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The Gift

The Gift

4.3 132
by Julie Garwood, Susan Duerden

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A child bride, Sara Winchester had grown into a winsome beauty, joyfully anticipating the day when her husband Nathan, Marquess of St. James, would return to claim her heart at last. Charmingly innocent, she dismissed the ancient feud that divided Nathan's family from her own...and she was totally unaware of his past exploits as the notorious pirate, Pagan. The


A child bride, Sara Winchester had grown into a winsome beauty, joyfully anticipating the day when her husband Nathan, Marquess of St. James, would return to claim her heart at last. Charmingly innocent, she dismissed the ancient feud that divided Nathan's family from her own...and she was totally unaware of his past exploits as the notorious pirate, Pagan. The man who now stood before her was perplexing, arrogant and powerfully handsome...a warrior-gentleman whose gentle touch aroused her to the wildest, deepest pleasures of love.

Nathan had never bared his soul to any woman, but he was soon utterly beguiled and exasperated by Sara's sweet, defiant ways. Aboard his ship, The Seahawk, she was brave, imperious and determined to win his heart completely -- yet upon their return to England, her love would be sorely tested as a vile conspiracy tried to tear them apart. With their future at stake, they would discover the true destiny of their passion...for all time!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This bland romance, which borders on formulaic, recycles a few elements from Garwood's earlier novel Guardian Angel . In 1802, in an attempt to bring peace between two warring families, the king arranges a marriage between the 14-year-old Nathanialsp ok Baker, marquess of St. James, and Lady Sara Winchester, who is four. Fourteen years later and now a pirate, Nathan wishes to claim his bride--and the property that comes with her--but the Winchesters aren't cooperating. Nathan decides to indulge in a ``clean, uncomplicated kidnapping'' and spirits his wife out of England on one of his ships. In fact Sara, long infatuated with her absent, mysterious husband, settles into life at sea quite cheerfully, enlivening the voyage by accidentally destroying a couple of sails, giving the crew food poisoning and setting the vessel on fire. Despite it all, her determined affection for and faith in Nathan and his crew gradually wins her a place in their crusty, seafaring souls and a loyalty that is tested when, on their return to London, Sara's father threatens to expose an old scandal that could ruin the St. James name. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
Romantic Times Glorious...The Gift is a stunning achievement, full of warmth, humor, lovable characters...rich in emotion...You'll cherish this book.

Rendevous I am once again enthralled with the tale that flows from Ms. Garwood's pen...The Gift belongs on my hand off or die! shelf

Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
Crown's Spies Series , #3
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.75(d)

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter One

Neither man spoke again until they'd reached the rise above the gardens and reined in their mounts. The cover of the trees shielded them well, yet they had a clear view of the guests strolling ab

"Hell, Colin, I feel like a schoolboy."

His friend laughed. "Leave it to the duchess to go overboard," he remarked when he noticed the crowd of musicians filing toward the lower terrace. "She hired an entire orchestra."

"Ten minutes, Colin, and then I'm leaving."

"Agreed," Colin placated. He turned to look at his friend. Nathan was scowling. "You know, she might have been willing to leave with you, Nathan, if you'd—"

"Are you suggesting I send another letter?" Nathan asked. He raised an eyebrow over the absurdity of that possibility. "You do recall what happened the last time I followed your advice, don't you?"

"Of course I remember," Colin answered. "But things might have changed. There could have been a misunderstanding. Her father could have—"

"A misunderstanding?" Nathan sounded incredulous. "I sent the note on a Thursday, and I was damn specific, Colin."

"I know," Colin said. "You told them you were going to collect your bride the following Monday."

"You thought I should have given her more time to pack her belongings."

Colin grinned. "I did, didn't I? In defense of my gentlemanly behavior, I must say I never imagined she'd run away. She was quick, too, wasn't she?"

"Yes, she was," Nathan replied, a hint of a smile in his voice.

"You could have gone after her."

"Why? My men followed her. I knew where she was. I just decided to leave her alone a little longer."

"A stay of execution, perchance?"

Nathan did laugh then. "She's only a woman, Colin, but yes, I do suppose it was a reprieve of sorts."

"There was more to it than that, though, wasn't there? You knew she would be in danger as soon as you claimed her. You won't admit it, Nathan, but in your own way you've been protecting Sara by leaving her alone. I'm right, aren't 1?"

"You just said I wouldn't admit it," he countered. "Why bother to ask?"

"God help the two of you. The next year is going to be hell. You'll both have the world trying to do you in."

Nathan shrugged. "I'll protect her."

"I don't doubt that."

Nathan shook his head. "The daft woman actually booked passage on one of our own ships to run away from me. That still chafes. A bit of an irony, wouldn't you say?"

"Not really," Colin answered. "She couldn't have known you owned the ship. You did insist upon remaining a silent partner in the company, remember?"

"We wouldn't have any clients otherwise. You know damn well the St. James men aren't liked by the members of the ton. They're still a little rough around the cuffs." His grin told his friend he found that trait appealing.

"It's still odd to me," Colin announced, switching the topic. "You had your men follow Lady Sara—watch out for her, too—yet you never bothered to ask any of them to tell you what she looked like."

"You didn't ask any of them either," Nathan countered.

Colin shrugged. He returned his attention to the crowd below. "I suppose I thought you'd decide the contract wasn't worth the sacrifice. After all, she..." He completely lost his train of thought when he spotted his sister strolling toward them. Another woman walked by her side. "There's Becca," he said. "If the silly chit would just move a little to the left..." That remark went unfinished. Colin's indrawn breath filled the air. "Sweet Jesus...could that be Lady Sara?"

