Because of You

Because of You

3.7 32
by Cathy Maxwell

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Is a reckless rogue worthy of thelove of an innocent enchantress?

Pretty Samantha Northrup knows it isher duty to marry—but the chaste Englishvicar’s daughter secretly desires to be sweptoff her feet by a man whose kisses leave herbreathless. And when a seductive strangerarrives at her door one stormy night,Samantha’s neat and orderly life is


Is a reckless rogue worthy of thelove of an innocent enchantress?

Pretty Samantha Northrup knows it isher duty to marry—but the chaste Englishvicar’s daughter secretly desires to be sweptoff her feet by a man whose kisses leave herbreathless. And when a seductive strangerarrives at her door one stormy night,Samantha’s neat and orderly life is turnedupside down—especially when she finds herself in a most compromising position . . .and is forced to marry a man she barely knows!

Samantha is unaware that her mystery bridegroom is Yale Carderock, the dashing,disinherited rakehell son of a duke, banishedby his father years before. Now Lord Yalehas returned—wealthier but only somewhatreformed—and he is bewitched by his lovelynew bride’s awakening sensuality and innocentfire. But can this marriage of conveniencebe something more . . . and can a confirmedcad and society outcast truly change his ways enough to merit the lady’s tender love?

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Compromised and forced into marriage with the long-lost, disreputable son of a duke, vicar's daughter Samantha Northrup makes the best of a difficult situation--and finds a love she never thought she could have. Lively dialog, concise writing, and an unusual slant on the traditional forced-marriage plot make this story of a tormented hero and a determined heroine one that Maxwell's fans will be cheer. Maxwell (When Dreams Come True, Avon, 1998) lives in Virginia.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Avon Romantic Treasure Series
Product dimensions:
6.76(w) x 4.06(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Village of Sproule
Northumberland, England

The persistent banging woke Samantha Northrup from a sound sleep.

She lay in bed, hoping it was only another of the vicarage's many loose shutters being buffeted against the side of the house by the north wind. A visitor in the middle of the night meant bad news.

"Wake up in there!" a man's voice shouted. "I need help!"

The man's words, and years of serving the parish's needs, roused Samantha. She threw a heavy wool shawl over her flannel nightdress, slipped her feet into a pair of old boots, and shuffled out of the bedroom into the kitchen.

The small house was attached to St. Gabriel's Church, a stone Norman building that had weathered many a Northumberland winter, although this one promised to be colder than most. Samantha shivered as a draft skittered up beneath her nightdress.

Her visitor pounded on the door again, the force of the blows making the heavy cedar door shake.

"I'm coming, I'm coming," she said crossly, her words coming out in little puffs of frigid air. No fire burned in her hearth. Not at night, when she could conserve fuel by sleeping under a mountain of blankets.

She lit a candle and glanced at the clock on the sideboard. It was shortly past midnight.

Samantha could usually tell who was outside by peeking out the window to the side of the door. However, the night was too dark for her to make out anything but the man's tall shape. He could be any of a number of the villagers.

He was just starting to knock again when she threw back the bar, opened the door—and found herself staring into the eyes of a tall, dark stranger.

Sheimmediately attempted to close the door.

The man had anticipated her move and put his foot in the door so she couldn't shut ft. He was tall, broad shouldered, with a headful of dark hair and glittering, angry eyes. She didn't know how she could have thought he looked like any of her friends or neighbors.

He didn't force the door open but held his ground.

"What is it you want?" she asked through the crack in the door.

"I want the keys to the Ayleborough vault."

Samantha almost laughed in his face. "Are you daft? Those keys are for the family only. Besides, it is the middle of the night."

The stranger's voice hardened with determination. "I want the keys." He spoke in the clear, concise English of an educated man. But she bristled at his high-handed attitude and was all too conscious of the slight lilting burr of the northlands in her voice.

"You cannot have them without the permission of the duke of Ayleborough," Samantha answered, with an authority gained from years of making grown men cringe in guilt and recalcitrant schoolboys swallow cod oil. She attempted to close the door but he pushed it with his shoulder, throwing it open and shoving her aside.

He was so tall, he had to stoop or hit his head on the low ceiling. His presence filled the room. "I want the keys."

Another woman might have quaked from fear—and the truth be known, Samantha's knees were shaking—but she was six-and-twenty, a woman in charge of her life. The Vicarage of St. Gabriel's had been responsible for the Ayleborough family vault for almost two centuries. It was a sacred trust between the vicar and the noble family that paid St. Gabriel's benefice, and she would not betray that trust.

She moved around the table, wanting to put something between herself and this intruder. The candle's wan light cast ghoulish shadows behind him. "You can't have them."

The stranger's eyes narrowed. "I must not have heard you correctly," he said in a low, silky voice. His gloved fingers opened and closed menacingly.

Samantha's throat went dry, but if need be, she'd die to protect those keys. Since her father's death a year ago, the villagers had been hinting broadly that the time had come for her to move out of the vicarage. Now was her opportunity to prove her worth. "You can't have them," she repeated stubbornly.

His eyes took on an almost unholy light of anger. He was obviously unaccustomed to being defied. Well, so was she.

She just wished she wasn't so aware of how big and brutally strong he was.

Then, to her relief, he took a step away. He pushed his thick, heavy hair back from his face with his hand. His was a strong face with a straight nose and a lean, square jaw. When he attempted a smile, the expression seemed almost uncomfortable for him.

"I'm sorry," he apologized, his tone brisk. He looked around the small kitchen. "I imagine my behavior appears rude to you, barging in as I have in the middle of the night." He didn't sound apologetic at all.

