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Slow Dance at Dusk - Book 4 in A Sunburned Land Series - AUDIOBOOK

Slow Dance at Dusk - Book 4 in A Sunburned Land Series - AUDIOBOOK

Continue Frank and Maggie's story!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 350+ 5 star reviews

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SYNOPSIS

A death, a wedding, and a change of plans…

The Goddard family is in shock. One of their own is dead.

How can they go on? Who will run the station?

Frank and Maggie have been planning their retirement, but must they now put their plans on hold?

Will Joshua rise to the challenge and get his girl, or will he allow grief to weigh him down?

Change is everywhere at Goddard Downs.

But amidst these challenges, the family learns that change, while difficult, can bring growth and renewed hope, as they rely on their faith and each other to navigate this transformative period.

Slow Dance at Dusk is Book Four in the Sunburned Land Series, a contemporary Christian romance set in the beautiful, rugged and remote Kimberley area of northern Australia. Grab your copy now and be blessed.

Narrated by Sarah Kennedy.

There was something in the air. A feeling deep inside her that for the past few days she’d been unable to shake. Maggie wasn’t sure what it was, but this she knew, something good was about to happen.

Julian’s death was foremost in the minds of all, but after four months since his passing, the initial shock was wearing off and everyone was coming to a sense of a new normal.

This year for Christmas, both hers and Frank’s families would be uder one roof. Everyone was making an effort to be together.

Maggie doubted that Julian would have ever anticipated his death could have such an effect on both his, and her, families. His passing had made everyone connected with him reassess their priorities and take stock of what and who was most important to them.

Maggie certainly had.

Slow Dance at Dusk is Book Four in the Sunburned Land Series, a contemporary Christian romance set in the beautiful, rugged, and remote Kimberley area of northern Australia.

Chapter One - Look Inside

Life had continued throwing curveballs at Joshua, but with Julian’s death, he’d finally struck out. The games of his past were over. There was no looking back.
In the four months since his brother’s body had been laid to rest in the family cemetery at Goddard Downs, life had fallen into a new routine. To the outsider, all might appear normal, but Julian’s death echoed in the halls of the homestead and the hearts of all who lived there. Yet, despite the sadness, good had come.
The moment Joshua’s gaze met Stella’s at Julian’s funeral, he knew everything between them was about to change. And it had. Their friendship had blossomed and transformed into something he’d never dreamed possible. She was no longer an unattainable desire of his heart, but someone willing to stand by his side as he battled his demons, of which there were plenty.
Facing the bitter, angry man he’d become hadn’t been easy, but was necessary if he no longer wanted to drift. And that’s what he wanted. He didn’t want to go through life without direction or focus, chasing fleeting excitement that in the end meant nothing. He didn’t want to be like his cousin Sean, but he couldn’t become Julian, either. He had to be himself. But first, he had to find out who that was.
He’d once heard that the love of the right woman could change a man. He wasn’t sure if that was true, but as he stood on the tarmac of the Kimberley Regional Airport helipad, gazing into Stella Martin’s deep, brown eyes, he thought it could be. She’d entered his life by chance at a rodeo in Alice Springs several years earlier, and then returned to it recently when she came to Goddard Downs seeking work. Now, as the station’s vet, she’d become more a part of his life than he ever imagined possible. It was almost as if she’d always been part of him.
“I wish I didn’t have to go.” She took hold of his hand as a gust of wind sent her blonde hair flying about her face. She brushed the strands back behind her ear with her other hand and smiled wistfully.
She was gorgeous, and the mere sight of her made Joshua’s heart quicken. He squeezed her hand as a long breath left his lungs. “I wish you didn’t either, but you have to. It’s Christmas and your family needs you.”
“I could go at the beginning of the year. I feel as if I’m abandoning you.”
Her concern warmed his heart, and although he wanted her to stay at Goddard Downs for Christmas, he couldn’t allow her to sacrifice that special time with her family. Since Julian’s passing, Joshua had gained a new appreciation of family. His one regret was that it had taken him so long to arrive at this point. “I wouldn’t want you to do that. This is the first time your entire family will be together for Christmas since before you were born. You can’t miss that.”
“I know, but I’m torn. Things between us are just beginning, and the rainy season is here, and the station needs every hand.”
“The station can manage two weeks without you.” He stepped forward and raised his hand to her cheek while gazing into her eyes. But I’m not sure I can… He cleared his throat. “And with regards to us, I’d say things are going just fine. Wouldn’t you?”
She gave a smile that sent his pulse racing. Her smile emboldened him, and he felt stronger, like he could do anything if she were beside him.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from God.
He blinked. A wife? Before Stella, he’d never had a steady girlfriend, let alone considered marriage. But this wasn’t the first time that thought had come to him since meeting her.
“Are you okay, Joshua?” She looked at him with enlarged eyes.
His brow furrowed and he swallowed hard. “What makes you think I’m not?”
Taking hold of his other hand, she squeezed both gently. “I know you’re still carrying guilt over Julian’s death, and that you’re still mourning.” Her gaze softened. “I’m here for you if you ever need to talk.”
It wasn’t what he was thinking, but she was correct. He hadn’t spoken to anyone about the lingering guilt he carried over his brother’s death. Everyone, even Janella, had assured him it wasn’t his fault. No one blamed him, but he simply couldn’t shake the feeling that if he hadn’t been so hot-headed and blind when he’d rushed off to Kununurra, leaving the family in the lurch, then perhaps Julian wouldn’t have gotten into that truck in such a state of mind and he’d still be alive.
“Joshua?” Stella squeezed his hands again. “I can see it in your eyes. Don’t do that to yourself. What happened to Julian wasn’t your fault. You know that. So did he.”
Joshua nodded slowly. She was right. Julian knew. He remembered the feel of his brother’s hand squeezing his as he lay in that hospital bed, connected to machines, barely hanging onto life. Joshua had made it to his bedside in time to ask for forgiveness and to say goodbye, but it was too late for them to ever be the brothers they should have been. So many wasted years. They’d caused such grief to their father and to their family. And to God.
He drew a deep breath and shook his head to push the memories away. “You should get going. You don’t want to miss your flight.”
“Are you chasing me away?” Stella’s voice held a hint of amusement.
“I’d never do that.” Stepping closer, he cupped her face with his hands and gazed into her eyes. “It took us long enough to get to this point.”
She wrapped her arms around his waist and smiled. Although she was tall for a woman, he still towered over her by several inches.
“I’m going to miss you,” she whispered, longing filling her voice.
“I already miss you,” he replied. “But the sooner you go, the sooner you’ll be back. I want you to enjoy this trip. Make the most of the time you have with your family. Make every second count.”
She nodded. “Only if you promise to do the same.”
“I promise.” He lowered his mouth and brushed her lips gently before deepening the kiss. He couldn’t bear the thought of being apart from her for two weeks, and when she finally stepped back, he felt the loss immediately.
“I’ll call when I get to my parents’ place,” she said, picking up the small bag from the ground and hoisting it onto her back.
“I’ll be waiting,” he said, soaking in every inch of her.
She gave a quick smile and then walked away. If he wasn’t mistaken, she had tears in her eyes.

