Borrowed Bride (Harlequin Historical Series #920) [NOOK Book]

Overview

"We're going to have a child. You need to come home so we can get married."

So wrote Hannah Gustavson to her childhood sweetheart, the father of her baby. But with no response, she was forced to marry another man...her lover's brother.

Tall, handsome and honorable, Judd Seavers could make any woman's heart race. Hannah was no exception, and she was awed by the ex-soldier who gave her his name.

A forbidden love as grand as the Rockies crested ...

See more details below
Borrowed Bride (Harlequin Historical Series #920)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$4.95
BN.com price

Overview

"We're going to have a child. You need to come home so we can get married."

So wrote Hannah Gustavson to her childhood sweetheart, the father of her baby. But with no response, she was forced to marry another man...her lover's brother.

Tall, handsome and honorable, Judd Seavers could make any woman's heart race. Hannah was no exception, and she was awed by the ex-soldier who gave her his name.

A forbidden love as grand as the Rockies crested between them. But a shadow loomed. Would the baby's father come home? And if he did, would Judd return his borrowed bride?

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426824289
  • Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Series: Harlequin Historical Series , #920
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 123,269
  • File size: 234 KB

Meet the Author

Known to her friends as a free spirit, Elizabeth Lane has traveled the world in search of new adventures and good stories. She has lived in Mexico, Guatemala, Panama and Germany and traveled to such exotic spots as China and Nepal, but she is most at peace in the mountains of her native Utah.

As of this writing, she lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City with an eighteen-year-old cat named PowderPuff.

Single since 1984, Elizabeth has raised a son and two daughters. One daughter, who died in an accident in 1985, is still a loving presence in her mother's life. The other two children are grown and thriving, and Elizabeth revels in her new loves—her grandchildren.

Elizabeth is, perhaps, too easily lured by new challenges. She loves hiking, photography, belly dancing, animals, Native American culture, and any kind of music. She has pursued whales off Baja California, trekked the Himalayas, rafted the Grand Canyon, and even taken a flying lesson.

Since 1983 she has worked full-time as an educational software designer. But her favorite pastime is writing lively, passionate stories that will reach out and touch her readers. Her novels have been published in ten languages and enjoyed in many parts of the world.

Elizabeth's first novel, a historical saga about the Spanish conquest of Mexico, was published in 1980. Several more sagas followed, including two books set in China. When the market for big, serious historical novels faded, it took her four lean years to make the transition to romance. Wind River, her first Harlequin Historical, was published in 1989. She has also written several contemporary Silhouettebooks.

"Everyone—andeverything—has a story," Elizabeth is fond of saying when asked about her ideas. "From the penny in your hand to the stranger in the grocery line, each set of experiences is unique. Look around you and listen with your imagination. You'll have stories to write for a lifetime.'

Elizabeth Loves hearing from her readers.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Dutchman's Creek, Colorado,

March 2, 1899

Hannah felt the approaching train before she heard it. Her fingers groped for Quint's as the platform quivered beneath her feet. A mournful whistle pierced the rainy distance.

"It's coming!" Quint strained toward the sound like a tethered hunting dog, eager to be loosed and running. Hannah shivered beneath her shawl as the cold March wind whipped along the platform. Any second now, she would see the gray-white plume rising into mist above the bare cottonwoods. All too soon, the train would be pulling into the station. When it pulled out again, Quint would be waving goodbye from the window of the passenger car.

She gazed at his clean-chiseled profile, memorizing every feature—the chestnut curls that tumbled over his forehead, the tiny bump on the bridge of his nose, the alert brown eyes, fixed now on the distant curve of tracks where the train would appear. A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth.

It wasn't fair, Hannah thought. Quint was happy, and her own heart was on the verge of shattering like a mason jar dropped onto a stone floor.

Hannah had loved Quint Seavers for as long as she could remember. They'd been sweethearts since their school days, and the whole town had expected them to marry. So why couldn't he have just let nature take its course? Why had he gotten this crackbrained urge to run off and seek his fortune in the Klondike goldfields?

