Because of You [NOOK Book]


From the author of the bestselling Hideaway novels comes the first in a dazzling, sexy new series, The Wainwright Legacy, chronicling the lives and loves of two prestigious New York families.

High-profile lawyer Jordan Wainwright is an expert at uncovering the truth for his clients. But he guards his own secrets closely, especially those surrounding his adoption by the powerful Wainwright family. Meeting attorney Aziza Fleming at a party, ...
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Because of You

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From the author of the bestselling Hideaway novels comes the first in a dazzling, sexy new series, The Wainwright Legacy, chronicling the lives and loves of two prestigious New York families.

High-profile lawyer Jordan Wainwright is an expert at uncovering the truth for his clients. But he guards his own secrets closely, especially those surrounding his adoption by the powerful Wainwright family. Meeting attorney Aziza Fleming at a party, he's captivated by her ambition and sensual warmth. Although Aziza insists she's not looking for anything serious, their casual dates spill over into sultry, pleasure-filled nights.

Aziza has been burned twice before—first by a bad marriage, then by a harassment case that nearly destroyed her career. Sophisticated and irresistibly sexy, Jordan could be everything she wants, if he proves to be the trustworthy man she needs. However, he'll have to choose—between keeping a decades-old secret, or embracing their newfound passion.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
First in a new series, "The Wainwright Legacy," from the prolific Alers. Here readers meet New York attorneys Jordan Wainwright and Aziza Fleming. They become involved, with passions and secrets getting stirred up in the process.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426874529
  • Publisher: Kimani Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2010
  • Series: Wainwright Legacy Series
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 145,916
  • File size: 475 KB

Meet the Author

Hailed by readers and booksellers alike as one of today's most popular African-American authors of women's fiction, Ms. Alers is a regular on bestsellers list, and has been a recipient of numerous awards, including the Vivian Stephens Award for Excellence in Romance Writing and a Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award.  Visit her Web site


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Read an Excerpt

Jordan Wainwright turned the collar to his ski jacket up around his neck and ears as sleet pelted his face and exposed head. He chided himself for not accepting the doorman's offer to hail a taxi to drive him sixteen blocks to where his parents lived in a Fifth Avenue beaux arts mansion overlooking Central Park.

It was Christmas Eve, and he'd promised his mother he would spend the upcoming week with her, while reconnecting with his sister and brothers. Since joining Chatham and Wainwright, PC, Attorneys at Law, he hadn't had time to do much socializing. The exception was business-related luncheons or dinner meetings with his partner, Kyle Chatham.

Jordan had hit the snooze button on his love life after a whirlwind summer romance ended. Natasha Parker had returned to culinary school and her estranged husband, whose existence the very talented aspiring chef had neglected to disclose. He'd made it a practice not to date married women and those who were on the rebound. And, whenever Jordan ended a romantic liaison, he was usually reluctant to start up a new one, unlike some men who jumped right back into the hunt.

He'd recently celebrated his thirty-third birthday. And although he hadn't ruled out any plans to settle down, he wasn't actively looking for someone with whom he could spend the rest of his life. This didn't mean he hadn't kept his options open for a casual relationship.

The cell phone attached to his waistband vibrated. Taking a hand from his jacket pocket, he plucked the phone off his belt, punched a button without looking at the display and announced his standard greeting. "This is Jordan."

"Where are you, darling?"

"I'm on my way, Mother."

"Don't tell me you're walking."

Jordan smiled. "Okay, I won't tell you that I'm walking."

"Why didn't you have your doorman hail a taxi?"

"Because I could be at your place by the time he flagged down an empty taxi. Remember, Mother, this is New York and whenever it rains or snows a yellow cab without an off-duty sign becomes as scarce as hen's teeth."

"If you hadn't wanted to take your car out of the garage, then you could've called me and I would've sent Henry to pick you up."

"Hang up, Mother, because I'm on your block."

"You must be chilled to the bone," Christiane Wainwright cooed.