***
As Stella headed to the taxi stand, she stole several glances at Joshua. Although her lips still tingled from his kiss and the distinctive scent of his spicy cologne lingered in her nostrils, her heart felt as heavy as her feet.
Why was doing the right thing so hard? Spending Christmas with her family wasn’t a chore, but if she were honest, she’d rather spend it at Goddard Downs. With Joshua.
Brushing the tear from her eye, she gave one last wave and hitched her bag higher. She’d packed lightly since she wouldn’t be in Cootamundra long, just two weeks, and she had no special plans other than spending as much time with her family as she could. Some of her cousins on her mother’s side she hadn’t seen in years, and she was also keen to see first-hand how her parents were settling into their new home. Despite not wanting to go, she needed to.
Behind, the noise from the helipad as a helicopter landed was almost deafening as she crossed to where a taxi sat waiting. She greeted the driver, a middle-aged man of Middle Eastern appearance, and opening the back door, she stuffed her bag onto the seat before turning to give Joshua another wave. He was standing right where she’d left him, and he was so downright hot that the mere look of him made her knees go to jelly. Short dark hair, the smattering of whiskers on his chin, muscles rippling under his crisp white button-down shirt, sleeves rolled up and tucked into a pair of snugly fitted jeans.
When he raised a hand and smiled, she fought the temptation to grab her bag and run to him. How had this happened? Only five months earlier she’d been fighting the attraction, but now, having admitted their feelings for one another, it was as if there was no one else in the world who could match her so perfectly.
I’m going to miss you, Joshua Goddard. Lord, take care of him and the entire Goddard family while I’m away. May Your mercy and grace be upon them as they continue to mourn. May they see the light of Your love even in these difficult times, and may You show them the way forward.
She waved to Joshua one last time as the taxi drove off.
The Goddards would be well. They had faith in God and He would take care of them. Her family was the unknown quantity, and she had no idea what to expect when she arrived.

Main Tropes

  • Christian Romance
  • Heartwarming
  • Inspiring
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  • Bobbie

    "This is another EXCEPTIONAL sample of Juliette Duncan’s writing! This series is so riveting, I sat up one night, all night reading, just couldn’t put it down! The characters, setting, everything is fantastic!" Bobbie

  • Sharon

    "Juliette Duncan never disappoints. This is another beautifully written Christian Romance that inspires and uplifts the reader. It is all about family, Faith, healing, and growth. Can't wait to read more about this lovely family. Their story must continue!!"

  • Amzn Customer

    "Loved this book, believable characters, story plot, and the setting is just out of this world! Got to travel to Australia and not leave home. God bless this awesome author."