Nathan didn't answer him. In truth, he doubted he was capable of speech right then. His mind was fully consumed taking in the vision before him.

She was enchanting. Nathan had to shake his head. No, he told himself, she couldn't possibly be his bride. The gentle lady smiling so shyly at Rebecca was simply too beautiful, too feminine, and too damn thin to belong to the Winchester clan.

And yet there was a hint of a resemblance, a nagging reminder of the impossible four-year-old he'd held in his arms, something indefinable that told him she really was his Lady Sara.

Gone was the wild mop of honey-colored curls. Her hair was shoulder-length, still given to curl, but as dark as chestnuts. Her complexion looked pure to him from the distance separating them, and he wondered if she still had the sprinkle of freckles across the bridge of her nose.

She'd grown to only average height, judging by the fact that she was eye level with Colin's younger sister. There certainly wasn't anything average about her figure, however. She was rounded in all the right places.

"Look at all the young bucks moving in," Colin announced. "They're like sharks circling their prey. Your wife seems to be their target, Nathan," he added. "Hell, you'd think they would have the decency to leave a married woman alone. Still, I suppose I can't really fault them. My God, Nathan, she's magnificent."

Nathan was fully occupied watching the eager men chase after his bride. He had an almost overwhelming urge to beat the foppish grins off their faces. How dare they try to touch what belonged to him?

He shook his head over his illogical reaction to his bride.

"Here comes your charming father-in-law," Colin said. "God, I didn't realize how bowlegged he is. Look how he shadows her," he continued. "He isn't about to let his prize out of his sight."

Nathan took a deep breath. "Let's ride, Colin. I've seen enough."

Not a hint of emotion was in his voice. Colin turned to look at him. "Well?"

"Well, what?"

"Damn it, Nathan, tell me what you think."

"About what?"

"Lady Sara," Colin persisted. "What do you think of her?"

"The truth, Colin?"

His friend gave a quick nod.

Nathan's smile was slow, easy. "She'll fit through the window."

Copyright © 1991 by Julie Garwood

Meet the Author

Julie Garwood is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Fire and Ice, Shadow Music, Shadow Dance, Murder List, Killjoy, Mercy, Heartbreaker, Ransom, and Come the Spring. There are more than thirty-six million copies of her books in print.

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Gift 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 132 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Julia Garwood!! This is a good read, but not as good as her other books. It was really good in the beginning and the end, but got a little slow in the middle. Overall a good book.
Momof4IN More than 1 year ago
Julie Garwood you are my Hero!!!! I had never read a book for pleasure in my life I was like why bother, if it was any good they would make a movie of it. Boy was I wrong! I was due to deliver my first child and my older(and wiser ... don't tell her I said that or I will deny it!) sister had come for the big day, during her visit I saw her laughing as she was reading a book. I could not wrap my head around it, why the heck would a book make you laugh? So for the rest of her visit I teased her about being ridiculous and laughing at a book, but by the time she had to leave my (still stubborn to this day) daughter still had not arrived, so on the day she was leaving to stop me from being my overly emotional and sobbing self my sister slapped the book into my chest and said read it! To which I laughed and wiped away the tears, rolling my eyes the entire time thinking Yeah right, not in this lifetime! A few days after my sister departed my daughter was born. I did not have an easy labor. I had broken my coccyx bone(tailbone)during delivery and was in some serious pain and the only way I felt comfortable was to lay flat with my head propped up by pillows. Thank goodness my Mother was there to help me and my beautiful new baby girl as I was pretty much bedridden. On the second day of bedrest I noticed the book laying on the table beside me and decided to humor my sister and as I was stuck in bed what the heck else was there for me to do to while away the hours. So I flipped to the first page and was immediately captivated by the story. (The best Prologue of any book EVER!) To my utter disbelief not only did I laugh (out loud belly laughing when Sara punched her uncle's servant through the open coach window), but I cried! I fell in love with Nathan and Sara and the entire crew of the Seahawk! The story completely swept me away and gave me a love for reading I had never had before. I am now a voracious reader! I have read "The Gift" at least once a year since then (20 years and counting) and I love it now just as much as I did then. So to Ms. Garwood I would like to say a profound and heartfelt Thank you! You have given me a true and precious gift and for that I will be forever grateful and a fan for life!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with this book years ago and have read it several times. Hands down it is my favorite book!
GoldieK More than 1 year ago
I love Garwoods books. This one is great, though the ebook version has a lot of errors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
its another amazing book by my favorite author. I love Nathan if only he was real i would very happy. Youll get romance, drama, comedy, saddness and of course Nathan!!!!!!!!! I reccomend you get this book. You wont regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the best i've read. Can't wait to read more of Julie Garwood's books.
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you will not be able to put this one down....
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Julia is one of my favorite authors, this book lived up to all of my expatations and would recommend you get this book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read almost all of her books, and this one was by far the most disappointing. As some other reviewers have indicated, Sara is just annoying. I don't know why Nathan fell in love with her. I started skimming some of the book just because I wanted to finish it but was bored with the rather transparent story. And in the end, there were questions that were not answered, about the inheritance and what happened to some of the characters. I normally love all Julie Garwood's books (The Lion's Lady is my fave), but I regret purchasing this one. If you feel that you must read this one, borrow it or get it at a library.
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Awedome read.
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