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Dorothy Cork author of vintage harlequins

Updated on April 17, 2011

The Romantic Outback

Dorothy Cork wrote for Harlequin in the 1970's and 1980's. Most of her books, but not all, were set in Australia. She is one of my favorite authors of Outback romances.

If you are really interested in romances set in the Australian Outback, another author I highly recommend is Kerry Allyne and if you like older romances check out my website.

Kerry Allyne



Gerry's father had promised her that one day he would take her to Blackswan Bay, but he died before the dream could become reality. That was one reason why, when an aunt left her a house in Blackswan Bay, Gerry decided to go there, instead of accepting Redmond Telfer's offer to buy it. Could another reason have been the thought of Redmond Telfer himself?



It was a night for possums when Rae learnt three weeks before her marriage that Ralph was only marrying her to get hold of her station of Tarmaroo. "Three weeks more, Peg," she overheard him say, "and we'll be shot of this rundown dump and sitting pretty over at Tarmaroo." Which was why she ran away and found herself at Illalangi, only too conscious that she was rather playing possum herself-for a man who would hardly take kindly to any form of deception!



When Keitha arrived in Australia she was still smarting from an unsatisfactory love affair -- and she could hardly believe it when she realized that she had suddenly fallen out of love with one man and into love with another -- the forceful Dane Langley.But it looked as if history were going to repeat itself, as it dawned on her that Dane had marriage plans of his own, and they didn't include her . .

Keitha comes from England because her boss wanted her to live with him, no marriage. Martin, her brother, wants Keitha to stay in Australia and work in his jewelry business. Martin and Keitha are taking a vacation together when she meets Dane. He owns a cattle station called Wayaway. Her brother reminds her of the time she insisted she wanted to drink sugar and water. Keitha didn't like it but she drank it. Martin points out that she doesn't always know what she wants, and when she gets it she doesn't want it. Martin thinks this applies to her getting a job in the Outback as a companion to Dane's aunt



It was a bit daunting, Helen found, when she arrived in Australia to marry Nicky Jamieson only to discover that Nicky himself was abroad on a long holiday.But while she waited for his return, Helen made lots of other friends and met other men -- among them Finn Ascroft, of whom Nicky's sister Corinne said firmly, "Finn Ascroft you will please leave alone . . ."



Parma had come to New Guinea to marry Alec Rivers but she found Alec completely disinterested, and that overbearing Pierce Adams getting entirely the wrong idea about her. And yet, the more Alec cooled off the more Parma was coming to love New Guinea, its people, its way-and the more she found herself thinking about Pierce. Could she ever make him see that she was not the frivolous butterfly type he thought she was?

Parma is an English girl who moved to Australia because of an unhappy love affair. She worked in a girl's school in Sydney and that's where she met Alec. He invited her to visit him at his remote hill station and gave her a promise ring. She decides to visit him and when she gets there finds that he is away, so he didn't get her letter saying she was coming. She meets up with a mother of some of her students and is invited to stay with their family. Her husband works on Butterfly Montane, the vast coffee plantation owned by Pierce. Parma had already met Pierce when he refused to take her to Alec's station.



A month's holiday in Bali, all expenses paid! Leni could hardly believe her luck, and lost no time in settling down to enjoy the island paradise. But the original Paradise had its serpent, and so did Bali, in the person of the disapproving Kemp Savage. Could Leni manage to ignore him?



When Burton Alexander invited Christine to his cattle station in the outback, posing as his fiancee, it suited her to agree -- until she fell in love with him, and then learned that he was planning to marry another girl. Just what was Burton playing at?



Two weeks after she arrived in Australia from England, Pippa found herself in the middle of the outback on the sheep station of Jounima doing battle with Skye Bannerman. 'Skye's an ogre,' Bron Lightfoot had told Pippa, and after her initial encounter with this exasperating man she was inclined to agree. But perhaps he had another more attractive personality to show to the sophisticated Angela Glas?



Lesley's marriage to Guy had had to be postponed when she was needed to nurse her grandmother. Now she had flown out to join her fiancé in Australia, only to learn that her baby niece needed her help. Lesley promised to go, but Guy warned her that he wasn't prepared to wait for her for ever. Was Lesley carrying family loyalty too far? What should she do?



