Leading interior designer, Sally Hampstead and prestige furniture manufacturer, Max Scarponi meet at an interstate furniture exposition. Instant attraction leads to the dapper Max being inveigled by Sally, a glamorous divorcée four years his senior, into a hitherto unimaginable tryst.
Max finds Sally utterly irresistible. He leaves his young family and moves with her into a luxurious harbourside apartment from where they indulge their hedonistic desires unabated. To pursue their idyll they invest in a rustic weekend cottage within a secluded valley.
Their valley retreat contains intriguing aspects and soon they are drawn into the vortex of small-town life. The brazen allure of locals such as hard-living endurance rider, Luke Byrne and exotic bush regenerator, Veronica Jackson, sows seeds for lust, temptation and deception.
Outside the valley, Sally retains her professional ambition while Max struggles. His now-ailing furniture factory is a burden to his finances, pride and confidence and the situation only exacerbates his guilt about his parents’ welfare and his forsaken family.
Max and Sally open a restaurant in the valley to placate his parents but their omnipresence creates tension between the lovers. It doesn’t help that Sally is frequently away on business - a situation that their part-time waitress Veronica is all too eager to exploit. As if their lives weren’t complicated enough, a mystery involving the enigmatic former owner of the cottage surfaces.
Ian Burns-Woods, born in Melbourne, Australia, attended Scotch College and Monash University, graduating in Economics. He joined the airline industry and gained considerable international experience before settling in Sydney as a tourism consultant. He and wife Gabrielle now operate a historic sandstone inn at St Albans, New South Wales.