Just Rewards (Emma Harte Series #6)

( 18 )

Overview

From the blockbuster bestselling author comes the dramatic conclusion to the saga that began with Emma Harte and A Woman of Substance. Four women at a crossroads. A family in crisis. And an enemy planning for a long-awaited chance at revenge. Who will have their just rewards?

Linnet O'Neill, great-granddaughter of Emma Harte, finds herself following in the footsteps of the original woman of substance as she battles to modernize the family business. Returning from her honeymoon ...

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Just Rewards (Emma Harte Series #6)

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Overview

From the blockbuster bestselling author comes the dramatic conclusion to the saga that began with Emma Harte and A Woman of Substance. Four women at a crossroads. A family in crisis. And an enemy planning for a long-awaited chance at revenge. Who will have their just rewards?

Linnet O'Neill, great-granddaughter of Emma Harte, finds herself following in the footsteps of the original woman of substance as she battles to modernize the family business. Returning from her honeymoon full of fresh ideas for bringing the Harte empire into the new century, Linnet locks horns with her mother, Paula, in a battle about the future...

Tessa Fairley is ready to start a new life after an acrimonious divorce—which might include rivaling her sister Linnet for the top spot in the Harte business.

India Standish, who is planning her own glamorous summer wedding in Ireland, is thrown off balance when her fiancé's daughter Atlanta comes to live with them—closely followed by his unstable ex-girlfriend, intent on trouble.

Evan Hughes, their American cousin, unwittingly brings an enemy into their midst. But Evan's sister Angharad, who tries to infiltrate the quartet of young women, meets Jonathan Ainsley, the deadly enemy of the Hartes.

Together, they find themselves in a web of vengeance whereby no Harte is safe.

"Ambitious…engrossing…the plot is equal parts evil, rivalry, and romance."

WashingtonPost Book World

"Bradford's characters are so real, readers clamor to know them better."

-USAToday Weekend Magazine

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford brings her Harte family saga to a close in this engrossing finale, which not only leaves the reader wanting more but -- shhh! -- leaves the door open for still another chapter.

After 25 years, passions, revenge, envy, and unbridled ambition are still taking their toll on the Harte family, this time on Emma Harte's great-grandchildren. There's Linnet O'Neill and Evan Hughes, both with dreams of revitalizing Harte's, the famous British department store; and Tessa, Linnet's sister, who wants her share of power. Waiting malevolently in the wings is Jonathan Ainsley, Robin's son, looking for an opportunity for revenge. Evan's adopted sister, Angharad, has an equally strong desire for payback and is very much attracted to Jonathan.

