Just Rewards: A Novel of the Harte Family

Just Rewards: A Novel of the Harte Family

by Barbara Taylor Bradford

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From the blockbuster bestselling author comes the dramatic conclusion to the saga that began with Emma Harte and A Woman of Substance

Four women at a crossroads. A family in crisis. And an enemy planning for his long-awaited chance at revenge. Who will have their Just Rewards?
Linnet O'Neill, great-granddaughter of Emma Harte, finds herself following in the footsteps of the original woman of substance as she battles to modernize the family business. Returning from her honeymoon full of fresh ideas for bringing the Harte empire into the new century, Linnet locks horns with her mother, Paula, in a battle about the future. But due to unexpected circumstances, Linnet finds herself alone at the helm, just as her great-grandmother once was. Tessa Fairley is ready to start a new life after an acrimonious divorce--which might include rivaling her sister Linnet for the top spot in the Harte business. India Standish, in the midst of planning her own glamorous summer wedding in Ireland, is thrown off balance when her fiance's daughter Atlanta comes to live with them--closely followed by his unstable ex-girlfriend, intent on trouble. And Evan Hughes, their American cousin, unwittingly brings an enemy into their midst. But Evan's sister Angharad, who tries to infiltrate the quartet of young women, meets Jonathan Ainsley, the deadly enemy of the Hartes. Together, they spin a web of vengeance whereby no Harte is safe. Just Rewards brings the story of Emma Harte and A Woman of Substance full circle.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429901840
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/01/2010
Series: Harte Family Saga , #6
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 137,576
File size: 441 KB

About the Author

Barbara Taylor Bradford is the author of more than 25 bestselling novels, including Playing the Game, Breaking the Rules, and The Ravenscar Dynasty. She published her first novel, A Woman of Substance, in 1979, and it has become an enduring bestseller. Ten of her novels have been adapted into television mini-series starring actors including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Liam Neeson, Deborah Kerr and Elizabeth Hurley. She has been inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame of America and was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for her contributions to Literature.
Barbara Taylor Bradford is the author of more than 25 bestselling novels, including Playing the Game, Breaking the Rules, and The Ravenscar Dynasty. She was born in Leeds, England, and from an early age, she was a voracious reader: at age 12, she had already read all of Dickens and the Brontë sisters. By the age of twenty, she was an editor and columnist on Fleet Street. She published her first novel, A Woman of Substance, in 1979, and it has become an enduring bestseller. Barbara Taylor Bradford’s books are published in over 90 countries in 40 languages, with sales figures in excess of 82 million. Ten of her novels have been adapted into television mini-series starring actors including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Liam Neeson, Deborah Kerr and Elizabeth Hurley. She has been inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame of America, and in June of 2007, Barbara was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for her contributions to Literature. She lives in New York City with her husband, television producer Robert Bradford, to whom all her novels are dedicated, and their Bichon Frise dogs, who sit under her desk while she writes.


New York, New York

Place of Birth:

Yorkshire, England


Christ Church Elementary School and Northcote Private School for Girls in Yorkshire, England