At first she'd hoped it was just a whim. But the Klondike was all Quint had talked about for the past year. Only one thing had kept him in Dutchman's Creek. His older brother, Judd, had joined the Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders and gone off to the Spanish AmericanWar, leaving Quint behind to tend the family ranch and look after their invalid mother. But that was about to change. After four months with the Rough Riders and five months in a Virginia military hospital, Judd was coming home. He'd be arriving on the train that had just appeared around the distant bend—the train that would be taking Quint away.

"Do you think he'll be changed?" Edna Seavers's white hands gripped the woven cane arms of her wheelchair. A cheerless wisp of a woman clad in widow's black, she'd been wheeled around in that chair for as long as Hannah could remember.

"War changes everybody, Mama," Quint said. "Judd's been through a bad time with his wounds and the malaria. But he'll come around once he's been home awhile. You'll see."

"I wish it was you coming home and Judd leaving." Mrs. Seavers had never hidden the fact that Quint was the favorite of her two children. "Why do you have to go anyway? You're too young to go rushing off on your own."

Quint sighed. "I'm twenty-one, Mama. You promised me that I could go when Judd came home. Well, Judd's coming. And I'm going."

Hannah glanced from Quint to his mother, feeling invisible. She'd been Quint's girl for years, but Edna Seavers barely acknowledged her existence.

The train whistled again, its shrill voice a cry in Hannah's ears. She shifted her weight, conscious of the raw ache between her thighs. Her mother had lectured her about men's appetites and made her swear, with her right hand on the Bible, that she would keep herself from sin. But last night with Quint, in the darkness of the hayloft, her good intentions had unraveled like a torn sweater. She had given herself willingly. But the act had been so awkward and painful that when Quint had moaned and rolled off her, she'd been secretly relieved. Later that night, in the room she shared with her four younger sisters, Hannah had buried her face in her pillow and wept until there were no tears left.

Pistons pumping, the engine glided into the station. Half-glimpsed faces flashed past in the windows of the passenger car. For an instant Hannah held her breath, as if she could will the train to keep moving. Then the mail sack thumped onto the platform. The brakes moaned as the line of cars shuddered to a full stop.

There was a beat of silence, then a stirring inside the passenger car. A door swung open. The lone figure of a tall man in a drooping felt hat emerged onto the step. Veiled by misting rain he moved down onto the platform.

Hannah hadn't known Judd Seavers well. Eight years Quint's senior, he'd been too old to be counted among her playmates. She remembered him as a taciturn young man with somber gray eyes and hands that were always working. In the years Hannah had been coming around the Seavers place, he'd shown no more interest in her than Edna had.

Now he walked toward them, where they waited under the shelter of the eave. He moved slowly, heedless of the rain that beaded his tan coat and trickled off the brim of his hat. A battered canvas field bag, the sort that a soldier would carry, dangled loosely from one hand. He looked old, Hannah thought. Old before his time. Maybe that was what war did to people.

But why was she thinking about Judd? Minutes from now, Quint—her Quint, the love of her life—would be gone. Certainly for months. Maybe for years.

Maybe forever.

Judd clenched his teeth against the pain that shot through him with each step. Most of the time it wasn't so bad, but the long, jarring train ride had roused every shard of metal that the doctors had left in his body. He was hurting like blazes, but he wasn't about to show it. Not with his mother and brother looking on.

The nurse had offered him laudanum to ease the trip, but he had turned it down. He'd had enough opiates to know what they could do to a man, and he'd sworn he was finished. Still, sitting up those long nights with the rhythm of iron wheels rattling through his bones, he'd have bargained away his soul for a few hours of relief.

But never mind all that, he was home now, walking down the platform through the soft Colorado rain. Home from the war with two legs, two arms and two eyes. He could only wish to God that some of his friends had fared as well.

At least the malaria had abated—for now. The miserable, recurring chills and fever, along with infections from the wounds, had kept him in the hospital for what seemed like an eternity. By rights, he should be dead. He'd lost track of how many times he'd teetered on the brink and fought his way back. Maybe someday he'd figure out why.