It's all very Dynasty-like and very delicious. Bradford keeps the pace moving briskly as she takes the reader from one great British house to another and expertly brings the various subplots together in a surprising conclusion. Ginger Curwen
Publishers Weekly
Can this be, as advertised, the final episode in the Harte family saga? A Woman of Substance (1979), the story of Emma Harte's triumph over poverty and illegitimacy to found England's greatest department store, and its four sequels were huge bestsellers. Now Emma's great-granddaughter, Linnet O'Neill, must defend the empire and family against evil uncle Jonathan Ainsley. But words such as "granddaughter" and "uncle" don't do justice to the complexities. It takes four and a half pages of front matter to enumerate the Harte, Kallinski and O'Neill clans whose intertwining lives drive the saga. Emma's descendants offer a helping hand to new in-laws-and the reader-by uttering sentences such as these: "Through his great-grandfather, Winston the First, Emma is Gideon's great-great-aunt. But she is also Gideon's great-grandmother, because Emma was my grandmother." Weddings and funerals keep the local caterer busy and offer crescendos of activity, if scant emotion. Although Ainsley's malevolence hovers behind the story and leads to near disasters, there's never a doubt that the strong women will triumph-though not without struggle. Series devotees will take heart at the ending, which hints that Ainsley's evil will survive his death and the struggles will continue offstage even if Bradford lays down her golden pen. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The final episode of the Harte family saga (which began with A Woman of Substance) focuses on the travails of four of Emma Harte's great-granddaughters. Newlywed Linnet wants to modernize and lead the family business. Divorcee Tessa also wants to be at the helm of the empire, but she has some personal issues to confront first. Evan prepares to marry and give birth but is put in danger after an unexpected confrontation. India also plans a wedding but has to adapt when her fianc 's young daughter comes to live with them. Throw in some disgruntled people hellbent on wreaking havoc, and you have quite a soap opera! And thank goodness for the juicy storylines because this book suffers from astonishingly wooden dialog that bloats the otherwise readable text. Is this really the end? As always, Bradford kindly prefaces the book with genealogical information on the "Three Clans" (the Hartes, O'Neills, and Kallinskis), and summaries of past important events are woven throughout as necessary. But the number of characters to keep track of is staggering, and newbies may find it difficult to appreciate new developments while trying to make sense of old ones. Still, public libraries should stock up. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/05.]-Samantha Gust, Niagara Univ. Lib., NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Weightless entry in the florid Emma Harte saga (Unexpected Blessings, 2005, etc.) follows the machinations of envious grandson Jonathan Ainsley as he plots revenge on the inheritors of a landmark London store. A couple of tidy paragraphs brings us up to date in the story of how matriarch Emma (first seen in A Woman of Substance, 1979) founded the Knightsbridge emporium, the flagship in her business empire that is now run by granddaughter Paula O'Neill. Jonathan, having failed to wrest the business away from cousin Paula in the 1980s, is now facing a new generation of family operators in the form of her redheaded cousin (and boss) Linnet O'Neill, Paula's daughter and designated heir, and American Evan Hughes, pregnant with twins by her lover, Gideon Harte. Linnet has just married Julian Kallinski, scion of a family branch to be exploited in future titles, no doubt. As Linnet cooks up ideas to revamp the store (though her mother is determined to keep Harte in its "traditional mode"), Evan prepares to have her twins while planning for her imminent wedding (postponed so as not to compete with Linnet's). Jack Figg, head of Harte security, naturally worries about the event, since there are jealous, troublesome siblings to deal with, such as Gideon's brother Toby and Evan's crass 23-year-old sister Angharad. Meanwhile, India Standish, Emma's great-grandchild, hopes to wed famous artist Russell Rhodes, aka Dusty, although he has first to deal with the fallout from his previous druggie girlfriend, Melinda Caldwell. Tessa Fairley, last seen recovering her kidnapped daughter Adele, pines for new boyfriend Jean-Claude Deleon, a renowned French journalist posted to Afghanistan. Jonathan and Angharadseal a dark and ominous deal that will certainly come to light in the next installment. Marriages, babies, rivals-and none of it will leave the slightest trace after the book is closed.
From the Publisher
"Bradford's latest is a truly remarkable conclusion to her beloved Harte family saga. The characters' lives intertwine to create a riveting and intense plot. Not many novels have the ability to completely immerse the reader, but this one draws you into the story from the very first page."

RT Book Reviews

 

"Fans of Bradford will be delighted to reacquaint themselves with tried-and-true favorites from her previous novels."

—Bookreporter.com

 

"Barbara Taylor Bradford is the storyteller of Substance.” —The Times (London)

Praise for Unexpected Blessings:

“In this age of chick-lit and video games, the enduring theme of family loyalty ennobles the Harte family saga and elevates it to a heartwarming crescendo.” —BookPage

“The exploits and adventures of Bradford’s indomitable heroines...make for lusty

escapist fiction.” —Publishers Weekly

“Burton’s delivery and timing are impeccable.” —AudioFile magazine

Praise for Emma’s Secret:

“Kate Burton’s pleasing voice and impeccable direction precisely capture the mood, convincing accents, and personalities of the ultra-rich and famous. She handles sibling rivalries and romantic intrigues with finesse.” —AudioFile magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312985752
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/3/2006
  • Series: Emma Harte Series , #6
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 4.21 (w) x 6.68 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Taylor Bradford

Barbara Taylor Bradford is the author of 25 bestselling novels, including Playing the Game, Breaking the Rules, and The Ravenscar Dynasty. She was born in Leeds, England, and from an early age, she was a voracious reader: at age 12, she had already read all of Dickens and the Brontë sisters. By the age of twenty, she was an editor and columnist on Fleet Street. She published her first novel, A Woman of Substance, in 1979, and it has become an enduring bestseller.

