High Meadow

High Meadow

4.5 30
by Joan Wolf
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Kate Foley was only 21 when her wild sister Colleen died, leaving behind an infant son. Forced to drop out of college and raise her nephew, Ben, as her own, Kate tries to protect him from a possibly sadder truth by telling him that his absent father is dead.

Overview

Kate Foley was only 21 when her wild sister Colleen died, leaving behind an infant son. Forced to drop out of college and raise her nephew, Ben, as her own, Kate tries to protect him from a possibly sadder truth by telling him that his absent father is dead.

Editorial Reviews

Nothing ignites a heart like the love of a child, and Kate Foley's heart is no exception. She's been raising her deceased sister's son as her own for seven years, finding joy in his achievements and growth. When Ben's star athlete father appears out of nowhere to claim him, Kate prepares for the fight of her life against Daniel Montero's money, influence, and paternal rights. But even though the last thing Daniel wants to do is take his son away from the only family he's even known, he still has to convince Kate that there are good men left in the world -- and that's he's one of them.
Rendezvous
"...an intensely emotional story...
1/03
Publishers Weekly
"Nice" isn't a word often used to describe a book, but in the case of this solidly plotted, staid story, it's a fitting adjective. As people on blind dates soon learn, however, "nice" doesn't mean intriguing or stirring, and Wolf's newest foray into the contemporary romance arena (after Silverbridge) is neither. Single mother Kate Foley, who works from dawn to dusk keeping her stable in the black and mothering her adoptive son, Ben, has little room in her life for romance until Yankees star pitcher Daniel Montero appears in her riding ring upon learning that Ben is the son he never knew he had. Suspicious of Daniel's wealth and charm, Kate is reluctant to let him into her well-ordered life but concedes that Ben deserves to know his father. The constant interjection of the characters' thoughts, sometimes stretching over several paragraphs, disrupts any sense of intimacy Wolf means to build between her characters. As a result, Kate and Daniel seldom touch the reader's heart as they meander toward love. The happily-ever-after in romances is never in doubt; the fun is in getting there. But this tame tale loses this edge somewhere along the way, leaving readers with a serviceable but uninspiring read. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446565585
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
09/26/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
411,193
File size:
492 KB

Read an Excerpt

High Meadow


By Joan Wolf

Center Point Large Print

Copyright © 2003 Joan Wolf
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1585473111

Chapter One

"Finish your milk," Kate said, and the doorbell rang. Ben started to get up, but she held up a hand. "I'll get it." The little boy subsided into his chair. "Can I have another cookie?"

The kitchen was redolent with the smell of the quick bake oatmeal-raisin cookies she had just made, and she helped herself to one as she answered, "One more, if you finish your milk." She looked at the German shepherd lying on a mat in the corner of the sunny kitchen, and said, "Cyrus, stay with Ben."

Before she left the kitchen, she glanced from habit out the window, which gave her a view of the stable. The wooden barn looked peaceful in the September sunlight, with a few horses' heads hanging out the opened top of the Dutch doors on their stalls. As she walked toward the front door of the old farmhouse, the doorbell rang again. "I'm coming, I'm coming," she muttered, put her hand on the knob, and opened the door halfway.

The man outside had the kind of good looks generally associated with movie stars. His hair was streaked with blond, and his eyes were deeply and purely blue. He smiled, showing perfect white teeth.

Shit, she thought. Her fingers closed tensely on the doorknob. My God, he hasn't changed at all, the rat.

"Kate!" he said.

"What are you doing here,Marty?"

He shrugged. "I'm home, and I thought I'd come and see if Colleen was around."

"You haven't been home in eight years," Kate said. "We were all rather hoping you were dead."

"Kate," he said reproachfully. "I didn't walk out on Colleen, you know. She walked out on me. Anyway, as I said, I'm home, and I'd like to see her. Is she around?"

He can't see Ben, Kate thought in alarm, and she moved a little to block Marty's view of the hall. "Didn't you know? Colleen's dead."

His eyes widened. "What?"

Kate said bitterly, "You really must have cared about her, Marty. In all these years, you never once asked your parents about how she was doing?"

She started to push the door closed.

He wedged his foot against it. "How long has she been dead?"

Kate thought she heard the scrape of a chair against linoleum in the kitchen and replied rapidly, "Seven years. She died in a car crash. So you can go away, Marty. And don't come back. My mother will be even less happy to see you than I am."

She pushed the door again. She was a small, slender woman, but she had a lot of upper-body strength. Marty's foot held firm.

A clear treble voice said from behind her, "Who's that man, Mommy?"

Damn. Damn. Damn.