"A little," he half lied. "Goodbye, Mother." Jordan ended the call, mounting the steps to the magnificent building, spanning half a city block, where he'd grown up and still maintained an apartment.

He'd placed his booted foot on the first step to the four-story gray-stone when the massive oak doors festooned with large pine wreaths and red velvet bows opened. "Thank you, Walter." The formally dressed butler who also doubled as his grandfather's valet had come to work for the Wainwrights the year Jordan was born. Walter Fagin was one of six full-time, live-in household staff that included a chef, driver, housekeepers and a laundress.

"It's quite nasty out there, Master Jordan."

Jordan slipped out of his jacket, handing it to Walter. "If it gets any colder, then we're definitely going to have a white Christmas."

The lines around bright blue eyes deepened when the older man smiled. "It's been a while since New York City has had a white Christmas."

Sitting in an armchair in the expansive entrance hall, Jordan unlaced his boots, leaving them on a thick rush mat, because he didn't want to track dirt onto the priceless Persian and Aubusson rugs scattered about the gleaming marble floors. Lifelong habits weren't easy to forget.

The mansion was decorated for the season: live pine boughs lined the fireplace mantel, as a fire blazed behind a decorative screen. Lighted electric candles were in every window, and the gaily decorated eight-foot Norwegian spruce towered under the brightly lit chandelier that hung from a twenty-foot ceiling. Some of the more fragile glass ornaments on the tree were at least two hundred years old.

He always remembered the lengthy lecture from Christiane Wainwright about rugs and furnishings that had been passed down through generations of Johnstons who'd made their fortunes in shipbuilding, the fur trade and maritime insurance. With the advent of train and air travel, the family had shifted its focus to banking.

When Christiane Renata Johnston had married Edward Lincoln Wainwright at twenty, her net worth was estimated to be close to twelve million dollars. However, Edward was purported to be worth twice that amount when he came into his trust at twenty-five. With the Johnstons and the Wainwrights, it wasn't who had amassed the most money, but rather whether it was old or new money.

The Johnstons were old money, and the Wainwrights were new money—a fact that Wyatt, the Wainwright patriarch, was never allowed to forget whenever he was with his daughter-in-law's family.

"Master Jordan, Madame Wainwright has held off serving dinner until you arrive," the butler announced as Jordan stood up and walked toward the wing of the mansion where the apartments were located.

"Please tell my mother to begin serving without me. I want to get out of these wet clothes," Jordan said, not breaking stride.

He made his way across the expansive space his parents used as a reception hall whenever they hosted a gathering of less than fifty to an alcove where an elevator would take him to the private apartments.

His grandfather had claimed the entire first floor, Jordan and his brothers Noah and Rhett had bedroom suites on the second floor, his father, mother and sister Chanel had the third floor, and the three suites on the top floor were set aside for houseguests.

It took Jordan less than ten minutes to change out of his slacks and into a pair of charcoal-gray flannel with a black cashmere mock turtleneck sweater and imported slip-ons. Although he'd told Walter to instruct Christiane to begin dinner without him, he knew she would wait

for him to put in an appearance. Her mantra was never begin a meal unless everyone was seated at the table. The exception was whenever Edward called to inform her that he would be working late.

He took the staircase instead of the elevator, and, after walking through a narrow hallway to the opposite wing of the house, he entered the brightly lit dining room. It was the smaller of two dining rooms in the mansion. Christiane held family dinners in this room because she claimed it was less formal and more intimate. Who was his mother kidding? A table for sixteen wasn't what Jordan thought of as intimate. After all, there were six people who lived at the house: his parents, his grandfather, his two brothers and his sister.

Everyone was seated, awaiting his arrival: his mother, father, grandfather, sister, her friend Paige Anderson and his brothers Noah and Rhett. A pretty dark-haired woman with sparkling light brown eyes clung to Rhett as if she feared he would disappear. It was only the second time Jordan could recall Rhett bringing a woman to a family get-together.