 

Barbara Taylor Bradford’s books are published in over 90 countries in 40 languages, with sales figures in excess of 82 million. Ten of her novels have been adapted into television mini-series starring actors including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Liam Neeson, Deborah Kerr and Elizabeth Hurley. She has been inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame of America, and in June of 2007, Barbara was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for her contributions to Literature.

 

She lives in New York City with her husband, television producer Robert Bradford, to whom all her novels are dedicated, and their Bichon Frise dogs, who sit under her desk while she writes.

Biography

Barbara Taylor Bradford was born and raised in Yorkshire, England. A voracious reader since childhood, she took her first job at the age of 15 with the Yorkshire Evening Post and by the age of 18 was the newspaper's women's page editor. Two years later, she headed for London and became a reporter for the London Evening News, Today Magazine, and other publications.

After meeting her husband-to-be, Robert Bradford, in 1961, she relocated to the United States. Continuing in journalism, Barbara created the syndicated column "Designing Woman," which ran nationwide for 12 years. Children's books and 8 works on decorating followed.

In 1979, Bradford published her first novel, A Woman of Substance, introducing the Emma Harte saga and beginning an almost uninterrupted string of bestsellers. Her work has been published in more than 90 countries in 40 languages, and total sales of her books now surpass 75 million.

Barbara now lives and writes in New York City with her husband, Robert. In addition to her work as a writer, she is active in a number of major charitable organizations, including the Police Athletic League, Girls Inc., City-Meals-on-Wheels, and the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation.

Good To Know

Queen Elizabeth bestowed the Order of the British Empire on Barbara in October, 2007. The news was announced on the author's website with the following headline: "BTB Gets Her OBE from QEII."

Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Bradford:

"All 20 of my original manuscripts are stored by the prestigious Brotherton Library at Leeds University in England, next to the works of the Brontë sisters."

"My first job was working as a typist for the Yorkshire Evening Post at the age of 15."

"When I'm not writing, (which isn't often) I love to read. Biographies are my favorite genre, though I do like to read fiction to see what others are putting out on the market. Authors whose books I always make time for are Patricia Cornwell, Mary Higgins Clark, and Bernard Cornwell."

"I love to travel whenever possible. Paris is my favorite city to visit, though some of my favorite holidays are spent back in England."

"My husband, Bob, has a vote for the Academy Awards, so I get to see a lot of movie screenings."

"I'm involved in a number of charity organizations on both sides of the Atlantic. From the Police Athletic League and the Literary Guild in America to PACT (Parents and Children Together Again) in the U.K., I devote a fair amount of time to these causes. And as an advocate for world literacy, I am a member of the Madison Council to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Christ Church Elementary School and Northcote Private School for Girls in Yorkshire, England
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

 

Part One

QUARTET

 

 

Envy slays itself by its own arrows.

 

—ANONYMOUS MEDIEVAL SAYING

1

 

 

Flurries of silvery snowflakes were blowing in the wind, sticking to the plate-glass windows of Harte’s and on the faces of the two pretty young women gazing so intently into those windows.

Evan Hughes brought a gloved hand to her cheek and wiped the dampness away Then she drew closer to Linnet O’Neill, shivering and hunching into her dark green loden cape, feeling the bite of the intense cold.

Instantly, Linnet glanced at Evan and exclaimed, “I’m so thoughtless, dragging you outside to look at our windows on a day like this! You’re freezing. Come on, let’s go inside. We’ve seen enough, actually.” Linnet took hold of Evan’s arm and hurried her toward one of the double doors leading into Harte’s.

“I’m all right, honestly,” Evan protested as she was propelled across the floor of the cosmetics department, adding irately, “I’m not a cream puff, you know. I’m not going to melt away.”

“You’ve got guts of steel, I’m very well aware of that!” Linnet shot back. “It just became frightfully cold all of a sudden. And if you catch a cold, or get sick, Gideon will have my guts for garters.”

Evan burst out laughing, as usual amused by Linnet’s penchant for quaint sayings; she was frequently startled by the other girl’s bluntness, as well as her pithiness. Evan considered her recently discovered cousin a unique person. She had never met anyone like her, and in this past year of working together, they had become the very best of friends.