Natalie Jones had got herself into a rather complicated and mysterious situation in Morocco -- and somehow she persuaded her friend Josian Jones to take her place.This led Josian into a lot of adventures -- with or without the disturbing Raymond Laurent!


"I don't need your company or your protection," Paddy told the autocratic Venn Wildash at their first meeting. But later she was to come to regret those hasty words and to hope against hope that she could gain Venn's love.

Paddy is the local schoolteacher at Gidgeemallawa in the outback. She impulsively goes with her landlady to a party, but then realizes she isn't dressed correctly. So Paddy hangs around on the veranda, but Keith, who is a little drunk, makes a heavy pass at her. Venn rescues her but then calls her a crasher and takes her home.

Summer vacation is coming up but Paddy's boyfriend wrote her a letter from Sydney breaking up with her. Paddy lives with his mother, so she can't go home. Paddy goes to a station to look after one of her students. Keith and Venn are also there. Venn, the station owner, thinks Paddy came to be with Keith.



The dream of Frazer Madigan's life was to find a priceless opal -- and she knew she would find it on Jay Dexter's land. But Jay didn't exactly welcome her. And Frazer had another reason for getting the better of him...



Martyn's carefree life had come to an end, and somehow she had to earn her living. The offer of a job on an outback station seemed to be the answer -- until it turned out not to be a job at all.And the whole situation was too involved with the disturbing Red Diamond.

Martyn's father has recently died and she now lives with her brother and his wife. They want her to take a secretarial course, but she is an outdoor girl and wants a job where she can use her drawing talent. Martyn meets Red when she is giving swimming lessons to his sister's children. Martyn has made friends with an older man, but the older man doesn't want a platonic relationship. She doesn't find this out right away and scorns Red's warnings about the man. Red's full name is Tancred and eventually Martyn is invited to visit , by Red's stepmother, to visit at his station, Diamond Springs. Jan, Red's sister is recovering from an accident and she needs to swim to rebuild muscle. Red calls Jan a waterbaby and she is always swimming. His stepmother mostly invites Jan because she is a matchmaker



Derry had jumped at the chance of a trip to Egypt because it meant she would be able to see more of the man she had fallen in love with. But it also threw her into the company of the inscrutable Link, Mitchell -- and she didn't know what to make of him.

Derry has no need to work, she was left money. But she wants to work, she meets Richard which leads to her meeting his employer, Jane, who is an elderly children's book author. Jane hires Derry as companion for her trip to Egypt. Richard is also going along, Derry lives him and Jane so she accepts. She finds out later that Richard is somewhat of a parasite and Jane wants Derry to marry Richard. Jane is crazy about Richard and wants to keep him happy and wants him to have a wife with money. But she doesn't know this before they leave.

Jane and Richard recently got back from Australia, where they stayed on Link's station.Link is now in England and will soon be going to Egypt, also. Link thinks Richard is a parasite and soon thinks the same of Derry.She is thrown into Link's company when Jane asks him to help Derry get ready to go to Egypt.



"Girls like you and men like me should steer clear of each other," Jackson Brand told Reya Barberton when she was little more than a schoolgirl... and then he had pushed her firmly out of his life. But now, four years later, she was back at his home in the Australian outback. Had Jackson changed his mind about her? No, it seemed, he had not....

Reya had lived with her aunt at Coolabah Creek from the age of 14 to 17. Her uncle managed one of Brand's stations. When Reya's father returned to England, she wanted to stay and her aunt said she could. But Brant talked the aunt out of it and Reya is angry about it. Now she has come back from England to visit her aunt. Brand meets her ship and insists she fly back to his station, Big Sky, with him. This should have been a hint to her that Brand didn't want to send her away. He felt he must because he thought no woman not born in the Outback could every live happily there.

Great Stuff on Amazon



Eden's hopes for her new life were dashed. She and her autocratic grandfather just didn't get along. Tired of being treated like a mindless nonentity, Eden left to establish herself elsewhere.Then she met the equally autocratic Sin Watermount. Was it all her fault, or were all Australians so difficult? Eden couldn't imagine what Sin's fiancee saw in him--or why that unpleasant Bibi Webster was busy trying to annex him for herself. Then she realized she was jealous!