"Who are you?" she dared to ask.

He ignored her question. His dark gaze flicked over her half-dressed appearance with disinterest. "Where is the vicar? I must speak to him."

"He's not available," she announced curtly, and prayed the man wouldn't realize she was alone. She should never have opened the door to him. How often had the villagers warned her to be more careful?

She crossed her arms against her breasts, suddenly aware of her vulnerability as a woman.

"But I must see him," the stranger insisted.

"You can't."

"And who are you?"

Samantha drew a deep breath. "I'm his daughter. I am responsible for the Ayleborough vault."

"Well, Miss—?" He paused.

"Northrup," she said, for the first time a little self-conscious of her unmarried state.

"Well, Miss Northrup, I have traveled a long way. I want the keys to the Ayleborough vault."

Meet the Author

Cathy Maxwell spends hours in front of her computer pondering the question, "Why do people fall in love?" It remains for her the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness. She lives in beautiful Virginia with children, horses, dogs, and cats.

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Because of You 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am an avid reader of historical romances for over 20 years now. Took off a few years lately as many books were getting boring - characters/plot lines etc. all seemed the same. I took up reading again this year. I found some new authors by reading reviews. I didn't see any for this author or book but, took a chance on her. I read Cathy Maxwell's 'Because of You'. This was an EXCELLENT book. The best way I can describe this book as 'refreshing'. It was NOT the typical perfectly beautiful rich girl or poor girl that meets the perfectly handsome guy and they wine and dine each other into the bedroom and eventually marriage. It was so much more. Once you read this story, you'll see what I mean about being new, interesting and utterly captivating. It's been awhile since I found a book so charming. Not only were the characters well developed but, the story moved along smoothly (and made sense all the way through), the passion and chemistry between the characters was strong and the beginning, middle and end plot lines were all enjoyable. If you are a fan of historical romances and like to see a strong female lead and a solid hero as well -this should appeal to you. From the start, the relationship that developed between Yale and Samantha was wonderful. They met under strange circumstances but, often that leads to the best of relationships. I liked that these two people not only spent time together for the right reasons. Their relationship developed not only on a sexual basis but, also on a friendship level as well - they truely liked and respected the other - that is rare in books. Most of the time the leads fight back and forth, won't come to terms with their feelings and all that seems to develop is hot and heavy sex that is so mind boggling that it makes you think they have a real romance. Not so in this book -all phases of being a couple develop, including difficult decisions involving family, business and friends. This was a fun book to read. I often reads novels over a period of 2 days but, this one I stayed up through the night and finished in the morning - it was that enjoyable and hard to put down. You will enjoy Samantha's steadfast, honest and intelligent ways. You will enjoy Yale's sad earlier tale of a boy who got lost along the way to becoming a man but, final redeems himself as those with a good heart and soul eventually do. You will love the scence when Yale looks into his son's eyes and he tells you what his heart says...sigh. If you want a good read where you AREN'T dealing with the perfect duke/dutchess/prince/princess or the like...this is the one for you. It shows how the fallen can get up again and be better for the struggle...all because of YOU as the title says. Buy this one, keep it in your library and do not lend it out. I will buy more of her novels and hope for the same line of unforgettable characters and plot lines. Happy reading - I know you'll enjoy it!
Katierod26 More than 1 year ago
I am now a Cathy Maxwell fan. I like to read just about everything, but once in while I get that itch for a Historical Romance. I now know where to look. You really got to know the characters at a believable pace and they got to know each other at believable pace. I fell in love with them both.
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Review by Jen: Considering I'm a huge historical romance fan, I found it very interesting that I've never read a Cathy Maxwell novel. Shocking, I know! So, when I was asked to review this re-release of Because of You, I was quite happy to accept. So, what we have in this novel is the classic nobleman seemingly compromising a lady and having to enter a marriage of convenience. What made this story for me was the characters. I really enjoyed getting to know Yale and Samantha. Yale grew up as a son of a duke, but after being disinherited, he traveled the world and basically grew up. Samantha is a vicar's daughter and the person everyone in her small village turns to in their time of need. The sparks between Yale and Samantha jump off the page. And of course, they have to overcome numerous obstacles on their way to happily ever after. Add in a wide variety of supporting characters and you're in for a real treat. I am glad I chose to read this book and I can honestly say this won't be my last Cathy Maxwell book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my 7th book by Ms. Maxwell and my favorite! I loved how the story line was unique and kept you wanting to keep reading. This will be re-read again. I loved how our main character's were both hurting and helped each other. The secondary character's were so interesting too, and really added a lot to the story. The ending will tug at your heart too (ends in a good day). I am glad there was an epilogue so you see what happened to them. (Ljb)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Just ok, not great
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zeeba More than 1 year ago
I loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookLover1420 More than 1 year ago
An ok read, certainly not the rave other reviews have said.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like traditional romance of this genre, read this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good not great............................................................................................. The 26 year old spinster daughter of the deceased vicar is about to be tossed out in the street. She has no money . no home, no prospects st all. The town forces her to marry a man passing through who she helps when he is deathly ill. He doesn't tell her before the marriage but he is the second son of the duke and wealthy in his own right. When she finds out she is so furious she won't sleep with him for half the book. Even though he is nothing but nice to her. Maybe it's me but if I didn't have a dime to my name or a place to live I would think a rich handsome man who promised to take care of me was a good thing. Did I mention she was also madly in love with him within a few days. What was the problem? Usually like CM. This was a disappointment
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