Moving through the glamorous, eye-catching displays of cosmetics and perfumes, Evan felt her icy limbs beginning to thaw, and she loosened her scarf, opened her cape. Smoothing her hand over her bulging stomach, she confided, “I feel like a beached whale, Linny. I can’t wait to give birth.”

Linnet’s expression was sympathetic. “I know. But just imagine, Evan, you’re about to have twins. Twins! You’ve certainly given Tessa, India, and me pause for thought. We have a tendency to forget that twins run in this family. Grandy had twins, and so did Mummy the first time around, when she was married to Jim Fairley. It’s only just struck us that we also might be candidates, have the same fate as you.” Linnet smiled engagingly. “What do you think?”

“We share a lot of the same genes, I guess, so you’re probably right.”

“Julian’s hoping so, and actually so am I. It makes life easier. Two children born together saves so much bother in the long run … an instant family and less time off work.”

“Very well put,” Evan responded softly, laughter filling her eyes. She couldn’t help thinking that Linnet’s inborn pragmatism inevitably came to the fore, but she admired her for being so down to earth.

By now the two women had arrived at a bank of elevators, and they stepped into one as soon as its doors slid open. Falling silent, they rode up to the management offices and hurried down the long corridor.

When they reached the alcove in the center, where the famous portrait of Emma Harte hung, the two of them automatically came to a standstill, looked at each other, smiled, and then briskly saluted their great-grandmother and moved on. It had become something of a ritual with them of late, whether they were together or alone. It signified their pride in being her progeny and working in the renowned store she had founded.

 

A few minutes later, settled comfortably in Evan’s office, Linnet said, “So, give me your opinion about the windows.”

“I have to agree with you, they are a bit outdated. Oh, they’re beautiful, Linnet, of course. So well dressed. And they do evoke the kind of image we want for Harte’s, but they could be a bit … fresher.”

“Not enough pizzazz, perhaps?” Linnet suggested.

“Not pizzazz, that’s not quite right for Harte’s, is it?”

“I suppose not,” Linnet agreed, sitting back in the chair, her eyes focused on Evan, whose opinion she valued.

Evan bit her lip, then shook her head. “I think the word I’m looking for is … glamorous. I’m talking about the fashion windows per se, Linnet, and they ought to be just a tad more eye-catching. Listen, they should say something to the customer … they should say, Come in, try me on, buy me.”

Linnet nodded, her face lighting up. “That’s true. You’ve just put your finger on it.”

Evan said, “You’ve only recently come back from New York. You’ve seen the store windows there, and I believe you’re now finding our windows somewhat flat.” She raised a brow, and her pellucid gray-blue eyes rested on Linnet thoughtfully. When her cousin made no response, she asked, “Am I not correct?”

“I think you are … . But I’m not sure Mummy would agree.”

“Have you discussed the windows with Paula?” Evan probed, sounding anxious.

“No, I haven’t had a chance, and she and Dad are staying in Yorkshire this week, recovering from Christmas, the New Year, and all their entertaining. They’re taking a week off, and they just want to potter around at Pennistone Royal. They enjoy being at home with each other, doing what they’ve always done since they were kids growing up together.” Linnet shook her head. “Anyway, I’m not going to say a word until she’s back here at work. Actually Evan, there are some other things I want to discuss with her, certain changes I believe we should make.”

Evan sat up straighter but said nothing, merely raised a brow quizzically, her eyes full of questions.

“You look surprised,” Linnet exclaimed, eyeing her carefully.

“I am. What kinds of changes do you have in mind?”

“I’ll get to those in a minute, just let me say this first. As you well know, the fashion retrospective was a big success last summer. We gained lots of new customers, and we did terrifically well, but eventually sales dipped. What we need to do is keep our customers coming in, and we need to garner those new ones as well. I believe we’re in a new age of retailing. We have to make shopping a unique experience, and offer other services.”

“Obviously you’ve studied this carefully and come up with some fresh ideas,” Evan ventured cautiously, wondering if Paula would permit any changes at the Knightsbridge store.

“I have,” Linnet asserted. “For example, Harte’s ought to have a day spa, a really beautiful spa offering every kind of treatment.”

“That would be great!” Evan agreed swiftly and then thought to ask, “But where would you put it?”