"Nobody," Kate said firmly. "Go back to the kitchen, Ben." Then, to the man in front of her, "Good-bye Marty."

Cyrus materialized at her side.

Marty looked warily at the dog, but held his ground. "Why are you so anxious to get rid of me?"

Kate's voice took on a sarcastic note. "That's easy enough to answer. I don't like you. You took my sister away from us, then you abandoned her. Get lost, Marty. We don't want you here."

"I told you, she left me," he repeated.

They stood at impasse, the door half-open between them, Kate acutely conscious of Ben still in the hall behind her.

Sensing her distress, Cyrus growled softly deep down in his throat, and moved closer to Marty. "You'd better go," Kate said warningly. "I can restrain him for only so long."

His eyes still on Cyrus, Marty said, "She left me for another man, Kate, but I was ready to let bygones be bygones, so I came to see her."

Kate's voice was contemptuous. "I guess she finally found out what a worm you were. Too bad she didn't listen to me and Mom before she ran off with you."

From behind her Ben said uneasily, "Should I call 911, Mommy?"

Still keeping her pressure on the door, Kate turned to give her son a reassuring smile. "No, Ben. That won't be necessary. The man is leaving."

Marty looked from the dog to Ben. "This is your son?" he asked.

After a fractional hesitation, she returned, "Yes."

He looked at her hand. "I don't see a wedding band."

From the hallway a small, strained voice said, "My mother died. Mommy is my mother now."

Once more she turned to Ben. His large, luminous brown eyes were very dark, and Kate felt a surge of fury that he had to be subjected to this. She said crisply, "Ben, go back to the kitchen. I'll keep Cyrus with me."

Ben hesitated, his eyes going from the man in the doorway to Kate, then back again to the man in the doorway. Suddenly, breathlessly, he asked, "Are you my father?"

The words hit Kate like a punch in the stomach.

"No, Ben," she managed to answer steadily. "Marty is not your father. Now do as I say and go to the kitchen."

Mercifully, Marty remained silent as Ben did as he was told and retreated to the kitchen. Cyrus remained beside Kate, his eyes focused unwaveringly on Marty, who finally spoke. "So he's Colleen's child."

His voice sounded oddly triumphant.

"He was Colleen's child," Kate said. "I adopted him after Colleen died. And don't get any ideas, Marty. He is not your son. Colleen was quite clear about that."

A muscle flickered in his cheek. "Who was his father then?"

"I don't know, and I'm not interested in finding out. Ben doesn't need a father. He has Mom and me, and he doesn't need anyone else. So go away, or I'll sic Cyrus on you."

Marty was carefully not looking back into the dog's eyes. "How old is Ben?"

"None of your business."

"I can get it from the Records Office here in town, Kate. Stop being so obstructive."

If Marty went to the Records Office, someone in the town clerk's office would be sure to find out what he was doing, and news would spread that he was Ben's father. Kate struggled to contain her rage that this scumbag had the power to disrupt her relationship with her son, and said coldly, "He will turn seven next month."

"Thank you." He removed his foot from the door. "Well it was nice seeing you, Kate. Say hello to your mother for me."

"Drop dead," Kate said, and slammed the door in his face.

She took a moment to pat Cyrus reassuringly and collect herself before she walked back to the kitchen to join Ben. He was sitting at the old oak table, his empty glass of milk in front of him, and his arresting dark eyes were troubled. He waited for her to speak first.

She sat at the table across from him. "That man was once a friend of your mother's. He isn't very nice, Ben, and I don't like him."

"Did my mother like him?"

Cyrus went to his mattress under one of the windows. Kate had opened it before, and the crisp white cotton curtains rippled in the breeze.

"She was fooled by him, but then she found out how bad he was, and she didn't like him anymore."

"Oh," Ben said.

Kate took a deep, steadying breath. "Ben, why did you ask him if he was your father? Haven't I told you that your father is dead?"

He made no reply, just regarded her out of those large, long-lashed eyes.

"Didn't you believe me, Ben?"

"Yes."

"Then why ..." She broke off. She already knew the answer to her question. He was hoping. No matter what she had said, he was hoping that one day his father would come.

Damn.

She spoke in the most normal voice she could muster. "Soccer practice starts today. Nana will be home soon to take you. Why don't you go and change your clothes?"

"Okay."

He was so quiet and cooperative that he worried her.

Damn Marty Lockwood, she thought with helpless rage as she watched her son's small figure leave the kitchen. Damn him.

The first thing Marty did after he left Riverton Farm was to go to the Glendale Public Library. He sat at a computer, connected to the Internet, and typed in the keyword Daniel Montero. An hour later he left the library to return to his parents' Cape-Cod-style house. There he carefully composed a letter, which he mailed directly from the post office.