Eden came out from England to visit her aunt,but her aunt died before they could meet. She stayed on to help her grandfather in his art gallery. Eden's grandfather is a very unpleasant man who uses her as an unpaid housekeeper and helper in his gallery. She meets Sin when he comes to collect a payment and he overhears her grandfather calling her a liar and other things. She is innocent but her grandfather won't listen and he kicks her out. Eden isn't upset at this, she wanted to leave anyway. Eden goes to stay with a friend and ends up house-sitting on the beach. Unfortunately, Sin is her new next door neighbor and he believed everything her grandfather said about her.



"You've always been secure and pampered" Jarrett Buchan's words stung. He believed Nicky was just like his spoiled sister. Nicky thought of the foster home in which she'd spent her early years--the fears and the loneliness; and she remembered only too well. But how could the boss of an outback cattle station ever understand the feelings that drove the woman she had become? Well, Jarrett could think what he liked. She wasn't about to enlighten him!

Nicky was in a children’s home for most of her childhood. Her guardian was an old friend of her father. At 14 he struck it rich and took her out of the home. He sent her to an expensive boarding school and told her to forget the past. He has now died and left her everything and she has a guardian until she is 21. Nicky is determined to look for some old friends from the home, but a friend calls needing help. Juliet is a school friend who doesn’t want to go home to her brother’s station. Her sister has had an accident and so her brother, Jarrett, expects her to come home and help out. Juliet talks Nicky into going with her to Coochin Brim-brim, her brother’s station.By coincidence, Nicky’s childhood friends are also on the station Nicky’s guardian always called her Rainbow and Jarrett soon starts calling her that also.



Farrell just wanted to live her own life Yet that seemed to be the one thing she couldn't do. She had gone home to her father in northwest Australia to sort out her life. But her stepmother soon made her aware that she wasn't wanted there. So Farrell took herself off. Unfortunately, the masterful Larry Sandfort kept following her and bringing her back. What did he want? Farrell had already told him she wouldn't marry him. And besides, he had the lovely and willing Helen waiting for him!



French and English—they just didn’t mix! Her grandmother had instilled that misconception in Brianna’s mind. So it was no wonder that the attempted reconciliation with her sister and French mother proved such a disaster. That was years ago, however. Brianna was an adult now, determined to try again. Unfortunately her arrogant stepbrother, Philippe d'Hellier, wasn’t making it easy. “I’m prejudiced,” he said bluntly. “You were so objectionable the last time you were here!”



"Is the outback life too tough for you?" Dev Deveraux's tone was deliberately taunting. "I guess namby-pamby little English girls don't belong in my country," he drawled. Rennie's eyes sparked with anger. She knew he was trying to goad her into going to his cattle station to cook and clean for his visiting girl friend, Isobel, and her Aunt. But calling her "namby-pamby," saying she didn't belong in "his" country--it was too much! She'd accept his challenge. She'd show this infuriating man just how wrong he was!



"Do you believe in love?" she asked. Steve's eyes narrowed. "I believe in love about as much as I believe in Santa Claus. It's a lot of make-believe and so is marriage. It's all a game." "Then it's a game I don't want to play with you," Ellis countered swiftly. If he thought she was going to accept his marriage proposal without love, he was crazy. All Steve wanted was an attractive woman to bear his sons--and satisfy his physical desires. Well, she, Ellis Lincoln, would never be that woman!

Ellis was just jilted by her boyfriend, Paul, in favor of her cousin Jan. Ellis goes to work on the sheep station just to get away from the situation. Jan had promised to marry Steve, but she breaks lots of promises. She left his station when it looked like she might have to help with the housekeeping and she sent him a Dear John letter. Ellis writes to Steve offering to help with the housekeeping, but she doesn’t hear from him. Ellis goes to say with a family friend and Steve sees them together and thinks she has a sugar daddy. Steve thinks she wrote offering to marry him because she was jilted.



"You know you want to stay with me."