Linnet grinned and explained, “I think one of those boring departments such as Mattresses would have to go. But seriously, we could carve out space. I know this store inside out, and I know we could do it.”

“I guess it doesn’t have to be a huge spa, just a unique one.”

“That’s it exactly. Evan, listen, don’t you think we ought to have more places to eat? Snack bars, for instance. Especially on the ground floor, near the Food Halls. We could feature shellfish, pizza, hot dogs, deli sandwiches, and pastas. The kind of fast food that’s actually tasty. I’m sure they would appeal to people who work in Knightsbridge and the areas nearby, as well as our customers.”

“That’s a great suggestion,” Evan agreed. “I can feel my mouth watering just at the thought. What I wouldn’t give for a plate of oysters right now.”

“And ice cream on top, I’ve no doubt,” Linnet said, grinning at her. “Isn’t that your favorite lunch these days?”

Evan shook her head. “Not quite, although I have had a few longings for some very strange food combinations.”

Linnet leaned forward, her expression intense. “I’d appreciate any ideas you might have, Evan. You’re always so creative, and I do think we really have to revamp the store. A little bit anyway.”

Evan nodded. “I agree.” She paused, hesitating, and then confided, “I did have an idea a while back. A floor devoted to brides. Called … Brides. Naturally we would feature bridal gowns, bridesmaids’ dresses, page boy suits, and all those things. But we could also sell bridal shoes, jewelry, gifts for the bridesmaids, and even bridal lingerie. And there’s another thing. In the States, wedding planners are very popular; we could offer that kind of service as well.”

“Evan, I love it! And what about the Evan Hughes Bridal Collection? You know you love to design bridal gowns. How about it?”

Evan considered Linnet’s words. “I think I’d enjoy that. I guess I’ve been itching to design again.” Her enthusiasm was apparent. “Actually, the store has had inquiries about your wedding gown. There were lots of photographs in the newspapers, and women seemed taken with it.”

“I don’t blame them. You created something out of this world. So, let’s sell it to them,” Linnet replied in a rush. At the same pace she continued, “Also, I think your idea for an entire floor for brides is inspirational. I’d really appreciate it if you could give me something on paper. As soon as possible.”

“I’ve got a lot of stuff on my computer already. I’ll print it out for you before I go to Yorkshire.”

“Thanks, and when are you going to Pennistone Royal?”

“In three days. Gideon and I are driving up on Saturday. I’m glad. I’m already a bit panicky, to tell you the truth. I feel as if I’m going to give birth at any moment.” She said this lightly, laughing, but she was genuinely concerned that this might happen, that the twins might be premature.

So was Linnet. Evan and Gideon had delayed getting married until January because her own big, splashy wedding to Julian had been long-planned for this past December. They hadn’t wanted to compete. Pushing aside her worries, Linnet now also laughed and endeavored to reassure Evan. “You’ll be fine, darling. Julian and I will be there for the weekend, so I can help with any last-minute details for the wedding.”

“That’s lovely, thanks for offering, but there’s not much to do. It’s only the family, after all.”

“Your parents are coming over, though, aren’t they?”

“Oh yes, and my sisters. My mother’s already here; she arrived several days ago. And the others will be flying in next week. Robin’s being wonderful, very kind, and he’s invited my parents and sisters to stay at Lackland Priory.”

“Well, that’s nice of him, of course, but don’t forget you’ve given him a new lease on life, Evan. Mummy says he’s never looked better.”

Linnet now pushed herself to her feet and picked up her coat. “I’d better go, I’ve loads of paperwork to catch up with. Thanks for listening, and for your input. It was just what I needed.” She paused at the door, blew a kiss. “I’ll see you later.” Smiling, she was gone.

Evan gazed at the door, her face already clouding over.

She was fully aware that Linnet’s nonchalance was assumed, that in fact she was worried about her mother’s reaction to her ideas for the store. Although they were not particularly radical, Evan knew they would fall flat. As a newcomer, she saw Paula O’Neill from an entirely different viewpoint than did her daughters and India Standish, Paula’s niece. Evan was aware that their boss was determined to keep Harte’s in its traditional mode. What Linnet wanted to do wouldn’t destroy Harte’s image. Still, Paula would be upset. She was Emma Harte’s granddaughter and heiress, and she never deviated from the rules set down by Emma. Having run Harte’s in exactly the same way for well over thirty years, since before Emma’s death, she wasn’t likely to make any changes now.