Rounding the table, he leaned over, kissing his mother softly on her cheek. "Sorry I'm late."

Christiane reached up and patted his arm. "That's okay, darling." Her shimmering emerald-green eyes met her eldest son's. There was a hint of laughter in his hazel orbs. "Did you change out of your wet clothes?"

Jordan winked at her. "I changed upstairs."

He wanted to tell his mother that she had to stop treating him as if he were six years old, but knew it was futile. Christiane said "once a mother, always a mother," regardless of how old her children were. She was the mother of four and still without grandchildren—something that had become a bane of her existence. Many of the women in her social circle were grandmothers or had married children. Although three of her four children were in their twenties and thirties, none seemed remotely interested in exchanging vows.

"Grandpa," he said, acknowledging Wyatt Wainwright sitting at the head as the family's patriarch.

"We're so glad you decided to drag yourself away from Harlem to visit with your family," Wyatt drawled facetiously.

"Grandpa, why do you always have to start with Jordan?" Noah Wainwright asked.

"Watch your mouth, son." Edward Wainwright glared at his middle son, who was his spitting image in every way except temperament. Noah's mood swings kept everyone off balance and on guard because of his sharp tongue. "After all, we have guests present."

A pale eyebrow lifted a fraction when twenty-three-year-old Noah leaned back from the table. Shaggy ash-blond hair framed a deeply tanned face. He'd cut short his stay in the Caribbean to return to the States to share Christmas with his family. His blue eyes changed color depending on his mood. Noah was very angry because he'd been coerced into joining the family's real estate firm after Jordan had refused to take over the reins from their father.

"That has never stopped Grandpa from saying what he had to say."

Jordan gave Noah a look that he had no trouble interpreting. He wanted his brother to drop it. A barely discernible smile parted Noah's lips as he nodded. Shifting his gaze, he glared at the elderly man with a shock of thick white hair and sharp, piercing sky-blue orbs that hadn't faded despite having lived seven decades. The coal-black eyebrows of his youth remained. The less he said to Wyatt the better it was for grandfather and grandson. He nodded to the young woman sitting beside his youngest brother. Rhett would celebrate his twenty-first birthday in another month, and he was just beginning to assert himself.

Taking his seat, he leaned to his right and pressed a kiss to his sister's hair. "What's up, Charlie?"

Chanel Wainwright flushed a bright pink. Jordan had promised never to call her Charlie within earshot of their mother. "Don't call me that around Mother," she whispered with clenched teeth.

Jordan wanted to tell his sister that if their mother hadn't named her children after a character from Gone with the Wind and her favorite fragrance, she wouldn't have a problem explaining her name.

"Hi, Jordan," said a soft girlish voice.

He leaned forward, smiling at Paige. "Hello, Paige. Where are your parents?"

"It's all right, Jordan," Christiane said, as she signaled for the first course to be served. "Paige's folks went to Monte Carlo for the holiday and I told them Paige could stay with us rather than with a sitter."

Jordan resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He couldn't and would never understand why people had children only to hand them over to a nanny or sitter, while they continued to live their lives as if by their leave. Only parents without a conscience would leave their only child—a sixteen-year-old girl—with the family of her friend to fly across an ocean to gamble and party on the French Riviera.

When—no, if—he married and had a family, he would make certain to play an active role in the lives of his children. That was where Christiane differed from her peers; she hadn't left child-rearing to nannies, housekeepers or au pairs. Her face was the first one Jordan had seen when he woke up and the last one before he'd closed his eyes at night. Even Edward had become a more involved parent. Jordan didn't agree with everything his parents said or did, but there was never a question as to their unwavering support when it concerned their children.

The mood lightened considerably after several glasses of wine accompanied by asparagus soup, a radicchio, fennel and walnut salad, rib eye roast with a mustard and black peppercorn sauce, winter greens with pancetta and potatoes au gratin. Chanel and Paige asked to be excused before dessert was served. The chef had outdone himself when he'd prepared Apple Charlotte with whipped cream.

