Dearly Beloved

( 17 )

Overview

Three women have just arrived at a windswept island resort, unaware that they have something in common. It is the man who waits for them, his chillingly familiar face hidden behind white lace curtains, his unforgiving black heart consumed by only one thing--revenge. Original.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)
$6.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (77) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $3.82   
  • Used (67) from $1.99   
Dearly Beloved

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)
$3.99
BN.com price

Overview

Three women have just arrived at a windswept island resort, unaware that they have something in common. It is the man who waits for them, his chillingly familiar face hidden behind white lace curtains, his unforgiving black heart consumed by only one thing--revenge. Original.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786014897
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 491,277
  • Product dimensions: 4.36 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Staub
Wendy Corsi Staub is the author of ten novels of suspense, including the New York Times bestsellers Don't Scream, Most Likely To Die, The Final Victim, and She Loves Me Not. She is currently working on her next suspense novel.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt



DEARLY BELOVED




By WENDY CORSI STAUB


PINNACLE BOOKS



Copyright © 1996

Wendy Corsi Staub
All right reserved.



ISBN: 0-7860-1489-X






Chapter One


The ferry isn't yet a far-off speck on the dusky horizon,
but he knows it's there, cutting toward Tide Island through
the choppy gray waters off the New England coast. Complete
darkness will fall well before it docks at the landing
down the road to release its load of weekend passengers.

In summer, the Friday-night ferry is always crowded with
commuting husbands and vacationing families, college students
who work as weekend waiters or lifeguards, couples
in love, sticky-faced children.

But now, in the shortest month of the year, when winter
is at its bleakest and the island offers nothing but silent,
chilly isolation, there won't be many people on board. Just
the few hardy nature-loving souls willing to brave the elements;
perhaps some island-dwellers returning with groceries
from the mainland; maybe a handful of summer house
owners coming out to inspect the damage December's
Nor'easter inflicted upon their property.

That's about it.

Except for them.

He knows they're on board-all three of them. Still
strangers to each other, but not to him.

He has been watching them for so long now.

Waiting.

A quiver of anticipation passes over him and he cautions
himself to relax. He has to maintain control at all times.
He can't afford to take any risks at this point, just when
it's all coming together at last.

After all these years ...

Soon enough, he assures himself. It won't be long now.

He casts his gaze back out over the water, giddy with
excitement. He'd heard on the radio a little while ago that
there's a growing likelihood this weekend might be stormy.

Wouldn't that be perfect?

Even at this moment, they're probably enjoying the brisk
twilight ride. He pictures them scattered in different corners
of the deck or cabin, lost in their own thoughts, thinking
about the weekend ahead, filled with excited expectations.

They aren't the only ones who are looking forward to it.

His features twist with mirth, and he stifles a giggle.

Very, very soon.

He lets the filmy lace curtain drop back into place and
turns away from the window.

He still has a lot to do before they arrive.


As the ferry leaves Crosswinds Bay and heads out into
the open Atlantic, Jennie turns her face into the cold, salty
wind and smiles.

What a relief to be leaving everything behind, if only for
a few days. Already, she can feel the chronic tension starting
to loosen its grip on her body. She takes a deep breath of
the sea air and lets it out on a satisfying sigh.

By the time she reached the ferry terminal twenty minutes
ago, her jaw ached from clenching and her neck and
back muscles had been a jumble of stress knots.

Knowing Friday night traffic out of Boston was always
bad, she'd left at three o'clock to beat it. Unfortunately, a
jackknifed tractor-trailer had rammed into a car on I-95 and
brought her to a standstill by three-fifteen. And she'd lost
an hour by the time she'd managed to creep by the accident
scene, ducking her head after a fleeting glimpse of the
emergency vehicles with their flashing red lights.

Spinning domed lights-and sirens-always bring her
back to that awful day three years ago.

So does the sight of blood, no matter how scant. Just two
days ago, she'd cut her finger on a paring knife and found
herself still trembling uncontrollably a half hour later.

Today, she had struggled to shake the disturbing memories
from her mind and concentrate on the road. She really
had to step on it to make the five o'clock ferry from
Crosswinds Bay on Rhode Island's southwestern coast.

