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Dark Torment

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,029 ratings  ·  68 reviews
"I've a feeling you'll soon rue this day..."

These were the fateful words Sarah Markham's father uttered after she threw herself between the convict lashed to the ship's mast and the captain's whip.

Transported to Australia for crimes against the Crown, Dominic Gallagher had been labeled a troublemaker. No humor lightened his handsome face; everything about him looked dark,
Paperback, 389 pages
Published August 1st 1985 by Warner Vision (first published 1985)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,029 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Another historical romance by Karen Robards that does not include any historical plausibility, never mind logical plot or motivations for the protagonists.

(view spoiler)
Pride is the rift between lovers

First published in 1985, there is a delightfully retro feel to this 2013 ebook updated with the bare-chested hunk on the cover. It definitely hearkens back to the spitfire historical heroines and the love-hate dynamics made popular by Deveraux, Garwood, Lowell, Woodiwiss and others. I was a little surprised by the many graphic love scenes for a 1985 publication, especially since the purple prose was noticeably absent. This is my first book by Karen Robards.

Regan Walker
4 and ½ Stars! Irish Hero Survives an Australian Sheep Station

Set in Australia in the mid 19th century, this is the story of Sarah Markham whose father is a sheep rancher, and Dominic Gallagher, a Irish convict who was transported to Australia for a crime he didn’t commit and was then “purchased” by Sarah’s father to serve out his 15-year sentence. Because he is a man who speaks up when events call for it, he is whipped and abused. Sarah intervenes to save his life.

The handsome Irish rogue knows
This is what I'm talkin' about! A glorious example of what the old type of historical romances is all about! This one is set in Australia and our hero is sent there as a convict. Our heroine, Sarah, saves him from near death from a whipping, and the fireworks begin. I love Karen's heroines from her old romances. They're feisty and smart, which is unusual in these types of books. And Sarah is not heartstoppingly beautiful, she's an average woman with a strong sense of self who doesn't rely on her ...more
Robards, Karen - standalone

Sarah and Dominic are two very different people. Gentle, highborn Sarah is not prepared for the proud and arrogant Irish rebel to burst into her life. Sentenced to exile and bondage for acts perpetrated against the Crown, Dominic will do anything to convince this timid Australian lady that only he can fulfill her hopes and dreams.

An Australian sheep station owners' daughter and an Irish convict. If your looking for something HOT, this is it.
Margaret Devaux
Oct 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Easy read. Enjoyable. Back in the old days setting.
May 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
I didn't like either the hero or heroine. He was constantly smirking "nastily" or "mockingly" at her and making mean comments, while she claims to not view the convicts as inferior like everyone else does yet still treats him snobbily and expects his deference. The setting was really interesting and different from the usual, but the unpleasant characters ruined it. I also felt like the descriptions were redundant - how often do we need to be reminded about the hero's Irish accent and thick chest ...more
This book only gets three stars because Sarah was kind of great. But it’s also very uncritical of the racist and generally exploitative systems that governed Australia in the 1830s. The story is predominantly about the use of convict labour, but aborigines are also present, though their role is entirely limited to being silent but devoted servants. So that’s not great. When she’s introduced, Sarah is described as having emancipist leaning, but Robards doesn’t really ever explore that aspect of h ...more
Sep 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Didn't finish after page 73. I wanted to really like this book. I actually did like it, in fact because I liked the premise. A brave woman is willing to stand up to her father and a ship captain and his crew to save a convicts life! She seems so awesome and powerful. And also kind with a big heart. Buuuuut unfortunately she does not live up to her initial portrayal as the book goes along. I HATE more than almost anything in a book when the author makes the female character get angry at everythin ...more
Sarah Markham's mother had died and her father, Edward, remarried. Lydia was her stepmother and Liza her stepsister. Sarah was 22 and considered an old maid. Lydia constantly told her that and also the fact that she was skinny and plain. She took care of the Australian sheep station's books for her father.
Sarah Markham was at the docks with her sister to pick up some convicts that were to be workers on her father's Australian sheep ranch. Her step sister was getting sick in the extreme heat of
May 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
I just couldn't get into this one. The plot was completely lacking, Sarah was a complete cunt, and well I have beef with Dominic you just feel sorry for him the entire time.

The story...

He's getting whipped badly

She saves him

He says something rude

She hates him

She still hates him

She beats him (because he hasn't been beaten enough I guess)

He kisses her

She likes it

She hates him

She thinks about the kiss while hating him

He kisses her and she thrown herself at him

They have sex

She hates him even m
3.5 Stars.
My first Robards book and won’t be my last, but dang was it heavy at times and downright frustrating! Sarah was a relatable character in her insecurities but bitchy as hell.

It was nice to see her turn it around, but at the same time, I never really understood her fighting her feelings, giving in, fighting some more, then finally giving in and was suddenly ok with dom. It took too long for that to happen imo and then as I said, when she finally does accept him, there was no explanatio
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it
Struggled between 3 and 4 stars. Karen Robards wrote "Amanda Rose," and these two books remind me of one another. They both have an attention-grabbing beginning. They both involve an innocent, but judged guilty convict. And, most unfortunately, both involve couples with communication and trust issues. In this one, I almost liked it one star more than the other, but the woman was as dense as the man if not more so, so it drove me crazy. It kept my attention. The passionate scenes were better star ...more
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I usually do not enjoy romance out of traditional regency setting, so it was to my surprise that I couldn't put the book down. The clash and tension between two proud people was not as unreasonable as I first expected it to be. They've both got reasons for acting the way they do, and what I particularly liked is how Sarah transformed, and her very understandable internal conflict between being associated with a convict and undeniable passion made their relationship even more convincing. While th ...more
Kristy Halseth
This was mostly a good book. You feel like there is a larger story that you missed and that you are picking the tale up in the middle. They try to tell the part you missed as one character's back story he shares with the other character. But it would have been an interesting story to read itself.