No one rushed out into the rain to meet him—not even Quint. The gangly boy Judd had nurtured from babyhood had grown into a fine-looking man. His pack rested beside him on the platform, ready to be flung onto the train at the first call of "All aboard!" After a year of running the ranch and putting up with their mother's complaints, he was like a young red-tailed hawk, fledged and ready to soar. Judd couldn't begrudge him his chance. Quint had earned it.

His mother looked even grayer and thinner than he remembered. Aside from that, she didn't appear to have changed much. The same black dress, woolen cape and prim bonnet. The same purse-lipped frown. Maybe she was wishing he'd come home in a box. If he had, Quint would never be able to leave.

Then there was the girl. Dressed in a thin shawl and a faded red calico dress, she clung to Quint's hand as if trying to meld their fingers. She'd be one of the Gustavsons—the family that eked out a living on the small dirt farm that bordered the Seavers Ranch. The whole tribe of youngsters had the same round blue eyes and corn silk hair. This one had grown up pretty. What was her name? Hannah, that was it. He'd forgotten about her until now.

Quint worked loose from her and came out toward him. Rain misted on his hair as he held out his hand. "Glad you're home, Judd," he said awkwardly. "I've tried to take care of the place the way you'd have wanted."

"I imagine the place will be fine." Judd clasped the callused fingers. The boy had developed a man's grip. "How's Mother?"

"The same. And Gretel Schmidt is still taking care of her. You won't find much of anything changed."

Except you, Judd thought as he trailed his brother back to where the women waited under the eave. His mother made no effort to smile. Her hands were colder and thinner than he remembered. The girl—Hannah— murmured a shy hello. Her honey-gold hair was plaited like a schoolgirl's, in two thick braids that hung over her shapely little breasts. Judd caught the glimmer of tears before she lowered dark blue eyes.

"Are you quite recovered from your wounds, son?" Judd's mother had grown up in a well-to-do Boston family. She took pride in her formal speech and expected her sons to use it in her presence.

"Quite recovered, Mother. Only a twinge now and then." Judd's body screamed as he lied.

"Your father would have been proud of you."

"I hope so."

"You won't have much time to rest up," Quint said. "We've got a couple hundred cows waiting to drop their calves. But then, I reckon you know what to expect."

"Reckon?" His mother sniffed with disdain. "People will judge you by your speech, Quint. Remember that, if you don't remember anything else I've taught you."

"I'm gonna say 'ain't' every other sentence when I get out of this place," Quint muttered in Judd's ear.

The train whistle gave two short but deafening blasts. "All aboard!" the conductor shouted.

"Well, I guess this is it." Quint cupped Hannah's face between his palms. "I'll write when I can," he promised. "And when I come back rich, you and I will have a wedding like this county's never seen!"

The girl was weeping openly. "I don't care about rich. Just come back to me safe."

He kissed her quick and hard, then caught the pack by one strap and swung it onto his shoulder.

"Mother." He pecked her cheek. Her mouth was pressed thin. She didn't reply.

Last, Quint turned to Judd. "You can send letters care of General Delivery in Skagway," he said. "I'll pick them up when I can, and I'll write back."

Judd shook his proffered hand. "Just take your girl's advice. Come back safe. Come back to us all."

"All aboard!" The engine was building up steam. As it began to move Quint flashed a grin, leaped onto the step and vanished into the jaws of the closing door. Seconds later he reappeared at one of the windows, smiling and waving his hand.

Reaching toward him, the girl raced along the platform. She kept even until the train picked up speed and left her behind.

Laboring for breath, Hannah walked back the way she'd come. A stitch clawed at her side. Wind chilled a patch of skin where she'd ripped the shoulder seam of her outgrown dress. She tugged her shawl over the gap.

Mrs. Seavers and Judd waited for her under the eave of the platform—so proud, so cold, both of them. They were nothing like Quint, who'd loved her and made her laugh and hadn't cared that her family was poor.

What would she do without him?

What if he never came back?

