Always and Forever

Always and Forever

4.6 34
by Beverly Jenkins
     
 

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A desperate need

Sassy Grace Atwood never expected to find her proper self accidentally tumbling into a stranger's bed. If she weren't desperate for a man to lead a wagon train of brides to a woman-starved town out West, she never would have gone near Jackson Blake-former lawman or not. She should send the ruggedly charming Texan

Overview

A desperate need

Sassy Grace Atwood never expected to find her proper self accidentally tumbling into a stranger's bed. If she weren't desperate for a man to lead a wagon train of brides to a woman-starved town out West, she never would have gone near Jackson Blake-former lawman or not. She should send the ruggedly charming Texan packing...only he's perfect for the job. Now if her mind would just stop going blank every time she looked at him, they might get this train to Kansas yet.

A comsuming passion

What's a man to do when a beautiful woman leans over his bed in the middle of the night? Come to think of it, that was the only time Blake's ever seen the straitlaced Miss Atwood the least bit ruffled. He's certain that beneath her buttoned-up appearance lies a passionate woman aching to break free. But though Blake longs to take her in his arms, all he can offer Grace is a life on the run. And when the demons from his past catch up with them, Blake is couaght between the ties that bind and a love that could last...always and forever.

Editorial Reviews

Detroit Free Press
Heading for superstar status.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380813742
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/28/2000
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
337,578
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Always and ForeverChapter One

February 1, 1884

Dear Cousin Grace,

Greetings from Kansas. I hope my letter finds you well. As you know, I've joined the Great Exodus and am now a member of a newly founded colony in southern Kansas. It has not been an easy task, trying to carve out a life in a place where none has existed before, but we've done it. We've built houses, cleared land, and put in our first crops. Now, many of the unmarried men wish to start families but lack the most necessary element-wives. We're wondering if you could make inquiries on our behalf as to whether any decent, god-fearing women in Chicago would be willing to travel here and marry.

I'm writing to you because no one else knows of anyone capable of taking on such a daunting task. Our men are stalwart individuals, most are educated, and many like me are veterans of Mr. Lincoln's war. Since new men are arriving weekly, by the time this letter reaches you, we will undoubtedly need between thirty and thirty-five women. If you decide to take up our quest, please reply soon so that the funds you'll need to finance the journey can be deposited in your accounts. I will also be posting to you sketches and information on each of the men wishing to be a part of this plan in hopes of helping the women choose their mates before they arrive. I dearly hope you can assist us. Hello to the aunts.

Your cousin,
Price Prescott

March 6, 1884

Dear Cousin Price,

Your letter did indeed find me well. I've decided to accept your unorthodox challenge. Having given the journey much thought, I feel it would be bestto travel by wagon. The insidiousness of Jim Crow makes a train trip too perilous. I do not wish to have us all ordered off a train in the middle of the wilds or forced to ride with cattle. Granted, this decision will raise the costs, but I prefer the women reach Kansas City free of terror and with their dignity intact. I'm sure your men will agree. The aunts send their love.

Your loving cousin,
Grace Atwood

April 3, 1884

"You're going where?" Grace's elderly aunts shouted in unison, as they sat in the downstairs parlor of Grace's modestly appointed home.

"To Kansas City," Grace echoed simply. "Cousin Price wants me to find brides for the men in his colony and I've agreed to do it."

Grace watched her aunts, Tulip and Dahlia, stare first at each other and then back at her. She sought to explain further. "You both know I'm not one to cry over spilled milk, but since Amanda's and Garth's wedding, I've wanted to get away, and this seems a golden opportunity."

Both women nodded sympathetically. They knew of the gossiping and whispering that had been dogging Grace's every step since Garth's betrayal and how much pain the whole ugly ordeal had caused her even though she never let it show. Dahlia and Tulip were aunts on Grace's late mother Vanessa's side of the family and had come to Chicago last November to help Grace bury her father, Elliot. They'd intended to stay only until she mastered her grief but the visit lengthened, mainly because they found the bustling city of Chicago far livelier than their home town of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and because they loved their niece as much as they'd loved her mother.

"Who will run the bank while you're away?" Tulip asked. She was the shorter, plumper, and elder of the two widowed aunts. Tulip and Dahlia had been named after their mother's favorite flowers.

"I believe Mr. Rowe and the others are capable of seeing to things."

"You believe," Dahlia echoed skeptically, looking at Grace over her spectacles. The sisters were complete opposites in temperament. Tulip viewed life optimistically and rarely found fault in anyone or anything. On the other hand, the tall, thin Dahlia tended to be more skeptical and opinionated. Tulip often swore Dahlia should've been named Nightshade for her sometimes negative opinions, but Grace thought the two women balanced each other perfectly and loved them both equally. "The bank will do fine without me. I wouldn't go if I didn't think so."

