Gerard who owns the farm works in the city at his financial consultancy firm and is happy to let Dee manage the crops and distribution with the help of Rodney Andrews whose father previously owned the plantation.
When Hilltop Nuts wins a prestigious award Gerard gracefully accepts without giving Dee the recognition and appreciation she deserves. Dee is deeply hurt and begins to question everything, especially Rodney’s recent actions of fondness towards her and her parents hinting towards marriage between herself and Rodney.
Out of the blue Dee receives a letter from a Darwin solicitor asking to meet her to confirm her identity regarding an inheritance, not being able to get a straight answer from her parents, she heads to Darwin for validity.
Dee meets with solicitor Frank Baker; whilst there she also meets Ryan Carey. After losing both his adoptive parents Ryan continues to work on his parents’ cattle station, “Wilderness Springs” in Kakadu sharing the homestead with his Uncle Joe cousin Cy. When the will is read out both Dee and Ryan are shocked by the secrets unfolding to which Frank is not forthcoming. Half of the cattle station is left to Dee on the condition she must live and work on the station.
On her arrival to Wilderness Springs, Ryan is sceptical of her intentions, but he knows to find out the truth they must both work together to uncover the skeletons in the closet. As they dig deeper into past lives and history Dee’s life is put in danger when someone tries to stop her from finding out the truth, this brings Dee and Ryan closer developing at a smooth and natural pace.
The characters are realistic and range from courageous, selfish, brave, loyal and daring with each continuing to develop and grow. Ryan was my favourite with his large loving heart and what he has survived, lost and gained. When we think about our past, how much is clear and how much is blurred?
If you’re in need of a truly lovely and heart-warming relationship tale then I recommend Hidden Valley. An emotionally powerful and riveting family drama, combining razor-sharp suspense and the meaning of forgiveness, romance, friendship, joy and the possibility of happy endings.
Thank you to Beauty & Lace and Annie Seaton for the opportunity to read and review.
I have loved every book in the Porter Sisters series and sad this is the last one. Annie has given me an inescapable pull to chase all the character’s secrets in their lives that intertwined with love, regret, suspense, challenges and plots that keep you guessing. Annie’s books, whatever the subject, have an audience somewhere and will be read by someone who will feel forever grateful to have experienced it.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading Hidden Valley by Annie Seaton. You can read their reviews below, or add your own.
My love of books started at a very young age. My mum has always been a reader and encouraged me to read, buying me endless book from classic fairy tales advancing to the world of Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Kathryn Kenny, Carolyn Keene, Francine Pascal. In my adult years the list of authors is endless and every room in my house is filled with books.
One of my favourite novels is Narnia which has always has a special place in my heart. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1978 and when I was given this book to read it let me escape to another world where I felt like I was in the book with all the characters, it wasfun and exciting to escape from reality and eased the ups and downs of the disease at such a young age.
In books nothing is impossible and there is endless potential and hundreds of places to explore or being taken to places that are only made up from the authors’ great minds, the past and future to navigate, characters lives you step into taking you on an emotional rollercoaster ride or being scared out of your wits. I can experience things that I can’t in real life because they’re not possible or real. It challenges my perspective and mindset expanding my worldview.
I find joy, comfort and peace with books, many people may not get it, but I know bookworms like me truly understand. Reading makes my heart happy.