Jordan was amused when Rhett, who was not yet legal, refilled his wineglass. He knew his brother had begun drinking before he'd celebrated his twenty-first birthday, but usually not in front of their parents. He, on the other hand, had raided the liquor cabinet at fourteen and had drunk so much that he had been sick for more than a week. It was another ten years before he took another drink.

"Jordan, are you currently dating anyone?" Christiane asked, breaking into his thoughts.

Tracing the rim of the wineglass with a forefinger, he stared at the prisms of color on the glass reflected from the chandelier. "No, Mother."

"Didn't you tell me you were seeing a girl?" Edward said, accepting a cigar from the engraved silver case Wyatt had handed him. "Thanks, Dad."

"I was," Jordan said truthfully, "but it was nothing more than a summer fling."

Christiane sat up straighter. "Who was she, darling? Do I know her family?"

A pregnant pause ensued before he said, "Her name is Natasha Parker, and I doubt whether you'd know her family."

All traces of color disappeared from his mother's face, leaving it frighteningly pale. "Not that girl who worked with Jean-Paul for a few days." Her words were a breathless whisper.

"She's a woman, not a girl, Mother."

Wyatt did something he rarely did in the dining room. He lit his cigar, inhaled deeply and blew out a perfect smoke ring. A gray haze obscured the sneer around his mouth. "It didn't take long, did it, Jordan? I had no idea you liked dark meat. But then I really shouldn't be surprised, because what else is there in Harlem."

Noah flashed a white-tooth smile. "Does she have a sister?"

"Don't you mean a brother? " Wyatt drawled.

Touching the corners of his mouth with a damask napkin, Noah pushed back his chair and stood up. He pointed to his parents. "Now you see why I don't bring a woman into this." He shifted his angry gaze to Rhett. "Get your girlfriend out of here before she finds herself with a bull's-eye on her back."

The young woman whom Rhett had introduced as Amelia pressed a hand to her chest. "Please don't mind me. I grew up with my folks going at each other like cats and dogs. After a while, I learned to tune them out."

Jordan joined Noah when he, too, stood up. "Excuse me."

Turning on his heels, he walked out of the dining room, his brother following in his footsteps. He knew if he'd stayed what would've ensued would have been an argument that would have been certain to pit him and Noah against their parents and grandfather. Edward was fifty-five, yet he still hadn't been able to stand up to his tyrannical, controlling father. Wyatt had clawed his way out of poverty on New York City's Lower East Side to create a real estate dynasty second only to Douglas Elliman in New York City, and now at seventy-eight, he was tough as steel and wasn't above using his fists when necessary to prove a point.

"When are you going to learn not to entertain Grandfather's taunting?" he asked Noah.

"I just can't stand it when he comes off so condescending. And just because I won't subject a woman to his holier-than-thou attitude he thinks I'm gay."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 86 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 88 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 26, 2010

    You must check it out

    Rochelle Allers has done it again. Absolutely love this book and highly recommend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a must read

    This book kept my attention from start to finish. I love how Ms. Alers develops her charcters. The romance is sweet and tender. For all Aler fans; this is a must read. It will be one of my all time favorites!fw

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    a great tale enhanced by stars from the Best Men and Signature Brides series

    Attorney Jordan Wainwright left his family's lucrative real estate firm and tyrannical grandfather to practice law in Harlem with partner Kyle Chatham. Jordan is a diligent caring defender for the disenfranchised.

    Thirty-five years old Westchester litigator Aziza Fleming and Jordan meet at a New Year's Eve Party thrown by her brother, a football star. They are attracted to each other, but she distrusts men so deeply, it is imprinted in her bone marrow having been harassed by her ex boss and cheated on amongst other indiscretions by her former husband. As they fall in love; he works as hard at earning her trust as he does for his clients, but has one game-breaking secret that he vowed to conceal years ago yet he owes her the truth; Jordan knows he will break someone's trust in him.