There’ll be trouble between them, Evan suddenly thought. Real trouble.

Copyright © 2006 by Beaji Enterprises, Inc.

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

PART ONE
THE STORMY PETRELS
Summer 2001

"The name 'petrel' is said to be a diminutive of Peter: when feeding the bird flits and hovers just above the water, often with feet pattering on the surface, appearing to 'walk on water' as St. Peter did in the Bible story."
- Field Guide to the Birds of Britain


CHAPTER ONE

Evan Hughes stood in the middle of the fashion floor of Harte's department store in London's Knightsbridge. It was seven o'clock in the morning, and nothing stirred. By eight the cleaners would be moving around this vast space, and by nine a few of the dedicated sales staff would be arriving to prepare for the store doors opening at ten. Now, though, she was totally alone.

She loved this store and this floor in particular. It was her domain. And hers alone. Last week she had been made head of fashion, a big promotion which had thrilled her. But in her personal life, Evan had big decisions to make.

As she moved slowly across the floor, making for the new haute couture fashion displays, she couldn't help thinking about the first day she had walked into Harte's. January 2001. Eight months ago now. She had been very lucky that day. Quite by chance she had met the man of her dreams and found the job of her dreams. She had certainly never thought her dreams would come true that day. But in some ways, they did.

Pausing for a moment, Evan glanced around, her intelligent, light gray-blue eyes devouring everything: the fashion displays under bright lights, the elegance of the whole floor, such an important one in this prestigious department store, considered the greatest in theworld.

Harte's of Knightsbridge had been founded by one of the most famous merchant princes ever known: Emma Harte. She had been dead now for thirty years, and the store was run by Emma's granddaughter Paula O'Neill. Paula, an elegant woman in her mid-fifties, had inherited her grandmother's skills and brilliance as a retailer, and her daughters Tessa and Linnet were following in her footsteps. Both of them worked at the store; Tessa was in charge of the first three floors, which sold cosmetics, perfumes, leisure wear, lingerie, and active sports clothes. Linnet, Tessa's half sister, was in charge of the fashion floors and worked with Paula on public relations.

It was Linnet O'Neill who had hired Evan to be one of her assistants, and for the first few months Evan had helped Linnet put together a retrospective of fashion, which had been a huge success and pulled many new customers into the store.

Linnet. Tessa. Ambitious and complicated, they were now part of Evan's life.

As a reward for all her hard work and dedication, Linnet had given her this promotion...and Evan was in her element.

Evan stood in front of the couture fashion displays which had been finished late last night. They were great, she decided. The display staff had done a good job with the clothes she had selected.

Turning away, she walked down the floor, making for her office. Tall, slender, and dark haired, she was good looking, elegant. Back at her desk she glanced at the photograph of Gideon Harte. She had fallen in love with him, and he with her, that first day when he had bumped into her in the corridor. She had been looking for the management offices, and he had led her there, all the while firing questions at her. And it was Gideon who had told his cousin Linnet about her; Linnet had subsequently interviewed her and given her a job.

Sitting back in her chair, Evan thought about the past eight months and all that had happened.

She had never expected to find a second family in England. Only a year ago the only family she knew were her mother and father, and her two adopted sisters, who lived in Connecticut. But all that had changed because of her grandmother Glynnis Hughes. On her deathbed her grandmother had told Evan to go to England to find Emma Harte, adding that Emma was the key to her future. And Evan had done exactly that, only to discover Emma was dead. But she had fallen in love with the store and decided to get a job there.

And now here she was, working at Harte's, planning a future with Gideon, and struggling to adapt herself to a whole new family... because she herself was actually a Harte. It was Paula who had discovered through Emma's diaries that Evan was another great-granddaughter of Emma Harte's, because Evan's grandmother Glynnis had given birth to a son fathered by one of Emma's sons. And that child was Evan's father.

They had welcomed her, treated her kindly and with enormous understanding, but at times things had been difficult for Evan. So many things to unravel, so much to accept, so many people to get to know. Sometimes it seemed endless to her.