As a rule, she hardly ever went more than five miles
above the speed limit, but she didn't really have a choice
if she wanted to get away for the weekend. And she was
determined to do that.

The cozy Bramble Rose Inn seemed to beckon silently
from miles away, promising refuge. She couldn't miss the
ferry-it was the last one tonight. She was willing to risk
a speeding ticket to catch it.

Besides, everyone else on the road seemed to be flying
by at eighty miles an hour anyway. Jennie had slid her small
red Hyundai out into the passing lane and let the speedometer
climb to seventy.

Just past Providence, she was stopped by a humorless
trooper who promptly slapped her with a speeding ticket.

Now, shaking her head at the thought of having to part
with a precious fifty dollars to pay the fine, she pulls her
black leather gloves out of the bag at her feet and slips
them over her winter-chapped hands. It's freezing on the
deck, but she doesn't want to go inside yet.

There's something cleansing about standing out here with
the fresh, fishy air whipping through her hair and stinging
her cheeks so that they feel swollen. A bell clangs on the
bridge somewhere above her, bidding a hollow farewell to
the shore they are rapidly leaving behind.

"Excuse me, do you know what time it is?"

Jennie turns toward the voice. A young woman stands
behind her, clutching the railing with one hand to keep her
balance as the boat rolls over the waves. She's so bundled
in a parka and scarf that all that's visible is a pair of pretty
brown eyes and a snub nose that looks bright red from the
frosty air.

Jennie pushes her glove up her wrist and peeks at her
watch. "It's almost a quarter after six." She practically has
to shout to be heard over the wind and crashing waves.

"Thanks. Do you know when the ferry is supposed to
get in?"

"I think at around seven-thirty. At least, that's what the
schedule said."

"Good. I'm starving."

"Me, too." Jennie remembers that she hasn't eaten since
the half a blueberry muffin from Dunkin' Donuts that she'd
gulped down this morning in the car on the way to work.
She'd been too busy trying to wrap things up and make an
early getaway to even think about lunch.

The other woman reaches into her pocket and produces
a fat-free granola bar in one fuzzy-mittened hand. "Want
half? It'll tide you over."

Jennie hesitates. "Oh, that's all right, you don't have to-"

Abruptly, the woman snaps the bar in two and hands one
piece to Jennie with a grin. "Here. I'd feel guilty gobbling
the whole thing down myself. Besides, I'm on a diet."

"Thanks," Jenny says.

"Don't look so grateful. It's fat free and it tastes like
cardboard, so I'm not being as generous as you think."

Jennie smiles back at her and clumsily pushes the bar up
through the torn wrapper with gloved fingers before taking
a bite.

For a moment, they stand side by side, crunching and
staring out at the water.

Then the other woman says brightly, "I'm Sandy Cavelli."

"Nice to meet you. I'm ... Laura. Laura Towne." Might
as well get into the habit now so she won't be as likely to
slip and say Jennie when she gets to the inn.

For another long moment, they both lean on the railing
and stare out at the darkening sky and sea, munching the
granola.

"Have you ever been to Tide Island before?" Sandy asks,
popping the last bite into her mouth. She crumples the
empty wrapper and shoves it into her pocket.

"No. Have you?"

"Once when I was younger, with my parents and brothers.
I don't remember much about it, except that we came
across some people skinny dipping one day when we were
trying to have a picnic on the beach. My parents freaked
out."

Jennie smiles. "I bet."

"They didn't like the island much, anyway. They thought
it was overrun with hippies. That's what my father kept
saying."

"Tie-Dye Land," Jennie says, remembering. "That's what
people call the island, according to my sister."

"Exactly."

"Well, the place is beautiful, from what I've heard."

"Yeah, and deserted at this time of year." Sandy shakes
her head. "I wasn't even going to tell my parents where I
was going for the weekend, but my mother overheard me
talking about it on the phone with my best friend. And she
asked me about it, and then she told my father, and he blew
up, as usual. But they can't stop me, you know? Even
though I live under their roof, I'm an adult." She lifts her
double chin stubbornly. "You know what I mean?"

Jennie nods, thinking she doesn't seem so sure of that as
she wants to be. She looks and sounds almost like a rebellious
teenager.

