Heather Duval, the Earl of Stonehurst's orphaned ward, has always known she will never marry. But she is content running the earl's grand country manor -- until Damien Tremayne hires on as estate manager. Then Heather suddenly fears her world may never be the same. Intense and fiercely passionate, Damien arouses feelings long denied -- with only one kiss!
Questions about his brother's murder have led Damien to this place ... and to Heather. And though desire and destiny seem to bind them, he must battle his dangerous attraction to this beauty. There are shattering secrets to be faced and lies to be untangled. Yet what if the truth destroys her trust in him ... and imperils them both?
|File size:||688 KB|
About the Author
It was Samantha James's love of reading as a child that steered her toward a writing career. Among her favorites in those days were the Trixie Belden and Cherry Ames series of books. She still loves a blend of mystery and romance, and, of course, a happily-ever-after ending. The award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many romances and one novella, her books have ranged from medieval to Regency.
Read an Excerpt
Every Wish Fulfilled
It was to himto Daniel Lewis Tremaynethat the responsibility fell...no, not as the new Earl of Deverellbut as the brother of a man who died violently, for no reason, at the hands of another,,,
He would find his brother's murderer.
And he would see Giles's death avenged, for he must not fail.
He would not fail.
It was as that very resolve crossed his mind that at last he turned his mount to ride away. 'Twas then he saw hera woman watching him from beneath the shade of a gnarled oak tree. She was seated on a coverlet spread upon the ground, her legs tucked beneath her skirts. In one arm a large sketch pad lay propped; in her hand was a piece of charcoal.
Their eyes caught. As she realized she'd been discovered, her hand stilled. She hugged the pad to her breast, somewhat guiltily, he decided.
Damien approached. He stopped within several paces of her, then dismounted and crossed to her. The woman remained where she was, the slender column of her neck arching as she watched him come to a halt. Her wide, unwavering regard made him feel as if he were the very devil himself come to life. Why he should cause such a reaction, he didn't know. Though he was well aware that he was taller than many a man, he was garbed in a loose, white shirt, dark breeches and bootssurely such a picture as he presented should not frighten the chit.
"Hello," he murmured.
Her lips parted, For an instant he thought she would refuse to speak. But speak she did, in a low, musical voice that made him realize she was not frightened at all, perhaps merely wary.
"Good morning, sir."
One corner ofhis mouth tipped upward. He sought to further put her at ease. "I couldn't help but notice you watching me. Were you sketching me?"
There was just the slightest hesitation before she replied. "Yes. Yes, I was. I do hope you don't mind."
"Not at all," he returned smoothly. He dropped down to his haunches. "May I see?"
She hesitated, her distress obviousher reticence even more sobut finally she relinquished the drawing.
Damien studied it. Though it was not yet finished, with bold, stark lines she had managed to capture every facet of his dark moodhis rage, his utter bleakness.
He disliked it. He disliked it intensely.
Slowly his gaze returned to her. "I should very much like to have it." He wasted no time conveying his wishes.
"Oh, such a hastily done piece is hardly worth keeping." With a shake of her head, she objected just as staunchly. "I should be embarrassed to part with such a mediocre effort."
He remained pleasant, but adamant. "On the contrary, miss. It's really quite good, and I wish to have it. The price is of no consequence."
"Oh, but it's not the money I'm interested in, sir. Tistis simply not for sale."
A fleeting solution buzzed through his mind, He considered keeping it, withholding it from her, for he was not a man to display his emotions for all and sundry to see; it was as if this girl had glimpsed a part of him he would much rather remain hidden. He feltoh, as if he'd been caught in some illicit act.
From the corner of his eye he saw a small cart and pony grazing nearby. It would be simple indeed to whirl and mount his stallion, then ride off; if he were on horseback, she would never catch him.
One dark brow arched, "You're very modest," he observed.
Small white teeth caught the fullness of her lower lip. "Modest?" she repeated, her tone light. "Nay, sir, simply honest. Twould be robbery were you to part with money for this pieceand it is not yet finished!"
Damien struggled for patience. Why was she being so stubborn? For the first time then he looked a her...really looked at her.
Her beauty was like a blow to the belly.
She was exquisite, though in a quite unfashionable way. Her gown was rather faded and old, the laces of the bodice undone against the heat; the round neckline revealed smooth, unblemished skin that had acquired a light tan. Clearly she was not a London miss who never faced daylight without bonnet or parasol. Nor was her hair a riot of curls, as was the current vogue. It tumbled down her back, sleek and straight, so dark, it was almost black. Her feet were bare, small, pink toes peeping out from the hem of her dress, reminding him of a gypsy.
But it was her eyes that held him spellbound, and his own eyes narrowed in unguarded appreciation. In all his days he he'd never seen eyes the color of these. They were extraordinary, their hue deepest violet-blue.
The color of heather in full, vibrant bloom...
Who was she? he wondered. A girl from the village? And where had she learned to sketch so well? A natural talent? Surely it was so, he mused. But she was well-spoken. Perhaps she was a maid at Lockhaven Park, whose owner he was to visit that very afternoon. At the thought. something knotted within him. He was no looking forward to his meeting with Miss Heather Duval, mistress of Lockhaven, He had a very good idea what he would encountera shrewish, calculating virago whose looks would undoubtedly match her disposition. No wonder the chit had yet to find a husband.
Ruthlessly, he pushed the thought aside. HE would much rather not talk about Heather Duval. Indeed, was to take this vision of loveliness back to the inn and make love to her until the very instant he had to leave.
Ah, yes, he though, feeling desire stir his loins and tighten his middle. If this lass was willing, he would strip away every last stitch of clothing from her, bury his heartacheand his hardnessin the depths of her body. Indeed, he could think of no better way to banish the darkness from his heart.
"Do you have a name, lass?"
Again that hesitation, as she surveyed him from beneath the cast of long, thick lashes. "Alice," she murmured at last.
"Well, Alice, are you certain that I cannot convince you to part with it?" In truth, the sketch no longer mattered. Oddly, he found himself reluctant to leave. He even wished that she would invite him to stay and sit with her.
A hint of rose had come to her cheeks. "I think not, sir," she said softly.
"Then it seems I have no choice."
Every Wish Fulfilled
. Copyright © by Samantha James. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
What People are Saying About This
A marvelous book threaded on the heartstrings. A winner! No one can write a book quite like Samantha James.
A passionate and intensely emotional experience...A remarkable writer.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Loved it. My all time favorite from Samantha James!!! It was so endearing and all around sweet. I highly recommend it.
This was the best book I've read by Samantha James. It was very sweet and romantic. I couldn't wait for Heather and Damien to finally get together. It was truly special.