Most troubling of all was the knowledge she had about her father's biological father...which she had been afraid to relay to him. Would her father, Owen Hughes, welcome the information? Would he really want to know that the man who had brought him up was not his father after all? She didn't know, and she continued to wrestle with these questions.

Evan knew she had to come to a decision. Her mother and father were coming to London in a week or so, to spend time with her and have a vacation. Could she look her father in the eye and not tell him the truth? Could she keep it a secret? And should she? Nobody could advise her really. Gideon had told her to do what she thought best, and everyone else had been noncommittal.

The ball was back in her court.

Then there was Robin Ainsley, her new grandfather, the man who had been her grandmother's lover during the Second World War. He had been a pilot in the Royal Air Force, a Battle of Britain pilot, and her grandmother, Glynnis Jenkins then, had been a young woman from Wales who worked as Emma Harte's secretary, in this very store.

Evan liked Robin; her feelings were even stronger than that. And she knew only too well that he longed to meet his son Owen Hughes. But would her father want to meet this "stranger"...a stranger who was his real father? His mother's lover. 'Oh God.'

Evan turned on her computer and after a few moments started to work on it, but within an hour the troubling thoughts about Robin, Glynnis, and her father's imminent arrival began to intrude. Turning the computer off, she made her decision. She would take Linnet's advice and go to Yorkshire after all for a week's rest. And she would go to see Robin Ainsley, still needing to know about his relationship with her grandmother, and most of all to truly understand why Robin and Glynnis had never married.


Copyright 2005 by Barbara Taylor Bradford
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 27, 2011

    i would not recommend this book

    this book was so juvenile-ly written and poorly developed. it was worse than watching a soap opera as it was written in exactly the same style as a run down soap... BTB spent the whole book replaying past books that anyone who has never read any of her books just got the whole run down in 464 pgs of wasted time. every time i turned a page all i heard about was the old BS and nothing new enough to call this book a continuation of any saga, just a boring rerun of six previous novels... i have not read the books between A Woman of Substance and Just Rewards, but after having read this one i have saved myself so much money and time. I was really disappointed in this book, i felt like i was talked down to and totally robbed of a story line. are all her recent books this same style, if they are i will never waste another dime on any of her novels...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2011

    OMG!!! What a Page-Turner!!!

    Another excellent book in the Harte Family Saga!!! How does Barabra Taylor Bradford do it??? She is a truly remarkable author.I am losing sleep with this series. Linnett, Tessa, Evan, and India are truly amazing ladies. They all have that Harte strength to succeed. This is a must read book for any fan of Women of Substance or anyone who wants to read a truly great book. Strongly recommend this book. Can't wait to read the last book in this series. I just wish it didn't end with the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2007

    This Can't Be The End!

    How can this book be the conclusion of the Emma Harte saga...one more book at least is needed to take care of Jonathan Ainsley. Please don't leave us hanging!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2006

    Emma, Emma, Emma

    Emma Harte has been dead for thirty years, but she rules from the grave. It seems that Emma is mentioned on just about every other page as her myriad descendents, in-laws and hangers-on slavishly follow her 'rules' and talk incessantly about their encounters with her. I found it very tiresome, and it detracted from the story, rather than adding anything to it. Seriously, now, is anyone held in such reverence thirty years after their death? 'A Woman of Substance' was an excellent book, but the five sequels each go further downhill. I don't know why I keep reading them. I guess Emma is ruling me from the grave, too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2006

    Not a Good Continuation of the Harte Saga

    The previous Harte saga books have been filled with emotion, decent, love, adventure and excitement. This chapter falls flat on its face. The author spends 75% of the time explaining the relationships between people and describing their wardrobe and none of the time developing their characters. She has a wicked villian in Jonathan but fails to use him and his new amour in this story. He just seems to be a matter of convenience to use when something bad happens not the great cause. I wuld not recommend this book unless you need to keep track of the '3 clans' for the next book. But if the next one is like this one you won't need to the author will keep you up to date. Too many characters and not enough substance - back to the first novel!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2006

    Barbara never fails to give us her best.

