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The Horsemaster's Daughter (Calhoun Chronicles Series #2) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Once a privileged son of the South, Hunter Calhoun now stands a widower shadowed by the scandal of his wife's death. Burying himself in his success with breeding Thoroughbred racehorses, he's left his family to crumble and forgotten how to comfort his grieving children.

When a prized stallion arrives from Ireland crazed and unridable, Hunter is forced to seek help for the beast. Removed from the world of wealth and social privilege, Eliza Fylte has inherited her father's famed ...

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The Horsemaster's Daughter (Calhoun Chronicles Series #2)

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Overview

Once a privileged son of the South, Hunter Calhoun now stands a widower shadowed by the scandal of his wife's death. Burying himself in his success with breeding Thoroughbred racehorses, he's left his family to crumble and forgotten how to comfort his grieving children.

When a prized stallion arrives from Ireland crazed and unridable, Hunter is forced to seek help for the beast. Removed from the world of wealth and social privilege, Eliza Fylte has inherited her father's famed gift for gentling horses. And when Hunter arrives with his wild steed, her healing spirit reaches further yet, drawing her to his shattered family and to the intense, bitter man who needs her, just as she needs him.

Eliza understands what Hunter refuses to see-that love is the greatest healer of all. But can her kind, humble being manage to teach such an untethered man what truly matters in life?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this antebellum romance, impoverished Virginia plantation owner Hunter Calhoun, who scandalized his neighbors by turning to horse breeding, has staked all he has left on an imported Irish stallion. When the horse arrives crazed from its sea voyage, there seems little choice but to destroy him, until Hunter learns of an eccentric horse trainer who lives on a nearby island. Hunter makes the journey only to discover that the horse trainer is dead; his only hope now lies with the man's daughter, Eliza Flyte. Raised in isolation, Eliza is an island "wild child" and equestrienne. Hunter is first drawn into Eliza's strange universe; later, after he convinces her to return with him, Eliza is thrust into Hunter's aristocratic world. She has no concept of Southern propriety: she runs around barefoot, speaks her mind and communicates with animals. As each struggles to adjust to his or her new environment, they are compelled to rely on each other. In poetic prose, Wiggs (The Charm School) evocatively captures the Old South and creates an intense, believable relationship between the lovers. Author tour. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426817601
  • Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
  • Publication date: 1/2/2009
  • Series: Calhoun Chronicles Series , #2
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 72,358
  • File size: 329 KB

Meet the Author


Susan Wiggs is the author of many beloved bestsellers, including the popular Lakeshore Chronicles series. She has won many awards for her work, including a RITA from Romance Writers of America. Visit her website at www.SusanWiggs.com.


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Read an Excerpt

The Horsemaster's Daughter


By Susan Wiggs

Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 155166755X


Chapter One

Mockjack Bay, Virginia April 1854

Hunter Calhoun started drinking early that day. Yet the sweet fire of the clear, sharp whiskey failed to bring on the oblivion he thirsted for. Lord above, he needed that blurred, blissful state. Needed to feel nothing for a while. Because what he felt was a lot worse than nothing.

Gazing out a window at the sluggish, glass-still waters of the bay, he noticed that the buoy was sinking and a few more planks had rotted off the dock. The plantation had no proper harbor but a decent anchorage - not that it mattered now.

"That poor Hunter Calhoun," folks called him when they thought he was too drunk to notice. They always spoke of him with a mixture of pity and relief - pity, that the misfortune had happened to him, and relief, that it had not happened to them. In general, women thought it romantic and tragic that he'd lost his wife in such a spectacular fashion; the men were slightly disdainful and superior - they'd never let that sort of disaster befall their womenfolk.

Calhoun glared down into his whiskey glass, willing the amber liquid to numb him before he talked himself out of what he knew he must do. He experienced a strange, whimsical fantasy: the whiskey was a pool he could dive into, headfirst. If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck, I'd swim to the bottom and never come up.

A sound of disgust from the adjoining room alerted him that he'd sung the lines of the old ditty aloud.

"Don't go clucking your tongue at me, Miz Nancy," he called out. "I can sing. A man has every right to sing in his own house."

"Humph. You call that singing? I thought the neighbors' hounds just treed a coon." The gentle clack of her knitting needles punctuated the statement.

He finished his drink with a long swig, and oh-so-silently set his glass on the age-scarred sideboard.