Slowing her step, she tried to imagine what Alaska would be like. She'd heard tales of giant grizzly bears, wolf packs, howling blizzards, avalanches, bottomless lakes and lawless men who'd stop at nothing to get what they wanted. The thought of Quint in such a place sickened her with dread. She wanted to fly after the train, stop it somehow and bring him back to the people who loved him.

Judd had stepped behind his mother's wheelchair and taken the grips. As they moved out into the drizzle, she opened her tiny black umbrella and held it over her head. Rain-soaked and fighting tears, Hannah trailed them to the buggy. They would let her off at her home. After that, she wouldn't likely set foot on the Seavers place until Quint returned. The Seavers were quality folk, with a fine ranch, a big house and money in the bank. Hannah's own parents had emigrated from Norway as newlyweds. They worked hard on their little farm, but it was all they could do to feed the seven robust children they'd produced. As the oldest, Hannah would have plenty to do while Quint was away. But she was already planning the letters she would write him by candlelight at day's end.

The buggy was waiting in a lot behind the depot. Judd guided the wheelchair over the bumpy ground, tilting it backward to keep from spilling his mother into the mud. His big, scarred hands were pale, most likely from long months in the hospital. Hannah's gaze was drawn to those hands. She found herself wondering how badly he'd been hurt. He moved like a strong man, but she noticed the way his jaw clenched as he lifted his eighty-five-pound mother onto the buggy seat. His storm-gray eyes were sunk into shadows. They had a wearied look about them, as if they'd seen too much of the world.

While Judd loaded the wheelchair into the back of the buggy, Hannah climbed onto the single seat beside Edna Seavers. The buggy's oiled leather cover kept off the rain but the wind was chilly. She huddled into her shawl, her teeth chattering. Her eyes gazed straight ahead at the gleaming rumps of the two matched bays.

She thought of the train, carrying Quint to Seattle, where he would board a steamer for Alaska—a mysterious place that was no more than a name in Hannah's mind. Maybe she could ask the schoolteacher to show her a map, so she could see where he'd be going.

Judd came around to the left side of the buggy and climbed onto the seat. Without a word, he flicked the reins onto the backs of the horses. The buggy rolled forward, wheels cutting into the mud.

Hannah shivered beneath her damp shawl as they passed along the main street of the awakening town. By now, the sun had risen above the peaks, but its rain-filtered light was gray and murky. The stillness of her two companions only added to the gloom. Having grown up in a big, noisy family, she was unaccustomed to long silences. Surely Judd or his mother would say something soon.

Crammed against Edna's bony little body, she struggled to keep still. At last, as the buggy crossed the bridge over the swollen creek, Hannah could stand it no longer.

"I'll bet you could tell some good war stories, Judd," she said. "What was it like, galloping up San Juan Hill behind Teddy Roosevelt?"

The impatient sound he made fell somewhere between a growl and a sigh. "It was Kettle Hill, not San Juan Hill. And we weren't galloping. We were on foot and taking a hell of a pounding. The only horse in sight was the one under Roosevelt's fat rear end."

"Oh." Taken aback, Hannah paused, then rallied. "But you were in the Rough Riders. Wasn't that a cavalry unit?"

"Cavalry troops need horses. Ours didn't make it to Florida before we shipped out. The Rough Riders landed in Cuba and fought as infantry. Don't you read the papers?"

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    Wonderful

    This is my favorite genre of books.....historical, romantic and with a strong female lead. I read this book in a matter of hours. I could not put it down! Very well written with wonderful characters. I will read more of this author! 5 stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Wonderful

    Well written wonderul story

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Love the Seavers clan!

    This was a first time reading this author for me, but not the last. The characters are well-developed and keep you rooting for them. I love stories that make a hero sexy and lovable based on strength, honor, and integrity. I was thrilled to find the story of the periphery characters available, too!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    The Borrowed Bride

    I loved this book because it was about the dangers of young love. It shows how one young couples indecretion affected the lives of so many people. It showed that as an individual matures who they want and what they want changes. The author gave many twists and turns in the story to make it interesting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)