    I absolutely love the way Barbara writes. Her sequels are fabulous and once I start reading them I can't put the book down. I can't wait until the next one comes out.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    OUTSTANDING VOICE PERFORMANCES

    Platinum penned Barbara Taylor Bradford has written the last in her Harte family series, which began with A Woman of Substance in 1979. Terry Donnelly, who reads the Unabridged version, and Kate Burton, who reads the Abridged edition, should both be dubbed golden voices. Well remembered for her vocal performances of Emma's Secret and Unexpected Blessings, Burton needs no introduction. Daughter of Richard Burton she has numerous stage performances to her credit and delivers Bradford's stories with cool, crisp diction in an enjoyable to hear voice. Familiar to TV audiences through her appearances on Law and Order, The Irish and How They Got That Way, plus others, Terry Donnelly possesses a stage trained voice that is perfectly suited to Bradford's unconquerable women. With Just Rewards we find Emma Harte's descendants, most notably her great-granddaughter, Linnet O'Neill, who despite some family opposition wants to bring the family business up to date. Her hopes are entwined with her sister's attempts to begin life anew after divorce, one cousin is planning a posh wedding, and another introduces trouble. Bradford fans will find the conclusion to this romantic saga irresistible, especially as delivered by Burton and Donnelly. - Gail Cooke

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Redundant

    Positively one of the worst BTB books I've ever read. How many times do you have to read JA is the black sheep or other repetative descriptions? Long, over drawn, tedious, and overall a let down. Couldn't wait for it to end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2006

    PLEASE!

    PLEASE don't leave the faithful followers of Emma Harte and her descendants hanging. Just Rewards would be, indeed, if Jonathan and his paramour/wife would get their JUST REWARDS!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2005

    A Just Conclusion To The Harte Series...Or Is It?

    I got my copy of Just Rewards last week from Australia. I blazed through it in two days and am only now recovering from the shocking ending! Without giving too much away, I love how this book is about Jonathan Ainsley (the heavy) and Anharad. Granted, the other characters (Paula, Evan, Linett, Tessa, etc) are all there too. But opening and closing the story with our favorite villian was perfect...and terribly satisfying. A strong sequel. I only hope this isn't the last of the Harte stories. At least the ending is left open just a crack for a possible continuation down the road.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2006

    Just Rewards Indeed!

    Just Rewards is the best of the recent trilogy in Barbara Taylor Bradford's Emma Harte series. And it is one of her best books to date. For those who enjoy the exploits of Jonathan Ainsley (sworn enemey to the Hartes), this book is packed with tales of revenge plots and a scandalous affiar with one of the family. This is a delicious high-point in which to conclude this series. Though the author does leave open the door for a continuation down the road.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2005

    Is it worth it?

    It almost seems like BTB is trying to reinvent the wheel. When Emma's diary was discovered it seemed that all the missing gaps in the lives of Emma and Blackie might be filled in. There would be enough fodder there for more books that could continue with the characters and events that the fans loved.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a fun time for Emma¿s myriad of fans

    In London Linnet O'Neill remains the heir apparent to the matriarchal Harte family business still run by her mother Paula. However, Linnet knows that besides her mom watching her progress, her grandmother Daisy, and her late great-grandmother Edwina look over her shoulders too and rival half-sister Tessa Fairley Longden would love to push her aside. She feels especially good for her assistant, former American sales clerk Evan Hughes, who is carrying twins and has plans with her lover Gideon Harte. --- However, the idyllic times ends when Linnet¿s half-sister Tessa Fairley Longden calls in a panic that her little girl Adele has vanished. Linnet¿s initial reaction is that Tessa¿s estrange spouse Mark abducted their daughter as a pawn to get his hands on billions so with her mother in New York, she calls for a family brainstorming session to decide what to do. All agree that Mark kidnapped the child except Evan who wonders if something more sinister happened to Adele. What to do to save Adele is as important as working the media feeding frenzy, but first Paula must know. --- This is third tale of the next generation mini series starring the powerful four females whom continue the dynasty set forth by Emma. Thankfully there is an opening score sheet that list the myriad of members as their seems to be a zillion of them. The story line takes its time to get into action mode as each of the prime women (that includes Paula) ponder the relative strengths of their gene pool and their wealth. The fears for Adele¿s safety threaten to reveal other secrets as the family tries to come together, which means a fun time for Emma¿s myriad of fans. ---Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews

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