Read an Excerpt

 Envy slays itself by its own arrows.
 Flurries of silvery snowflakes were blowing in the wind, sticking to the plate-glass windows of Harte’s and on the faces of the two pretty young women gazing so intently into those windows.Evan Hughes brought a gloved hand to her cheek and wiped the dampness away Then she drew closer to Linnet O’Neill, shivering and hunching into her dark green loden cape, feeling the bite of the intense cold.Instantly, Linnet glanced at Evan and exclaimed, “I’m so thoughtless, dragging you outside to look at our windows on a day like this! You’re freezing. Come on, let’s go inside. We’ve seen enough, actually.” Linnet took hold of Evan’s arm and hurried her toward one of the double doors leading into Harte’s.“I’m all right, honestly,” Evan protested as she was propelled across the floor of the cosmetics department, adding irately, “I’m not a cream puff, you know. I’m not going to melt away.”“You’ve got guts of steel, I’m very well aware of that!” Linnet shot back. “It just became frightfully cold all of a sudden. And if you catch a cold, or get sick, Gideon will have my guts for garters.”Evan burst out laughing, as usual amused by Linnet’s penchant for quaint sayings; she was frequently startled by the other girl’s bluntness, as well as her pithiness. Evan considered her recently discovered cousin a unique person. She had never met anyone like her, and in this past year of working together, they had become the very best of friends.Moving through the glamorous, eye-catching displays of cosmetics and perfumes, Evan felt her icy limbs beginning to thaw, and she loosened her scarf, opened her cape. Smoothing her hand over her bulging stomach, she confided, “I feel like a beached whale, Linny. I can’t wait to give birth.”Linnet’s expression was sympathetic. “I know. But just imagine, Evan, you’re about to have twins. Twins! You’ve certainly given Tessa, India, and me pause for thought. We have a tendency to forget that twins run in this family. Grandy had twins, and so did Mummy the first time around, when she was married to Jim Fairley. It’s only just struck us that we also might be candidates, have the same fate as you.” Linnet smiled engagingly. “What do you think?”“We share a lot of the same genes, I guess, so you’re probably right.”“Julian’s hoping so, and actually so am I. It makes life easier. Two children born together saves so much bother in the long run … an instant family and less time off work.”“Very well put,” Evan responded softly, laughter filling her eyes. She couldn’t help thinking that Linnet’s inborn pragmatism inevitably came to the fore, but she admired her for being so down to earth.By now the two women had arrived at a bank of elevators, and they stepped into one as soon as its doors slid open. Falling silent, they rode up to the management offices and hurried down the long corridor.When they reached the alcove in the center, where the famous portrait of Emma Harte hung, the two of them automatically came to a standstill, looked at each other, smiled, and then briskly saluted their great-grandmother and moved on. It had become something of a ritual with them of late, whether they were together or alone. It signified their pride in being her progeny and working in the renowned store she had founded.
 A few minutes later, settled comfortably in Evan’s office, Linnet said, “So, give me your opinion about the windows.”“I have to agree with you, they are a bit outdated. Oh, they’re beautiful, Linnet, of course. So well dressed. And they do evoke the kind of image we want for Harte’s, but they could be a bit … fresher.”“Not enough pizzazz, perhaps?” Linnet suggested.“Not pizzazz, that’s not quite right for Harte’s, is it?”“I suppose not,” Linnet agreed, sitting back in the chair, her eyes focused on Evan, whose opinion she valued.Evan bit her lip, then shook her head. “I think the word I’m looking for is … glamorous. I’m talking about the fashion windows per se, Linnet, and they ought to be just a tad more eye-catching. Listen, they should say something to the customer … they should say, Come in, try me on, buy me.”Linnet nodded, her face lighting up. “That’s true. You’ve just put your finger on it.”Evan said, “You’ve only recently come back from New York. You’ve seen the store windows there, and I believe you’re now finding our windows somewhat flat.” She raised a brow, and her pellucid gray-blue eyes rested on Linnet thoughtfully. When her cousin made no response, she asked, “Am I not correct?”“I think you are … . But I’m not sure Mummy would agree.”“Have you discussed the windows with Paula?” Evan probed, sounding anxious.“No, I haven’t had a chance, and she and Dad are staying in Yorkshire this week, recovering from Christmas, the New Year, and all their entertaining. They’re taking a week off, and they just want to potter around at Pennistone Royal. They enjoy being at home with each other, doing what they’ve always done since they were kids growing up together.” Linnet shook her head. “Anyway, I’m not going to say a word until she’s back here at work. Actually Evan, there are some other things I want to discuss with her, certain changes I believe we should make.”Evan sat up straighter but said nothing, merely raised a brow quizzically, her eyes full of questions.“You look surprised,” Linnet exclaimed, eyeing her carefully.“I am. What kinds of changes do you have in mind?”