The Carpenter's Ladyby Barbara Delinsky
A classic novel from New York Times bestselling author Barbara Delinsky, The Carpenter’s Lady is the poignant and romantic story of two people seeking to rebuild their lives. After a painful divorce, a successful writer leaves New York for New Hampshire, where she hopes to mend her broken heart. But when she meets a compellingly enigmatic/i>/i>… See more details below
A classic novel from New York Times bestselling author Barbara Delinsky, The Carpenter’s Lady is the poignant and romantic story of two people seeking to rebuild their lives. After a painful divorce, a successful writer leaves New York for New Hampshire, where she hopes to mend her broken heart. But when she meets a compellingly enigmatic carpenter, a new love begins . . .
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.84(d)
Read an Excerpt
From the waist down, he was promising. His jeans fit him like the hide of a lion, gliding over hard muscle as he twisted on the dolly beneath the truck in search of an elusive valve. Weathered from wear, the denim traversed a rangy path from the worn leather of his belt to that of his work boots. When he bent one knee up in an attempt to lever himself properly, the muscle of his other thigh tensed, drawing the faded material taut.
Feeling like the voyeur she'd never been, Debra Barry cleared her throat.
"Excuse me? Graham Reid?" When the topless body made no move to respond, she stepped closer and bent from the waist to assure herself that there was indeed a man above the lean hips beneath the truck in the service-station bay. "Hello?"
His wrench hit the cement with a soft clang as he muttered an oath.
Straightening his torso, he used his flexed leg to guide the dolly forward. With the emerging of a chest, shoulders and head, Debra found herself face-to-face with the man she'd been sent to see. He was dirty, with streaks of grime on his face and hands and on his forearms where the sleeves of his heavy wool shirt had been rolled back. That, too, had seen cleaner days, as had his hair, a shaggy thatch that cleared his forehead only by virtue of his still-prone position. But his eyes were clear, clear and amber, staring at her as though she'd personally sabotaged his truck.
"Yes?" came his voice, deep and remarkably impassive.
"I'm looking for Graham Reid," she returned in relief. At least he hadn't lashed out at her as those eyes had hinted he might have done. But then, this was New Hampshire, not NewYork. This was a rural man, not a city man. His temperament would be that much more even. She'd have to remember that.
She raised a brow in anticipation. "You're Graham Reid?"
"Yes." This time his voice was firmer and bore a note of impatience. With his hands grasping the footboard of the truck above his head, he continued to stare at her.
Debra took a deep breath. "I need a carpenter. You've been recommended. I wonder if we might talk."
When the man simply continued to stare, she wondered if she'd somehow offended him. Had it not been for his eyes, she might have suspected that he hadn't understood her request. But those eyes were sharp, looking at nothing but her face, yet seeming to see everything at once. Suddenly, she grew self-conscious."You are a carpenter, aren't you?" she queried in frustration. "Or is it your father . . . or some other Graham Reid whose work I've seen?"
The man on the ground blinked as though brought back from a daydream, then gave a shove with his hands, rolled free of the truck and stood in one fluid move. Debra half-wished he'd remained on the ground. If she'd thought that his eyes were intimidating, she hadn't counted on his superior height or the commanding breadth of his chest and shoulders.
"You've seen my work?" he demanded in that same level voice.
"Yes. I made stops at both the Hardys' and the Lavelles' before I came looking for you. There seemed little point in taking your time or mine to talk," she reasoned, "if I didn't like your work to begin with." A flash of something akin to respect passed through his gaze, though it was gone so quickly she half-suspected she'd imagined it.
Graham Reid rubbed his hands on the back of his pants, extended his right in belated introduction, but turned it up just before hers met it and studied the grease, then shrugged and let it fall to his side. His gaze took in her own immaculate appearance, skimming the soft blouse and fitted jeans beneath her open hip-length parka and resting momentarily on the toes of her fine leather boots before returning to her face. "Sorry about that. Wouldn't want to get you dirty."
"No problem," she countered quickly, anxious to get down to business. "That was your work I saw this morning, wasn't it?"
"It was." He cocked his hands on his hips.
"It's impressive," she ventured. But when he held her gaze unwaveringly, without any sign of appreciation, she forced herself on. "I've bought a house just outside of town and want some work done on it. It's a large job, but you'd be well compensated." At his look of mild disinterest, she added cautiously, "You are available, aren't you?"
Taken aback by his abruptness, she frowned. "No? That's strange. I was told that you were just finishing a job. In fact, Mr. O'Hara went out of his way to tell me that he was sure you'd be able to help me."
The amber eyes narrowed. "O'Hara, was it?" He grimaced and looked away, focusing on a distant mountaintop. "O'Hara's a crafty one," he murmured more softly, then returned his full attention to Debra. "But I'm afraid I can't help you." Turning, he bent to retrieve the wrench he'd dropped beneath the truck, leaving Debra nothing but the broad expanse of his back to study. She wasn't about to be satisfied with that alone.
"Then . . . you have another job lined up?"
"Nope." Wrench in hand, he straightened and crossed the garage to replace the tool on its hook. Debra followed.
"I don't understand. If you're finishing one job and don't have another in the offing, why won't you consider mine?"
Digging into the pocket of his shirt, he withdrew the broken stub of a pencil, looked at it in disgust before tossing it aside, then began to search the open shelves for one that was in better condition.
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