"Don't matter how quiet you try to be," Nancy called.

"I know you been at the spirits." A moment later she stepped through the open pocket doors and came into the shabby parlor, her cane tapping along the floor until it encountered the threadbare carpet. Her African face, wizened by years she had never learned to count, held equal measures of patience and exasperation. Her eyes, clouded with blindness, seemed to peer into a deeper part of him even he didn't see. Nancy had the uncanny ability to track his progress through a room, or worse, to track his very thoughts sometimes.

"Humph," she said again, this time with a self-righteous snort. "How you going to shoot a gun if you all full up with Jim Hooker's whiskey?"

Hunter gave a humorless laugh, poured another drink and gulped it down. She was the only person he knew who could actually hear a man drinking. "Drunk or sober, Nancy, have you ever known me to miss a target?"

Setting his empty glass on the smoke-stained mantel, he said, "Excuse me. I've got something I have to do." He paused to fill his silver hip flask with more whiskey. Nancy waited in silence, but he felt the cold bluster of her temper as if she'd scolded him aloud.

It was too much to hope she wouldn't follow him. He could hear the busy tap-tap of her cane as she shuffled along behind him, down the central hall toward the back of the big house. In his parents' day, the gun room had been a hive of activity on hunt mornings, when neighbors from all over Northampton County came to call. Now the room contained only the most necessary of firearms - a Le Mats revolver, a percussion shotgun and a Winchester repeating rifle. He went to the gun cabinet and took down the Winchester, cocking open the side loading gate to make sure it was well oiled.

It was. He had known this moment was coming. In preparation, he had lit himself with whiskey, but suddenly strong drink wasn't enough.

He looped a deerskin sack of .44-40 cartridges to his belt, then stood for a moment at the window, staring out the wavy glass at the broad gardens of Albion. Dogwood and rhododendron grew profusely at the verges, though the flower beds had a weedy, untended look.

"You best get a move on," said Nancy. "Miz Beaumont took the children off to lessons at Bonterre for the day, and you want this dirty business done 'fore they get back."

"I reckon I do." He flinched, picturing his son Blue's silent censure when the boy learned what had happened in his absence. Blue had suffered so much loss already, and here his own father was about to take something else from him.

A wave of self-loathing washed over Hunter. Earlier that morning, he had sat down to breakfast with the children, putting jam on Belinda's biscuit and pouring the cream for Blue, pretending - God, always pretending - that things were right between them.

With her strange, unerring sense of direction, Nancy joined him at the window and caught hold of his arm. "I'm real sorry, son. I'm just as sorry as I can be," she said, gently fingering a rip in the sleeve of his shirt.

"I know you are, honey." He stared down at the dark, papery-dry hand, the knuckles gnarled and shiny with rheumatism. That hand had soothed his feverish brow when he was a baby and dried his little-boy tears. It had mended his breeches with a lightning flash of the needle, and, when the occasion warranted it, delivered a smack to his backside a time or two, though never without drawing him into a hug afterward.

And when he had signed the manumission papers to set her free, that trembling hand had cupped his cheek, her touch more eloquent than the words she could not summon.

Nancy's mothering hand couldn't soothe him now. His nervous fingers strayed to the slim hip flask in his pocket, but he didn't take it out. Nothing could soothe him this morning.

"I'll be back by and by, honey," he said to Nancy, then stepped out on the veranda.

Setting his jaw, he jerked open the gate of the rifle and loaded the cartridges. Then he hitched back his shoulders and strode down the steps to the walkway. The brilliant Virginia morning mocked him with its bright promise. Thready high clouds veined the April sky, and sunlight flooded extravagantly down through the twisted live oaks of Albion. The long misty acres rose up into the sloping green hills.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Horsemaster's Daughter by Susan Wiggs Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.. 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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 16, 2013

    I found this story to be both satisfying and difficult to read.

    I found this story to be both satisfying and difficult to read. Susan Wiggs always does such a fantastic job of character development and interaction. This was no exception. Hunter turned to alcohol to escape his problems and spent much of the book under the influence. I found this sad and difficult to read. He was really a sorry character until he lost what really mattered to him. Eliza however was a joy to read about. She was very balanced and confident. I loved that she was not afraid to be herself. I loved learning how Eliza trained and became one with horses and animals in general. I respected her from the start. Eliza was able to use her abilities to read animals to heal Hunter and his family. There were a few twists that made in interesting for me.