“I’ll get to those in a minute, just let me say this first. As you well know, the fashion retrospective was a big success last summer. We gained lots of new customers, and we did terrifically well, but eventually sales dipped. What we need to do is keep our customers coming in, and we need to garner those new ones as well. I believe we’re in a new age of retailing. We have to make shopping a unique experience, and offer other services.”“Obviously you’ve studied this carefully and come up with some fresh ideas,” Evan ventured cautiously, wondering if Paula would permit any changes at the Knightsbridge store.“I have,” Linnet asserted. “For example, Harte’s ought to have a day spa, a really beautiful spa offering every kind of treatment.”“That would be great!” Evan agreed swiftly and then thought to ask, “But where would you put it?”Linnet grinned and explained, “I think one of those boring departments such as Mattresses would have to go. But seriously, we could carve out space. I know this store inside out, and I know we could do it.”“I guess it doesn’t have to be a huge spa, just a unique one.”“That’s it exactly. Evan, listen, don’t you think we ought to have more places to eat? Snack bars, for instance. Especially on the ground floor, near the Food Halls. We could feature shellfish, pizza, hot dogs, deli sandwiches, and pastas. The kind of fast food that’s actually tasty. I’m sure they would appeal to people who work in Knightsbridge and the areas nearby, as well as our customers.”“That’s a great suggestion,” Evan agreed. “I can feel my mouth watering just at the thought. What I wouldn’t give for a plate of oysters right now.”“And ice cream on top, I’ve no doubt,” Linnet said, grinning at her. “Isn’t that your favorite lunch these days?”Evan shook her head. “Not quite, although I have had a few longings for some very strange food combinations.”Linnet leaned forward, her expression intense. “I’d appreciate any ideas you might have, Evan. You’re always so creative, and I do think we really have to revamp the store. A little bit anyway.”Evan nodded. “I agree.” She paused, hesitating, and then confided, “I did have an idea a while back. A floor devoted to brides. Called … Brides. Naturally we would feature bridal gowns, bridesmaids’ dresses, page boy suits, and all those things. But we could also sell bridal shoes, jewelry, gifts for the bridesmaids, and even bridal lingerie. And there’s another thing. In the States, wedding planners are very popular; we could offer that kind of service as well.”“Evan, I love it! And what about the Evan Hughes Bridal Collection? You know you love to design bridal gowns. How about it?”Evan considered Linnet’s words. “I think I’d enjoy that. I guess I’ve been itching to design again.” Her enthusiasm was apparent. “Actually, the store has had inquiries about your wedding gown. There were lots of photographs in the newspapers, and women seemed taken with it.”“I don’t blame them. You created something out of this world. So, let’s sell it to them,” Linnet replied in a rush. At the same pace she continued, “Also, I think your idea for an entire floor for brides is inspirational. I’d really appreciate it if you could give me something on paper. As soon as possible.”“I’ve got a lot of stuff on my computer already. I’ll print it out for you before I go to Yorkshire.”“Thanks, and when are you going to Pennistone Royal?”“In three days. Gideon and I are driving up on Saturday. I’m glad. I’m already a bit panicky, to tell you the truth. I feel as if I’m going to give birth at any moment.” She said this lightly, laughing, but she was genuinely concerned that this might happen, that the twins might be premature.So was Linnet. Evan and Gideon had delayed getting married until January because her own big, splashy wedding to Julian had been long-planned for this past December. They hadn’t wanted to compete. Pushing aside her worries, Linnet now also laughed and endeavored to reassure Evan. “You’ll be fine, darling. Julian and I will be there for the weekend, so I can help with any last-minute details for the wedding.”“That’s lovely, thanks for offering, but there’s not much to do. It’s only the family, after all.”“Your parents are coming over, though, aren’t they?”“Oh yes, and my sisters. My mother’s already here; she arrived several days ago. And the others will be flying in next week. Robin’s being wonderful, very kind, and he’s invited my parents and sisters to stay at Lackland Priory.”“Well, that’s nice of him, of course, but don’t forget you’ve given him a new lease on life, Evan. Mummy says he’s never looked better.”Linnet now pushed herself to her feet and picked up her coat. “I’d better go, I’ve loads of paperwork to catch up with. Thanks for listening, and for your input. It was just what I needed.” She paused at the door, blew a kiss. “I’ll see you later.” Smiling, she was gone.Evan gazed at the door, her face already clouding over.She was fully aware that Linnet’s nonchalance was assumed, that in fact she was worried about her mother’s reaction to her ideas for the store. Although they were not particularly radical, Evan knew they would fall flat. As a newcomer, she saw Paula O’Neill from an entirely different viewpoint than did her daughters and India Standish, Paula’s niece. Evan was aware that their boss was determined to keep Harte’s in its traditional mode. What Linnet wanted to do wouldn’t destroy Harte’s image. Still, Paula would be upset. She was Emma Harte’s granddaughter and heiress, and she never deviated from the rules set down by Emma. Having run Harte’s in exactly the same way for well over thirty years, since before Emma’s death, she wasn’t likely to make any changes now.There’ll be trouble between them, Evan suddenly thought. Real trouble.Copyright © 2006 by Beaji Enterprises, Inc.