Abruptly, Sandy changes the subject. "So how come
you're coming here, and not jetting off to St. Thomas or
something? I mean, isn't that what people do when they go
on vacation in the dead of winter?"

Jennie shrugs. "I don't know. The Caribbean is probably
so crowded when it's winter in the northeast."

Probably. Why'd you say that? You know it is.

But she doesn't want to remember her November trip to
Jamaica with Keegan.

"True." Sandy grins. "But I'll bet it's crowded with lots
of eligible guys."

"You're single?"

"Unfortunately, yes. I was engaged once, but it didn't
work out. How about you?"

Jennie nods. She's on the verge of saying, "I just broke
up with someone," but catches herself. It isn't at all like
her to spill the details of her life to a complete stranger.
And of course, she would never tell this Sandy Cavelli her
whole painful, horrible story. The people she works with
don't even know about that.

"It's so hard to meet anyone halfway decent. I haven't
even had a date in two months," Sandy says wistfully. "How
about you?"

Something about this woman is making Jennie uncharacteristically
tempted to confide in her, but again she holds
back. "Not really," she says simply.

"I'm meeting someone on the island," Sandy informs her.

Jennie assumes she just means that she's determined to
find a nice guy this weekend until Sandy goes on, "It's
kind of a blind date."

"That's nice."

"Yeah. This was his idea. He has a house out here. He's
a doctor."

"A doctor-wow," Jennie comments because she knows
Sandy expects it.

"Wow is right."

"Where does he practice? On the island?"

"No, this is just where his weekend house is," Sandy
says a bit smugly. Then her expression grows a little embarrassed.
"I, uh, I'm not sure where his practice is. Like
I said, this is a blind date. I don't know much about him."

"Huh," Jennie says, nodding. "Sounds romantic."

"You're telling me. And it doesn't matter where he works,
because wherever it is, I'd move out there in a minute if
we hit it off. It would be a pleasure never to set foot in
Hartford again ... unless he happens to live there, too."

"That's where you're from?"

"Yeah. Actually, not Hartford. Near it, though ... a little
town called Greenbury." At Jennie's blank look, she nods.
"Never heard of it, huh? I'm not surprised. How about
you?"

"I live in Boston."

"What do you do?"

"I'm an antique dealer," Jennie says, before she remembers
that she's supposed to be Laura, and Laura is a salesclerk
at the Gap. Well, it's too late to take it back now.

Her expression must have revealed something, because
Sandy says, "Not all it's cracked up to be, huh?"

"No, it's not that, it's just ..."

It's just that every damn thing in my life reminds me of
Keegan, that's what.

"What don't you like about it?"

"Oh, I like it." Jennie tilts her face upward. "Did you
just feel a drop?"

"No, but I'm so bundled up a baseball-sized hailstone
wouldn't make me flinch. Is it raining?"

"Maybe it was just spray. But I think I'm going to go
inside anyway. My feet are starting to get numb."

"Okay. I'll stick around out here for a while longer. Maybe
I'll get windburn on my face. I look a lot better when I have
some color."

"Thanks for the granola."

"Anytime."

"See you later." Jennie lets go of the railing and moves
toward the door on unsteady feet.

A blast of warm air rushes at her as she steps into the
cabin. The silence there is pronounced after the roar of the
wind outside. Jennie loosens the top button of her coat and
heads toward a vacant spot on the bench against the wall.

As she sits down, she notices that the striking blond
woman beside her is clutching her stomach, looking wan.
Still feeling the effects of Sandy's outgoing friendliness,
Jennie reaches into her pocket for the Tums she put there
earlier, just in case.

"Excuse me, but would you like one of these?" she asks
the stranger, holding out the roll.

The woman barely shakes her head, then closes her green
eyes abruptly, effectively shutting Jennie out.

I guess I wouldn't be very friendly if I felt seasick, either,
Jennie tells herself, slipping the Tums back into her pocket
and reaching into her bag for a magazine.

She settles back to read as the last streaks of pink fade
from the sky and the ferry chugs swiftly through the darkness
toward Tide Island.


Liza steps from the gangplank onto the old wooden pier
and looks around. There's nothing to see. Blackness is
everywhere-the water, the sky, the buildings a few hundred
feet away. The only light is on the boat deck behind her,
and even that casts a murky glow that only makes the place
seem eerier.