    There are a couple of moderate sex scenes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Wonderful!!

    This was a great 2nd book in the Calhoun series! I loved the characters and the beautiful story. Definitely a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2012

    Highly recommended

    A must read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    it was wonderful.

    i enjoy susan wiggs books very much. the calhoun series is the best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Good read

    well written.fast paced, bought rest of series

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  • Posted October 21, 2011

    Highly recommend

    loved it!

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    nice story easy to follow the characters.

    My mom gave me this to read from her library. I havent read a historical romance in sometime but I did enjoy the story line.

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

    Posted March 31, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Her best

    My mother and LOVED this book! Of course we'll read anything about horses and romance but this book was very good. It was my first Susan Wiggs book and made me search out her others. I still havent found one quite as good as this one yet, but thats just because i loved this storyline so much. The hero was a little frustrating at first just because he tried to 'protect' the heroine a little too much when she Clearly knew what she was doing with the horse. A must read!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2006

    I Would Give 4 1/2 Stars if I Could....

    This is the second book by Susan Wiggs that I¿ve read. Previously, I read ¿A Summer Affair¿ (excellent story). I selected these books as I¿m always looking for a new author, an interesting plot and passionate characters that stay with you long after a book is finished. Fortunately, I feel like I¿ve struck gold with this author and another book, ¿The Horsemaster¿s Daughter¿. The setting of Flyte Island, the initial meeting of Hunter and Eliza and the gentle re-training that the mad horse Sir Finnegan had to go through to come back to the real world were all beautifully told. I¿m not a horse person but, the descriptions of Eliza learning to tame the animal back to sanity, learning to trust and re-entering the world of racing was dramatically written and really pulled you in. I like that SW never makes her characters perfect. They always have very human flaws and weaknesses but, as soon as they over-come these deficits, their beauty and strength shine through. Both Hunter Calhoun and Eliza Flyte fit this bill perfectly. It was so easy to dislike Hunter for pulling away from his children after his wife died, drinking to drown his loss and sorrows of bankruptcy, loosing most of his estate and being a man very much down on his luck. But¿the tenderness of his heart, the giving in his ways, his struggle to be a better man and father all warmed you to him. You couldn¿t help but, believe that with the right hand of guidance and touch of love (Eliza) he would come back one day. Eliza in turn was a sheltered girl who lived almost alone on a remote island all her life with no family, friends or social skills. Yet¿she had the dignity and class of the highest bred woman and the heart of a saint. She took what life gave her and simply made more from the littlest of things. She found joy when others missed it. Her innocence was part of her beauty. Hunter and Eliza were from worlds apart yet¿attraction, common interests and something close to destiny drew them together. I enjoy this author further as she finds a way to make real emotions drive this story ¿ rather than sexual attraction and intimacy. This author is a master at having intimacy scenes that are so gently and warmly and affectionately written that it becomes a very minor part of the book. Instead¿the bonding between Hunter and Eliza is a spiritual and emotional connection that far surpass the physical side of things. Their struggle to come together in a modern world that puts up many barriers (class, economics, race and more) is appealing. Hunter¿s children Blue and Belinda were also charming and appealing and very easy to care about. Other side characters rounded out an appealing and deep cast. Do read her books, I¿m sure you¿ll be pleased. They are rich in content and so memorable you¿re bound to keep them in your library for years to come. Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2005

    good read

    This was the second book that I have read by this author. She is an awesome writer and I can't wait to read more of hers!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2003

    Great in many ways

    My only negative observation is that this story did not feel like a historical romance. The language, actions, etc just did not sweep my heart into the 19th century but instead felt very modern (i prefer total escapism) HOWEVER, having said that, it is a lovely, lovely story and I read it in 2 nights (got to bed at 4AM today!). I was crying at the end and I will read this one again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2003

    Great!!!!!!

    For someone who never reads, I couldn't put this book down. I would recommend it to everybody. This is a book I would read again.

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

    Posted November 21, 2000

    Incredible story!

    This incredible story helps remind all of us of the truly important things in life. I couldn't put this story down and would love to see a continuation on how this couple and their two children deal with their friends and family who still have doubts about how well they are suited.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2011

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    Posted December 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted May 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted January 7, 2011

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    Posted May 21, 2012

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    Posted September 20, 2009

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    Posted January 25, 2010

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews

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