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Just Rewards (Emma Harte Series #6) 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
eyes4ears More than 1 year ago
this book was so juvenile-ly written and poorly developed. it was worse than watching a soap opera as it was written in exactly the same style as a run down soap... BTB spent the whole book replaying past books that anyone who has never read any of her books just got the whole run down in 464 pgs of wasted time. every time i turned a page all i heard about was the old BS and nothing new enough to call this book a continuation of any saga, just a boring rerun of six previous novels... i have not read the books between A Woman of Substance and Just Rewards, but after having read this one i have saved myself so much money and time. I was really disappointed in this book, i felt like i was talked down to and totally robbed of a story line. are all her recent books this same style, if they are i will never waste another dime on any of her novels...
love2readKB More than 1 year ago
Another excellent book in the Harte Family Saga!!! How does Barabra Taylor Bradford do it??? She is a truly remarkable author.I am losing sleep with this series. Linnett, Tessa, Evan, and India are truly amazing ladies. They all have that Harte strength to succeed. This is a must read book for any fan of Women of Substance or anyone who wants to read a truly great book. Strongly recommend this book. Can't wait to read the last book in this series. I just wish it didn't end with the next book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How can this book be the conclusion of the Emma Harte saga...one more book at least is needed to take care of Jonathan Ainsley. Please don't leave us hanging!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Emma Harte has been dead for thirty years, but she rules from the grave. It seems that Emma is mentioned on just about every other page as her myriad descendents, in-laws and hangers-on slavishly follow her 'rules' and talk incessantly about their encounters with her. I found it very tiresome, and it detracted from the story, rather than adding anything to it. Seriously, now, is anyone held in such reverence thirty years after their death? 'A Woman of Substance' was an excellent book, but the five sequels each go further downhill. I don't know why I keep reading them. I guess Emma is ruling me from the grave, too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The previous Harte saga books have been filled with emotion, decent, love, adventure and excitement. This chapter falls flat on its face. The author spends 75% of the time explaining the relationships between people and describing their wardrobe and none of the time developing their characters. She has a wicked villian in Jonathan but fails to use him and his new amour in this story. He just seems to be a matter of convenience to use when something bad happens not the great cause. I wuld not recommend this book unless you need to keep track of the '3 clans' for the next book. But if the next one is like this one you won't need to the author will keep you up to date. Too many characters and not enough substance - back to the first novel!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love the way Barbara writes. Her sequels are fabulous and once I start reading them I can't put the book down. I can't wait until the next one comes out.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Platinum penned Barbara Taylor Bradford has written the last in her Harte family series, which began with A Woman of Substance in 1979. Terry Donnelly, who reads the Unabridged version, and Kate Burton, who reads the Abridged edition, should both be dubbed golden voices. Well remembered for her vocal performances of Emma's Secret and Unexpected Blessings, Burton needs no introduction. Daughter of Richard Burton she has numerous stage performances to her credit and delivers Bradford's stories with cool, crisp diction in an enjoyable to hear voice. Familiar to TV audiences through her appearances on Law and Order, The Irish and How They Got That Way, plus others, Terry Donnelly possesses a stage trained voice that is perfectly suited to Bradford's unconquerable women. With Just Rewards we find Emma Harte's descendants, most notably her great-granddaughter, Linnet O'Neill, who despite some family opposition wants to bring the family business up to date. Her hopes are entwined with her sister's attempts to begin life anew after divorce, one cousin is planning a posh wedding, and another introduces trouble. Bradford fans will find the conclusion to this romantic saga irresistible, especially as delivered by Burton and Donnelly. - Gail Cooke