She doesn't know what she'd expected. She'd known the
island wouldn't be hopping in the off-season, that there
wouldn't be many shops or restaurants open.

But this ... this is like a ghost town.

Across from the landing, through the wisps of fog that
hang in the air, she can make out the main street. She recognizes
it from a brochure she'd picked up at a travel agency
in her neighborhood. She'd been enchanted by the street in
the photograph, with its row of grand Victorian hotels and
quaint shops.

Now their mansard roofs and gables loom in spooky silhouettes
against the night sky. They're obviously deserted,
the windows boarded with plywood against winter's harsh
weather.

Liza hesitates as other passengers disembark and scurry
toward a nearby parking lot. She can hear a few shouted
greetings; apparently some people are being met at the landing
by friends or relatives.

She glances around, wondering what happened to the
woman on the boat who had offered her the Tums. Apparently,
she'd thought Liza was seasick. She wasn't.

She had been thinking about Robert, a man she'd been
dating lately. He'd left at least twenty-five messages on her
home answering machine this week. Couldn't he take a
hint?

When the other woman had approached her on the boat,
Liza hadn't been in the mood for company. But those
friendly lilac-colored eyes would be beyond welcome right
about now.

There's no sign of her.

Feeling suddenly alone, Liza reaches for her gloves again.
She sets her Vuitton bag on the rough planks at her feet,
slips her hands into the cozy cashmere lining, and feels
instantly better.

She tries to figure out which direction she has to walk
in to find the inn.
Continues...




Excerpted from DEARLY BELOVED
by WENDY CORSI STAUB
Copyright © 1996 by Wendy Corsi Staub.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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
Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2006

    Wow great book

    I just found out about this author b/c I went to her website under the name Wendy Markham & there I learned she goes under the WCS name for her mysterys. Since I love mysterys I thought I would try one of her books. This was my first & for the most part I did enjoy it. The story line to me was original & not a sugar coated. Some authors don't like writing disturbing stories but WCS doesn't mind. I hope the rest of her books are good right now I am starting Fade To Black.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 19, 2003

    Wow!

    This book is the best book I have read in a long time. It's more gory than the authors usual style,which isn't a bad thing. It's very suspenceful with a truly creepy villian. Highly recomended to anyone who likes this type of book. I can't wait for her next book, I'm sure I'll love it if it's as good as this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 24, 2013

    Dearly Beloved

    Very entertaining book kept me reading through the wee hours!

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

    Posted August 14, 2013

    Nick

    Ya

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

    Posted August 14, 2013

    Courtnai

    Heyy (:

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 8, 2013

    I love Wendy...

    I love the suspense, great book.

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

    Posted February 9, 2013

    Great book!

    Very suspensefull.

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

    Posted March 23, 2012

    Awesome!!!

    This is a crazy book. I couldn't put it down. This book makes you think twice about treating a guy mean. I recommend this book to anyone who likes suspense books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not a favorite from Staub

    I usually love Staub's novels, but this one was a miss for me. First off, natural womens instincts should uld have come through for at least one of these women! They were all clearly dupped by an insane man, yet, none of them did anythign about it. I can usually believe the story lines in Staub;s novels, but not in this one. I can understand why Sandy fell for it, but nt Liza and her attitude, or Jennie (Laura) after her past. So blahh for this book. I hope the others are better.

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

    Posted July 13, 2005

    boring and silly

    I have read 3 of this authors books. This own was horrible. So boring. Just dragged on and on.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 15, 2003

    Suspenseful!!

    I highly recommend reading this book during daylight hours...it was a fabulous suspense! It is a bit more graphic than her more current works, but Wendy Corsi Staub has done it again....

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

    Posted August 8, 2003

    Very Good, As Expected!

    Wendy Corsi Staub is my favorite author, and I was definitely not disappointed with this book. I loved reading it, I couldn't put it down. Very suspenseful, and I would recommend it to everyone I know! Great read! Can't wait for her next one to come out!

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

    Posted August 22, 2003

    excellent!!!!!!

    I read this book in 2 days, it was the best book i have read in a while.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews

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