Even as Ellis denied Steve's statement, she knew it was true. She was in love with him, and she wanted to stay with him forever. Oh, why hadn't she agreed to Steve's original proposition? Why hadn't she taken a chance and married him?

Now it was too late. Jan, his glamorous ex-fiancee, was planning to come back to him. And, unlike Ellis, Jan would give him what he wanted, with or without an engagement ring; with or without love.

"I could persuade you to stay, Ellis," Steve continued. "I could give you everything you desire."

Everything, Ellis thought bitterly, but his love! "I'm sorry, Steve," she said slowly. "I'm going home."



No one wanted to marry Edie - they wanted other things, but not marriage! And Edie was just not 'that kind of a girl'. So it was in a fit of pique that she answered an advert: 'cattleman seeks wife, preferably under thirty-five' - and when the advertiser took her up on it she went defiantly off to his cattle station in Queensland to marry him. The cattleman in question, Drew Sutton, turned out to be tall, dark and handsome - eligibility was his middle name, in fact, and Edie soon realized that she wouldn't mind if her marriage of convenience turned into something more meaningful. In fact everything was so satisfactory that there had to be a snag somewhere. There was . . .

Edie, full name Alfreda, goes out to meet Drew. He tells her he doesn't really want a wife. His uncle made a will naming both nephews as heir, but if Drew is married by age 35 he gets the station outright. He is almost 35 and just wants a temporary marriage to get his station, Dhoora Dhoora.



Dale had come back looking for comfort, but the secure world of Jackalass, the outback station she'd known as a girl, had changed. Instead of Aunt Beth to help her recover from his disastrous love affair, she found Trelawney Saber, an arrogant rancher with a wild reputation, in charge. Far from offering Dale comfort, he regarded her broken heart as a challenge, one that not even his beautiful fiancée Rebecca was going to keep him from accepting!

Dale gets to Jackalas to find that family friend, Beth has died. Trelawney is there and immediately figures out that something is wrong, but she won't talk about it. (Her boyfriend dumped her when she wouldn't sleep with him) Trelawney broke a couple of ribs so Dale, he calls her Daisy, stays to take care of him. When she was a child he left the station under a cloud because he had an affair with another man's fiancee.…



Was it the heat, or her emotions? Dale wondered about it dizzily as Trelawney's lips left hers. "I think you're despicable," she whispered. "I suppose you thought you were quite safe, out here in the wilderness."

"Aren't I safe, Daisy" Are you planning to tell Rebecca?" Trelawney mocked.

Oh, why hadn't she wrenched herself away from him? Now his eyes held an expression that stripped her down to her very soul, leaving her defenseless. She could still feel his mouth against hers, and she knew that she'd never be the same again.

How could she tell anyone--especially Rebecca, his fiancee--that Trelawney had become such an important part of her life? He had dragged her halfway into his own world....a world that he had already admitted belonged to Rebecca!



Mike was making her pay for her lies . Amy Martin arrived in Queensland, full of confidence, all set to marry her fiance, Clifford. She found him strangely unwelcoming--and sadly had to face the fact that he was having second thoughts about their future plans.So to save face Amy pretended that she was going to marry the cynical Mike Saunders instead. It seemed like a good idea--until Mike stunned her by taking her up on it!

Amy has been visiting her uncle since childhood. Clifford worked for the uncle and was left his sugar cane farm because Clifford and Amy were going to marry. But Clifford keeps putting off the wedding and Amy visiting. So Amy comes anyway, she meets old friend, Karen, sister to Mike, and she stays with them. Clifford seems to be living with another woman and Amy realizes he never wanted to marry her. She ends up actually marrying Mike on the rebound.

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    • vintageromancefan profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @DBonner: Thanks, I will look for the book. Tell your mother I really enjoy her writing.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Dorothy Cork wrote 38 romance novels in all (1965 - 85). The early ones were published by Mills & Boon. The first book she wrote "The name was noonameena" is often left out of lists of her work as she wrote under the name Deidre Cork. Fantastic Fiction and Wiki Romance both have complete lists of her writings. If you are interested, she is still alive - just turned 93! (I am her younger son, Denis)


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