And Sarah was at times annoying. For someone who objected to people beating a slave to death, she was constantly threatening to have him beaten again. There were a few personality characteristics that j
Jul 30, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Like all Karen Robards' books, Dark Torment is heavy on sexual tension. But this time it is to the expense of everything else... Indeed, such a romance novel could have very well taught us something about Australia in the 1830's, but all this is is one scene of lust after another. The rest of the story is pretty much non-existent and doesn't make much sense anyway. Personally, I like my steamy novels to have a little more to them than just plain sex. ...more
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Really good book. Slow at first, and then enthralling. Big, strong, handsome and sexy hero (Dominic). Heroine (Sarah) was in a Cinderella type role, but had a feisty and dominating personality albeit a kind heart. The sex scenes were steamy. I did fell Sarah was too difficult at times, and didn't like the way she treated Dominic at times. Although I loved the way Dominic could be so patient with her and so tender. Beautiful ending. A worthwhile read. ...more
Anna Mcfadden
Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sarah and Dominic are 2 different types of people, Sarah is a Lady and lives on a sheep farm with her father, step mother, step sister. She is very smart and with a girl next door looks to most she is seen as an old maid at 22 and plain looking. Dominic is a dark, handsome rebel from Island who is sent to Sarah ' s farm to serve out his sentence for a crime. Dominic trys to get Sarah to see how beautiful she is and that he can make all her dreams come true ...more
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I liked everything about this book. I stayed up so late to finish it but it was so completely worth it. It sounded amazing and I love when I'm expecting something awesome and it turned ot to be a let-down, but THIS WAS THE BOMB.

Sometimes I wanted to hit Dominic but there was real character development and he turned out to be a pretty cool guy if I do say so myself.
Aug 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Your standard old fashioned historical romance bodice ripper complete with a "feisty" heroine, Sarah. I used to love these types of heroines but I couldn't stand her. But I loved the hero, Dominic, and the setting in Australia. ...more
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 to 4.5 stars, I really enjoyed the book. I love Karen Robards historicals! My fav’s are Island Flame and Forbidden Love, which I gave 5 stars too. Looking forward to reading more of hers as I haven’t gotten through all of them yet. Next on to Amanda Rose and Morning Song ...
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite romance novels of all. Dont let the cheesy title fool you!!! its great!
Apr 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical
Unfortunately, it didn't withstand the test of time and I had to take two stars off. Also, I completely forgot how much I disliked Sarah. ...more
Rebecca Fronckowiak
Great story

I like the storyline and how artfully the author told it. Her characters are strong and the backdrop perfect.Great story.
Barbara Woodford
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A very intense love story that keeps you in suspense throughout.
~*Michelle R*~
I have read this many times over the years, it has always been and still is one of my favorite historical reads.
Feb 18, 2021 rated it did not like it
I finished this book so quickly because I needed to purge it from my soul, that's how awful it is. The first half of the book was okay, except for the fact that the main characters fought constantly, and seemed to not like each other at all, even though there was supposed to be ~sexual tension~ or some garbage like that. This was supposed to be an "enemies to lovers" trope, but I believe that they were enemies until they suddenly weren't. The characters had such bad and unrealistic communication ...more
Cheap and Lazy
I originally quit at 17% in because I couldn’t take the excessive description and repetition. I felt like the author is trying to beat me over the head with every point. Even though it’s not first-person, the story is told from one perspective (Sarah’s)—which I don’t care for in romance, especially when there isn’t even much dialog. Bummer, I found the setting and premise interesting, was hoping for something old school along the lines of Woodiwiss. Nope. Decided to give it another shot. We fina ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
This is a well written historical romance about an Irish man who has been convicted of a crime and sent to the Australian Penal Colony in the 1800s. What's not to love!? The hero/heroine have some epic fights and take the enemies to lovers trope to new extremes, and at times I wanted to slap the shit out of both of them. The heroine, Sarah, truly made me want to throat punch her a few times, but overall, I enjoyed their banter, their attraction was undeniable and led to some really steamy scenes ...more
Christine (KizzieReads)
2.75 stars. It didn't get good until the last few chapters. It dragged, and you never really see the love develop between Sarah and Dominic until the last few chapters. It is just told to you that they talked over several weeks and then when they are thrust together, that's when you actually see them interact with each other and fall in love. I liked seeing how Dominic came to be a convict and once that plot came out, that's when things got interesting. I'm hoping her other books are better than ...more
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Karen Robards is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than fifty books and one novella. She has won multiple awards including six Affaire de Coeur Silver Pen Awards for favorite author.
Karen has been writing since she was very young, and was first published nationally in the December 1973 Reader's Digest. She sold her first romance novel, ISLAND FLAME, wh

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