Two weeks later he received the response he had been hoping for. "May I speak to Martin Lockwood?" a man's voice asked when Marty picked up the phone on the third ring.

"I'm Martin Lockwood." Marty's heart skipped a beat. The man had spoken fluently, but his voice had a distinct Spanish accent.

"I'm calling for Daniel Montero. He would like to meet with you."

Marty's heart began to hammer. "That can be arranged."

"Mr. Montero lives in Greenwich. Would it be possible for you to come to his house?"

"Yes," Marty said smoothly. "Of course."

"Shall we say tomorrow at noontime?"

"Give me the address," Marty said, "and I'll be there."

He was still going over the speech he had prepared the following day as he walked up the flagstone path to the clapboard-and-stone single-floor house that belonged to the New York Yankees ace pitcher. The house was not lavish, for Greenwich, but the gardens framing it were magnificent. A small fountain played in the shrubbery-enclosed area that was surrounded by the drive.

I'm the one with the upper hand here, he told himself as he pressed the bell button. I have to remember that.

The door was opened by a slender, dark-haired man who looked to be in his fifties. Marty introduced himself.

"Yes. Come in." The voice was the same as the voice on the telephone the previous day. Marty stepped into a high-ceilinged front hall with polished bare wood flooring and yellow walls and looked around. "Come with me, please," the man said briefly, and Marty followed him out of the hallway and down a wide hall that led toward one of the wings. The man pushed open a door, said to the occupant inside, "Daniel, Martin Lockwood is here," and gestured for Marty to enter.

Marty strode forward and found himself in a comfortable and well-furnished office. It was a medium-sized room, with French doors giving a view of the gardens and a freeform pool outside. The large rolltop desk was golden oak, as was the computer station and the floor-to-ceiling bookcases. The man who was sitting behind the desk swiveled around in a large coffee-colored leather chair and Marty found himself looking at one of the most famous faces in all of American sports.

Daniel Montero said, "Stay, Alberto," and the man who had escorted Marty went to take a seat in a comfortable leather armchair. No one asked Marty to sit down: both men just looked at him.

Boldly, Marty stared back at the man he had come to see. The Yankee star's bronzed, clean-cut face was familiar from the newspapers, but the large brown eyes were even more remarkable in actuality than they appeared in photos.

"So," Daniel Montero said, "you wish to blackmail me."

Still nobody asked Marty to sit down, so he crossed his arms over his chest and replied with the words he had rehearsed, "As I wrote, I am in possession of information that you have a son who is being raised in ignorance of who his father is. If I inform the child's adoptive mother of your identity, she will most certainly demand a huge sum of money from you. What I am asking for my silence doesn't begin to compare with what you will have to pay in child support over the next eleven years."

Daniel Montero's face was calm and unreadable. "Why do you think this child is mine?"

"Because I know that eight years ago you had an affair with a girl named Colleen Foley." A trace of bitterness crept into Marty's voice. "I know this because she ditched me so that she could be with you." There was no flicker of recognition on Daniel's face at the mention of Colleen's name, and Marty continued defiantly, "Ten months after she started to sleep with you, Colleen had a baby. I saw him the other day. He looks just like you."

"Can this be true, Daniel?" the man named Alberto asked.

The Yankee pitcher's face remained calm and unreadable. "I remember Colleen. It was the spring training after I graduated from college. We were together until I left Florida to go to one of the Yankee farm teams. She told me she was going to go home." There was no trace of an accent in his voice.

"She did go home," Marty said triumphantly. "She went home and she had a baby. Then she was killed in a car crash. Her sister adopted the boy and is bringing him up. She doesn't know who the father is."

For the first time, a flicker of expression crossed Daniel's face. "This is difficult to believe."

Marty said, "I'm sure I can get some pictures. Once you see him, you'll know he's yours. Colleen had blond hair and blue eyes. This boy has straight black hair, like yours, and his eyes are like yours as well."

Marty brought out his pihce de risistance. "Once I give Kate your name, she can get the court to order DNA testing to prove paternity. Believe me, once that's done, you won't be able to get off the hook."

Daniel said slowly, "And you are telling me this because you think I will pay you to keep my identity a secret, so I will not have to pay child support to my son's adoptive mother?"

Marty smiled. "That's right."

"How fortunate for this child that he does not have you for a father," Daniel Montero said. "I, on the other hand, am perfectly willing to support him-and his mother-if it can be proved that he is in fact my son."