Grace had complete faith in the abilities of her employees. Head clerk, Lionel Rowe, one of her father's first hires, had been working at the bank for many years.

"I'd still worry," Dahlia stated firmly.

Tulip's black eyes sparkled with irritation as she told her sister, "Oh, for heaven's sake, Dahl, stop curdling the milk. Elliot wouldn't've willed her the keys had he not had faith in her good sense."

Grace decided to interrupt before an argument started. Dahlia, for all her contrary ways, had quite a thin skin and her feelings were hurt easily. The aunts loved each other beyond measure, but that didn't stop them from sometimes fighting like the siblings they were.

"Aunt Dahlia, you're right to be concerned," Grace offered supportively, "although I'll be gone for some time, I'm confident everything will go well."

Tulip chuckled, "Grace, you make it sound as if you'll be gone for months. The trains run much faster than they once did. You'll be in Kansas before you know it."

"We aren't going by train. We're traveling by wagon."

"Wagon?" the aunts shouted in unison again.

"Wagon."

"But why?" Dahlia asked. "Why would you want to subject yourself to such hardship?"

"Jim Crow," Grace answered simply.

"Ah," they both replied.

The political gains made by the race after the war were slowly buckling beneath the oppressive weight of the laws and policies implemented by the south's Redemptionist Democrats...

Always and Forever. Copyright © by Beverly Jenkins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Beverly Jenkins has received numerous awards, including five Waldenbooks/Borders Group Best Sellers Awards, two Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times Magazine, and a Golden Pen Award from the Black Writer's Guild. Ms. Jenkins was named one of the Top Fifty Favorite African-American writers of the 20th century by AABLC, the nation's largest on-line African-American book club. She was recently nominated for the NAACP Image Award in Literature.

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Always and Forever 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
pigguine More than 1 year ago
She has done it again. loved the book and never wanted it to end. I went looking for more of her books and was sadden to find that I have read them all! LOL! Can't wait till the next one. I love this author's mind, and her talent and would love to see it brought to the movies even if it was just cable. Spell binding! A romantic rollercoaster ride. Whew!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Topaz but BJ must have a never-ending list of stories in her head! Grace is fiery and Jackson is smoldering! Another great read!
Smurf97 More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oh, My Gosh...Better and Better...the woman has a gift and I have yet to be disappointed by her historical/romance novels. Once I start reading I can't put it down. Reading this novel I found myself LOL, crying and becoming outraged at the injustice our people had to endure.~~~~~~~Grace had all the characteristic I hope for in a heroine. She was smart, brave, independent and very out-spoken. Her character only improved as the story moved forward. Jackson was also everything a hero should be, handsome, smart, brave, proud and strong, yet very loving. The secondary characters only added more intrigue and interest to this amazing tale and I hope to read more about some of them in future novels.~~~~~~~The instant chemistry between Grace and Jackson was definitely very sensual. Their heated passion only grew HOTTER and more intense as the story progressed, which made for a great read.~~~~~~~Once again, Ms. Jenkins has painted an AMAZINGLY vivid and historically accurate picture of the time period. She has eloquently spun a very romantic love story as well as a much needed and very valuable history lesson. I will Always and Forever be a BIG fan!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Always and Forever was like stepping back in time and enjoying the trip. This was Beverly Jenkins at her best.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful. I just started reading Beverly Jeniks books and now I have a collection. Her books make wish you had a love like that of your own.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just 'read' this book, via audiotapes and I couldn't turn the tape off - in the car, doing laundry, exercising, showering, etc...! Many times I replayed a section to make sure I didn't miss a word of detail! It was intensely romantic, almost pornographic, but tasteful and I was very impressed with the credibility of the historical facts. I have since recommended this book to all of my romance and/or historical reader friends. It was a great way to start my summer 'reading.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down!! I read it from cover to cover from the time I got in my bed to read myself to sleep until the early morning hours when I finished still wide awake. You can picture the characters and feel every emotion that they feel! This novel definitely turned up the heat in my part of Hotlanta! I never knew there were African American Historical Romances available, so I only read Jude Devereaux and Bertrice Small historical romance novels, with no people of color. Now I'll add Beverly Jenkins to my collection. She has created characters I can TRULY put myself into. I'm going to order more from Ms. Jenkins until I've read everyone, then start all over again until the next one comes out! GO ON MS. JENKINS!!!!