Annie's Song by Catherine Anderson, Woods |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Annie's Song

Annie's Song

4.7 33
by Catherine Anderson, Woods
     
 

Only her gift of love can heal . . .

Annie Trimble lives in a solitary world that no one enters or understands. As delicate and beautiful as the tender blossoms of the Oregon spring, she is shunned by a town that doesn't understand her.

But cruelty cannot destroy the love Annie holds in her heart.

When Alex Montgomery learns of the injustice sweet

Overview

Only her gift of love can heal . . .

Annie Trimble lives in a solitary world that no one enters or understands. As delicate and beautiful as the tender blossoms of the Oregon spring, she is shunned by a town that doesn't understand her.

But cruelty cannot destroy the love Annie holds in her heart.

When Alex Montgomery learns of the injustice sweet Annie has suffered, he vows to do whatever it takes to set it right—even if it means marrying her. He never dreams he will fall for her childlike innocence, her womanly charms, and the wondrous way she views her world as Alex becomes captive to Annie's sweet song of love.

Editorial Reviews

Elizabeth Lowell
“Catherine Anderson is an amazing talent. Her love stories are tender and earthy, passionate and poignant—and always unusual. Annie’s song will haunt you long after the last page is turned.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380779611
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/27/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
199,267
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.04(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Holding a lantern high to light his way, Alex Montgomery strode briskly along the alley that led through the stable. The pungent odor of fresh manure blended with the dusty smell of alfalfa hay to lay heavily on the crisp night air Nickers of welcome drifted to him from the shadowy stalls. Under other circumstances, Alex might have stopped, but he didn't have the time or inclination to hand out sugar lumps to the horses tonight.

Jerky splashes of golden light from the lantern and the quick motions of his shadow playing across the plank walls indicated the depth of his anger. Grinding his back teeth to keep from roaring, he reached the end of the corridor and kicked open the planked door to the tack room. As he hoped, his brother Douglas lay sprawled on a pile of scattered straw along one wall, one of his favorite places to sleep off a drinking binge.

Swallowing before he spoke to control the anger in his voice, Alex said, "Wake up, little brother. We need to talk."

A whiskey jug in one hand, the other shading his eyes, the boy groaned and rolled over, presenting Alex with his back. "Go 'way It's the middle of the night "

Seven in the evening could scarcely be termed the middle of the night, and observing Douglas with the whiskey jug reminded Alex that it was high time he stopped thinking of his twenty-year-old brother as a boy.

"Wake up, I said." Alex moved farther into the room and hung the lantern from a rafter hook. "There has been a very serious accusation lodged against you, young man, and I want to get to the bottom of it."

Douglas groaned again. "Can't we discuss it later?"

Planting his hands on his hips, Alex spread his jeanclad legsand jutted his chin. "Old Judge Trimble just paid me a visit. His daughter Annie has been raped, and Alan Dristol claims it was you who did it."

That seemed to get Douglas's attention, and he flopped onto his back to peer out from under his cupped fingers. Hope filled Alex. Lies, it was all lies. A horrible misunderstanding that could be cleared up with a few words from his brother. No Montgomery man would ever stoop so low as to force his attentions on a female, let alone one as helpless as Annie Trimble. Besides, why would Douglas bother? He was a handsome young man from an affluent family. Nearly every girl in town vied for his favor.

Douglas blinked as though trying to assimilate what had been said. "Alan claims what?" After a moment, he drew back his lips in a sneer. "That traitorous little bastard. Just wait till I get my hands on him."

Like wet, icy fingers, the words snuffed out Alex's last spark of hope. For a moment, he simply stood there, mired in disbelief. There wasn't a trace of pity for Annie Trimble in Douglas's voice, nor had he denied the accusation.

Dust from the straw floated up to sting Alex's nostrils. A searing sensation washed over his eyes. "Tell me you didn't do it, for God's sake," he demanded hoarsely. Even as he spoke, he heard the ring of desperation in his tone.

"I didn't do it. Now, then, can the rest of this discussion wait until morning?"

"No, it damned well can't." Alex stepped closer, his body taut, his temples suddenly throbbing. "A girl has been raped. How can that possibly be left until morning? Old Judge Trimble is beside himself, and who can blame him? I want the truth, Douglas, and I want it now. What in heaven's name happened? Why would Alan say such a thing?"

"Because he's a chicken-livered little turncoat, that's why. I had too much to drink and things got out of hand. That's all."

"That's all?" It seemed to Alex that the lantern light pulsated, glowing brightly one second, dimming slightly the next. "Dear God, Douglas, the girl has been violated."

"It's not like I did her any permanent harm."

Permanent harm? "We're discussing a rape, for Christ's sake."

"Rape." Douglas buffed under his breath as though the charge was preposterous. "By definition, rape occurs when a man forces his unwanted attentions on a female. Annie Trimble got exactly what she's been angling for."

"What?"

"Only look at how she dresses and comports herself! Wearing naught but a thin camisole and bloomers under her dress, no corset or petticoats to conceal her shape. Flitting about like a wood nymph, unchaperoned! She's been issuing an invitation to every man in Hooper County since she first developed bubbies. What's a fellow to do, pretend he's stone-blind? I was drunk, I tell you. A man can only withstand so much temptation. Her mother should know better than to let her run around dressed like that with no one to attend her."

"My God," Alex whispered. "You did it, didn't you? You raped that poor girl."

His jaw muscle ticking, Douglas angled his forearm over his golden-brown eyes. "You're such a bleeding heart, Alex. Annie Trimble's brains may be baked, but she's right as rain from the neck down. She wanted it as much as I did. And even if she didn't, what does it matter? She can't remember her own name, let alone what happened to her five minutes ago. The way you're acting, you'd think I diddled Amy Widlow, the preacher's daughter."

"Amy Widlow, Annie Trimble, wherein lies the difference? Rape is rape."

Once again, Douglas gave a derisive snort. An unholy urge came over Alex to jerk him up from his bed of straw and shake him sober. Instead he simply stared, praying this was a bad dream. Douglas had always been a hellion, but for all his unruliness, he had never done anyone serious harm. Because he hadn't, Alex had fooled himself into believing he never would. He'll grow out of it, Alex had assured himself time and again. He's just highspirited. Now Alex knew better. No matter what his age, a man either had the ability to feel compassion or didn't. It wasn't something that could be taught. What burdened Alex the most was that he might have saved Annie Trimble this heartbreak if only he had opened his eyes sooner; if he hadn't refused to accept the glaring truth, that Douglas was no damned good and never would be.

What People are saying about this

Elizabeth Lowell

“Catherine Anderson is an amazing talent. Her love stories are tender and earthy, passionate and poignant—and always unusual. Annie’s song will haunt you long after the last page is turned.”

Meet the Author

Catherine Anderson is a bestselling American romance novelist. She resides in the pristine woodlands of Oregon, is married to her high school sweetheart, and has authored more than 30 award-winning historical and contemporary romances. Throughout her career, she has made numerous bestseller lists, such as the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Ingram, Waldenbooks, and Barnes & Noble. She has received nominations for the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Awards, as well as being a RITA® Award finalist, and was given a Career Achievement Award by Romantic Times for Contemporary Romance.

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