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Life as a convict in colonial New South Wales has been hard for Jesse Morgan. Accused of a crime he didn't commit and betrayed by people he thought were his friends, the life of ease he knew came to an abrupt end.

After more than seven years of hard labour in the colony of New South Wales, Jesse is sent to work at Hillcrest, the home of Major George McKenna and his daughter Isabelle. With less than three months left before he can apply for his freedom, he is determined to keep out of trouble. But that is before he lays eyes on Isabelle McKenna.

The Major has resolved to find a suitably eligible husband for his young and beautiful daughter. With women of quality scarce in the colony he can afford to be choosy. However, Isabelle has other ideas and has not been impressed by her father's choices so far.

When Isabelle and Jesse lay eyes on each other the attraction is mutual. Their friendship grows into love, each knowing that they should not be pursuing this doomed romance but unable to help themselves.

Isabelle knows she must marry a man of means. Jesse knows that as a penniless ex-convict he would never be allowed to marry Isabelle. They both know their relationship must come to an end when Jesse's sentence is finished and he leaves Hillcrest.

As the time looms for Jesse to go, ghosts from the past threaten to complicate matters further. Isabelle's only chance is to try to convince her father to let her marry Jesse or she knows she will never see him again. Surely her father would not deny her?

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