It took Marty a moment to digest the implications of this statement. The smile left his face and he stared at Daniel in outraged disbelief. "You want to pay for this child? But you don't even know him!"

"If he is my son, then I am responsible for taking care of him." He leaned slightly forward. "Where may I find him?"

Marty's brain churned frantically as he tried to find something to salvage from the wreck of his perfect plan. A glitter in Daniel's eyes alerted him to a possible alternate course. "It will cost you to find out," he said.

The glitter became even more pronounced. "You would blackmail me for this information?"

"Yes," said Marty, sure he was onto something now.

Daniel fitted his fingers together and said, slowly and deliberately, "In that case, let me tell you what I will do, Martin Lockwood. I will give your name to the police and tell them to arrest you for attempted blackmail. Then I will hire a private detective, who will search out the whereabouts of my son. You said that Colleen's sister is raising him, and that her name is Kate. I do not think it will be very long before he is located."

Shit. Marty thought furiously. I told him too much.

"Kate will refuse to see you," he said.

A straight black eyebrow lifted. "You told me she would sue me for child support."

"She's more likely to get a restraining order to keep you away from him," Marty said. "If you want, I can arrange for you to meet the boy away from her."

"A restraining order will avail her nothing if he is indeed my son. Nor am I going to sneak behind her back." Daniel stood up and the full force of his splendid physical presence dwarfed even Marty's good looks. "Now, are you going to tell me where I can find this Kate and my son?"

Checkmate, Marty thought bitterly, and gave Daniel Montero Kate's address.

(Continues...)



Continues...


Excerpted from High Meadow by Joan Wolf Copyright © 2003 by Joan Wolf. 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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

High Meadow 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Walked into the camp and looks at the leader
Anonymous 3 months ago
Waits for cats to join
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He limps in, trying to muffle his pawfalls. He growled lowly in annoyance and glanced around for any prey. He finally spotted a mouse and awkwardly pounced on it. He scolded himself for the clumsy attack but picked up the small body and made his way back to the BloodClan camp.
MarnieG More than 1 year ago
I love Joan Wolf but to me this particular book just did not flow well or sound natural..it just is not my favorite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gfhjfx
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amber looks around, and starts to trot. Kiro watches Amber and starts to graze.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kate was the most selfish, self centured, control freak I've ever seen. Daniel was a truly nice guy, he deserved so much better! I forced myself to skim through the book after only a few chapters. Who cares about everyday chores! That's not why I read books. Very disappointing book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(Thx) were do you wanna go hunting
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(I am so sorry! My mom took my nook for three days.) Dont know. Why dont you decide?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thunderpaw my older brother who died from bloodclan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Vally bursts in. "Hi everyone! I was racing and decided to stop by here on the way. See ya later!" She trots back out, long tail flowing in the breeze.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dismounts Jackie and puts in stable. Exhales and sits on a bench
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont really think anyone rps here anymore so... yeah... if you do, post something and i will still check here often to see if anyone has returned
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nickers loudly needing to be worked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*hugs her back* i am too night Jace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bye. Leaves
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stomps the ground
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Streak trots ovet and nuzzles her." Its okay"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Search meadow and go to the first one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I read by this author. The basic idea for the story was good, but I would have liked the story to have a little more depth to it. The scenes and characters seemed to keep jumping back and forth without ever going into details of the characters emotions and feelings. The best part of the book to me was the Yankees because they are my favorite baseball team. I like a book that stirs your emotions and this book didn't.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Glendale, Connecticut, when her sister Colleen died, Kate Foley became the mother to her nephew Ben. Having no idea whom was Ben¿s father, Kate and her mother tell the lad that his dad died too. At the same time, Kate works hard to turn around the family horse farm. A former boy friend of Colleen, Marty Lockwood visits the Foley residence when he recognizes Ben as the son of NY Yankee pitching great Daniel Montero. Marty tries to blackmail Daniel, who tells the odious man to get lost or face jail time because he plans to recognize his son if the lad proves to be his. Two years ago, Daniel suffered from the mumps leaving him unable to sire children so he feels Ben is a miracle. Daniel visits Ben and Kate, but though she is hostile towards his arrival, he falls in love with her. He wonders how he will persuade her that they belong together raising Ben as a family. Fans of contemporary romance will enjoy Joan Wolf¿s delightful tale. Colleen and Daniel are superb lead characters who work hard to do the right thing for loved ones. Some readers will relish their efforts while others will feel they are too perfect. However, it is in their nurturing lies the dilemma as both want to be full time in Ben¿s life yet not hurt the lad. Ms. Wolf provides a charmer for her myriad of fans. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello and welcome to meadowclan! All may join!"