CaroPg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with this book. Although I really enjoyed the previous Harte¿s saga books, this one was a bit weak. The description of characters in general was good, and BTB certainly knows how to put you in the scene with her descriptions of rooms and dresses. However, I feel that a lot of points were left flying. Characters as Angharad were barely described, and I think it had a lot of villain potential. Also, JA¿I like him as a villain, in the other books, he was depicted pretty well, and his plans were explained carefully, as you would expect him to do if he was real¿this time, all his moves seemed out of the blue, with no background, but hate. And then his ¿end¿ seemed to me like someone had no idea how to close that door, and just did it in a hurry. Once again, BTB makes a book easy to read, enjoyable in average as it carries you into England swiftly and I can only praise de way the scenario is done. But I am sad to think that a lot was said, but not much happened.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Positively one of the worst BTB books I've ever read. How many times do you have to read JA is the black sheep or other repetative descriptions? Long, over drawn, tedious, and overall a let down. Couldn't wait for it to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Just Rewards is the best of the recent trilogy in Barbara Taylor Bradford's Emma Harte series. And it is one of her best books to date. For those who enjoy the exploits of Jonathan Ainsley (sworn enemey to the Hartes), this book is packed with tales of revenge plots and a scandalous affiar with one of the family. This is a delicious high-point in which to conclude this series. Though the author does leave open the door for a continuation down the road.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It almost seems like BTB is trying to reinvent the wheel. When Emma's diary was discovered it seemed that all the missing gaps in the lives of Emma and Blackie might be filled in. There would be enough fodder there for more books that could continue with the characters and events that the fans loved.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got my copy of Just Rewards last week from Australia. I blazed through it in two days and am only now recovering from the shocking ending! Without giving too much away, I love how this book is about Jonathan Ainsley (the heavy) and Anharad. Granted, the other characters (Paula, Evan, Linett, Tessa, etc) are all there too. But opening and closing the story with our favorite villian was perfect...and terribly satisfying. A strong sequel. I only hope this isn't the last of the Harte stories. At least the ending is left open just a crack for a possible continuation down the road.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In London Linnet O'Neill remains the heir apparent to the matriarchal Harte family business still run by her mother Paula. However, Linnet knows that besides her mom watching her progress, her grandmother Daisy, and her late great-grandmother Edwina look over her shoulders too and rival half-sister Tessa Fairley Longden would love to push her aside. She feels especially good for her assistant, former American sales clerk Evan Hughes, who is carrying twins and has plans with her lover Gideon Harte. --- However, the idyllic times ends when Linnet¿s half-sister Tessa Fairley Longden calls in a panic that her little girl Adele has vanished. Linnet¿s initial reaction is that Tessa¿s estrange spouse Mark abducted their daughter as a pawn to get his hands on billions so with her mother in New York, she calls for a family brainstorming session to decide what to do. All agree that Mark kidnapped the child except Evan who wonders if something more sinister happened to Adele. What to do to save Adele is as important as working the media feeding frenzy, but first Paula must know. --- This is third tale of the next generation mini series starring the powerful four females whom continue the dynasty set forth by Emma. Thankfully there is an opening score sheet that list the myriad of members as their seems to be a zillion of them. The story line takes its time to get into action mode as each of the prime women (that includes Paula) ponder the relative strengths of their gene pool and their wealth. The fears for Adele¿s safety threaten to reveal other secrets as the family tries to come together, which means a fun time for Emma¿s myriad of fans. ---Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
PLEASE don't leave the faithful followers of Emma Harte and her descendants hanging. Just Rewards would be, indeed, if Jonathan and his paramour/wife would get their JUST REWARDS!