The Carpenter's Lady

( 13 )


Shaken by a painful divorce, successful television writer Debra Barry leaves New York for the beautiful countryside of New Hampshire, where she hopes to find peace and solitude to mend her wounded heart. The old house she's bought, though, needs as much repairing as her own shattered emotions. To make it the home she's always wanted, she seeks the help of master cerpenter Graham Reid, a compellingly enigmatic man seemingly as hard as granite itself.

Hiding from his own bitter ...

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The Carpenter's Lady

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Shaken by a painful divorce, successful television writer Debra Barry leaves New York for the beautiful countryside of New Hampshire, where she hopes to find peace and solitude to mend her wounded heart. The old house she's bought, though, needs as much repairing as her own shattered emotions. To make it the home she's always wanted, she seeks the help of master cerpenter Graham Reid, a compellingly enigmatic man seemingly as hard as granite itself.

Hiding from his own bitter past, Graham reluctantly agrees to take the job, not suspecting that his own life is about to be altered as well. As the house begins to come together, he and Debra unexpectedly find themselves laying their own emotional groundwork. Drawn together by desire, can these two wounded lovers find the courage to tear down the walls between them and build on the promise of new love?

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Editorial Reviews

Washington(PA) Observer-Reporter.
Barbara Delinsky knows the human heart and its immense capacity to love and to believe.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061030246
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/2009
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 588,503
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Delinsky

Barbara Delinsky, a lifelong New Englander, was a sociologist and photographer before she began to write. There are more than 30 million copies of her books in print.


Born Ruth Greenberg, and raised in suburban Boston, Barbara Delinsky worked as a sociology researcher in children's services and was a newspaper photographer and reporter before turning to fiction writing full-time. In point of fact, she never intended to pursue a literary career. But, in the early 1980s, a newspaper article profiling three women who successfully balanced home, family, and romance writing caught her attention. Intrigued, she spent months researching and writing her first novel. It sold -- and Delinsky was off and running.

Praised by critics and fans alike for her character driven studies of marriage, parenthood, and friendship, Delinsky is one of a small cadre of successful women writers (including Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown) who started out writing pseudonymous paperbacks for the category romance genre and muscled their way onto the bestseller lists with hardcover escapist fiction. Yet she is candid about the hard work involved and insists there's no tried-and-true formula that converts automatically to easy money. As if to prove her own point, Delinsky works from eight in the morning to about seven at night, writing in the office above the garage in her Newton, Massachusetts home; doing research; handling interviews; or -- her least favorite part of the job -- touring the country making author appearances.

Over the decades Delinsky has written dozens of novels that have landed on The New York Times bestseller list, including Twilight Whispers (1988), For My Daughters (1994), Three Wishes (1997), Flirting with Pete (2003), and Family Tree (2007). In 2001, she published her first nonfiction title, Uplift: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors. A cancer survivor herself, she has earmarked all the profits from the sale of this book to benefit breast cancer research.

Good To Know

When she isn't writing, one of Delinsky's favorite pastimes is kayaking.

She gets some of her best ideas in the shower. "It's a little harder to write ideas down there," she wrote to fans on her web site, "but I've been known to yell something out to my husband, who does it for me!"

The family cat, Chelsea, is named after her 1992 novel The Passions of Chelsea Kane.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Billie Douglass, Bonnie Drake; born Ruth Greenberg
    2. Hometown:
      Newton, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 9, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Boston, Massachusetts
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Psychology, Tufts University, 1967; M.A. in Sociology, Boston College, 1969

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 15 of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    When you move forward do you have to leave your past behind?

    Debra Berry has said goodbye to her cheating husband, over bearing family and hello to a life that will be one she creates. Debra has so many possibilities of where to go from here, especially with the new house she just bought and the career she is so successful at. The house is a mess but she owns it and nothing from the past can spoil this dream.

    She hires the best carpenter in town, Graham Reid who is less than anxious to take the job. He doesn't think he can get any work done while he spends the day thinking about her and trying to control he desire to possess her. But the money is too tempting and the opportunity to enticing to walk away from.

    Graham and Debra try to control the passion between them but the longer they are together the worse it is to resist. Debra and Graham both have had past relationship failures and trouble with trust but it seems like they can build from the ground up not only the house but themselves.

    While everyone is trying to manipulate the end result with Debra's life she knows that she could not write a better ending to a script than one that has Graham in her life forever.

    Don't judge the book by the writing, take it for the year it was written and enjoy. When you read the earlier books by Barbara Delinsky you realize that contemporary romance was not her greatest forte shall we say. But this book was written in 1999 and does it fit the writing style for that time, place, and tone of contemporary romance - absolutely. I also felt this book was a precursor to Escape which came out this year as the story is different but the concept of being your own woman and finding your own place is important.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    Good story


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  • Posted August 20, 2011


    Not much to say, good but not her best

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Disgusted - This SHOULD have been a good book.

    I was nothing but disgusted with this book. I have never read a Barbara Delinsky before and randomly picked this up. Based on the title, the charming cover art and the story description, this should have been a charming country living / rainy day romance. The characters were likeable. The plot had potential. However, that all came to a crashing halt when the hero of the story decides he's attracted to the leading lady and instead of asking her on a date or spending time getting to know her, he just announces he wants her and starts forcing himself on her. She says: no, back off, step back, leave, etc. and he just keeps pushing with the justification that if he keeps forcing physical contact eventually she'll want it too and give in so it won't be "rape". And the fully adult, 30 year old woman, raised in New York City turns into a wilting flower. Where is the respect? Where is the romance? This book cured me of ever picking up another Barbara Delinski as long as I live. I threw it out after 80 pages

    For romance I recommend Linda Howard's "MacKenzie's Mountain" (the whole MacKenzie series is fabulous), Nora Robert's Key trilogy, and Jennifer Cruisie's "Getting Rid of Bradley" and "Agnes and the Hitman"(love everything by Jennifer Cruisie.

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  • Posted February 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    a must read

    if you are a fan of Barbara Delinsky, you will love this book. It is a constant changing plot. Of course you know the lady gets the man, but the things they go through will keep you wanting to read. You will continue to be shocked by the changes. I think this is one of her best.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    still can't read it

    This is probably a good book. It just wasn't and isn't something I like to read. I was entranced by the book's description. The writing is good from what little I could do. It just isn't my style of book.

    So, read a bit before you buy. Make sure that you can read all of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2005

    An Enchanting Read

    Although I have read many efforts by Barbara Delinsky and have thoroughly enjoyed all, this one is special. She produces a tangible, almost tasteable passion between two very independent individuals...The plot is simple, the people are complex, and the book is impossible to put down. A must read. Strongly suggested for any new Delinsky readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2004

    A Respectable Delinsky Romance

    'The Carpenter's Lady' was nice. It cannot truly be summed up in a better word. The characters were attractive enough and the plot captured your attention for a time or two, yet the problem was it was just plain nice. Perhaps, Delinsky should have thrown in more emotion rather than a fast romance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2000

    Great Read!

    Read the whole thing in an afternoon! The anticipation of the story builds throughout and takes several turns.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2000

    Wonderfully written, lovers from the start

    I couldn't put it down, the writing was great, the charaters were perfect for each other and fell in love in the best way. I was compelled to read every word, the parts with love making were too hot to handle.. Love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2000

    One of the best!

    Had a hard time getting anything else done, for wanting to read this book. Wonderfully written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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