    Expanding on the terrific Best Men saga (see Men of fate for Jordan's intro) with the opening act of the Wainwright Legacy, Rochelle Alers provides a strong contemporary romance with ties to Harlem's past. The lead couple is a dedicated pair who enjoys helping others; gaining the admiration of the audience. With a fabulous twist re his secret that will rock fans of the Alers' universe, Because of You is a great tale enhanced by stars from the Best Men and Signature Brides series.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2011


    This book was only OK. If you're in need of something to read and don't want to spend a lot (e-read), then this will get you through. Other books that I've read by Rochelle Alers have been better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    Not as good as I had hoped

    Though this book was just over 200 pages it was a long and tedious read. The focus seemed to be more on fashion and and wealth rather than romance. Though the storyline was interesting it lacked passion and was a bit to....polite. the author tended to repeat the characters thoughts A LOT and I found myself skipping over sections. At first I liked Jordan but as the story went on I found him to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder was childish and almost as sexist and selfish as Aziza's boss and ex-husband, repectively. As for Aziza, I was indifferent. There are so many side stories and descriptions of food, furnishings, and clothing that it took away from really getting to know the characters. Physically, everyone seems to be too perfect which obviously is important to the author because she mentions Jordan's workout routine several times and Aziza's love of dance. It was also a bit confusing because on one hand they are putting down professional ground rules then there confessing their romantic feelings for each other within a week! I guess I just did not see when they began to care for each other. I realize others truly enjoyed this book and there were some good parts to the story but for me, it just didn't speak to me.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013


    I like the plot but the flow of the story a little stiff . Needs more passion !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    Loved it!

    Entirely engrossing story,character's and plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    A must read!!!!!

    Love the chemistry she had the main characters portray. Wish there was a continuation of their story!

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  • Posted August 24, 2011


    I really enjoyed reading this book. I cannot wait to read more about this family.

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not bad

    Decent read, but i enjoyed Here I Am much more.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer



    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Another great read

    Rochelle Alers has done it again! The stories and characters are inter twine from previous novels, keeps readers like continue to search any books with her name on it. Can't wait for sequel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2011


    BECAUSE OF YOU (Arabesque) by Rochelle Alers is a contemporary romance set in present day Manhattan.It is the start of a new series "The Wainwright Legacy".It is well written with depth and details. The author has done a great job with integrating the charcters from two of her previous series,"The Best Man" and "The Bridal series".
    This is a wonderful,interesting story of a sweet,tender romance which includes trust,long ago secrets, and second chances. The charactrs are strong,determined,enchanting and engaging. It is a fast paced story,but I do wish it had an epilogue to let the readers now what happened with the court case.I would recommend this book especially if you enjoy a sweet,tender love story. This is a sweet,quick and easy read.This book was received for the purpose of review from Net Galley and details can be found at Kimani Press,a division of Harlequin and My Book Addiction and More.

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  • Posted February 1, 2011

    Love this story!

    Love the the interaction between them. Is there a sequel?

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  • Posted November 5, 2010

    Wondeful and Insightful read

    Wonderful and insightful read.

    Jordan Wainright has made some changes in his life. He is no longer a corporate shark lawyer working up to eighty hours a week. Oh he still works hard but his priorities have change. He has joined a law firm where the work they do matters more on a human level and he has more time to play. He has become a man who knows what he wants and will fight to attain it.

    Aziza Fleming , is beautiful, smart and a lawyer who needs help with a personal lawsuit. Who is she advise to call on, none other than Jordan. She has been bitten and is definitely twice shy about men.

    So the questions are can you mix business and pleasure and if someone has been badly burned in a relationship to give love another chance?

    The story draws you in and you become emotionally invested as these two explore the possibilities. The secondary characters give flavor in the background. Some of them, you love others you are waiting for their comeuppance.

    I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.

    Even though this story was complete in and of itself I can hardly wait to get more acquainted with the rest of this family in this ongoing series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 88 Customer Reviews

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