Long Time Coming

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In more than fifty New York Times bestselling novels, Sandra Brown has captivated her millions of readers with stories of charismatic love and tantalizing twists of fate. In this classic tale, a woman is reunited with the man she has loved for years—and must reveal the secret that will jeopardize her chance for happiness at last.

He arrived out of the blue—a flesh-and-blood phantom from the past in a sports car as sleek and sexy as Law Kincaid himself. The world-famous astronaut...

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In more than fifty New York Times bestselling novels, Sandra Brown has captivated her millions of readers with stories of charismatic love and tantalizing twists of fate. In this classic tale, a woman is reunited with the man she has loved for years—and must reveal the secret that will jeopardize her chance for happiness at last.

He arrived out of the blue—a flesh-and-blood phantom from the past in a sports car as sleek and sexy as Law Kincaid himself. The world-famous astronaut was as devastatingly attractive as the first time Marnie Hibbs had laid eyes on him, seventeen years before. But she well knew the perils of falling for a ladies’ man like Law. And this time she had someone besides herself to protect. Law is determined to discover who is sending him anonymous letters claiming he’d fathered a son he knows nothing about. Showing up at the Hibbs’s return address from the letters seemed like a step in the right direction. Marnie swears she isn’t the guilty party, but when Law meets her son, it’s like a one-two punch to his solar plexus. The boy is nearly the spitting image of Law. Law can’t remember sleeping with Marnie—then again, he can’t remember much about his crazy past. But there’s more to it than that: Marnie claims the boy isn’t biologically hers.

As the tension between them becomes unbearable and the attraction undeniable, Marnie is forced to reveal a long-held secret...one that might cause her to lose both the boy she loves more than anyone—and the man she desires more than anything.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553562781
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 231
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 6.81 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown is the author of more than fifty New York Times bestsellers, with over seventy million copies of her books in print. She and her family divide their time between South Carolina and Texas.


In 1979, Sandra Brown lost her job at a television program and decided to give writing a try. She bought an armful of romance novels and writing books, set up a typewriter on a card table and wrote her first novel. Harlequin passed but Dell bit, and Brown was off and writing, publishing her works under an assortment of pseudonyms.

From such modest beginnings, Brown has evolved into multimillion publishing empire of one, the CEO of her own literary brand; she towers over the landscape of romantic fiction. Brown has used her growing clout to insist her publishers drop the bosom-and-biceps covers and has added more intricate subplots, suspense, and even unhappy endings to her work. The result: A near-constant presence on The New York Times bestsellers list. In 1992, she had three on the list at the same time, joining that exclusive club of Stephen King, Tom Clancy, J. K. Rowling, and Danielle Steel.

Her work in the mainstream realm has taken her readers into The White House, where the president's newborn dies mysteriously; the oil fields and bedrooms of a Dallas-like family dynasty; and the sexual complications surrounding an investigation into an evangelist's murder. Such inventions have made her a distinct presence in a crowded genre.

"Brown is perhaps best known now for her longer novels of romantic suspense. The basic outline for these stories has passionate love, lust, and violence playing out against a background of unraveling secrets and skeletons jumping out of family closets," wrote Barbara E. Kemp in the book Twentieth-Century Romance & Historical Writers . Kemp also praises Brown's sharp dialogue and richly detailed characters. "However, her greatest key to success is probably that she invites her readers into a fantasy world of passion, intrigue, and danger," she wrote. "They too can face the moral and emotional dilemmas of the heroine, safe in the knowledge that justice and love will prevail."

Critics give her points for nimble storytelling but are cooler to her "serviceable prose," in the words of one Publishers Weekly reviewer. Still, when writing a crack page-turner, the plot's the thing. A 1992 New York Times review placed Brown among a group of a writers "who have mastered the art of the slow tease."

Staggeringly prolific, Brown found her writing pace ground to a halt when she was given a different assignment. A magazine had asked her for an autobiographical piece, and it took her months to complete. Her life in the suburbs, though personally fulfilling, was nonetheless blander than fiction. That may be why she dives into her fiction writing with such workhorse gusto. "I love being the bad guy," she told Publishers Weekly in 1995, "simply because I was always so responsible, so predictable growing up. I made straight A's and never got into any trouble, and I still impose those standards on myself. So writing is my chance to escape and become the sleaziest, scummiest role."

When she started writing, her goal was always to break out of the parameters of romance. After about 45 romances, the woman who counts Tennessee Williams and Taylor Caldwell among her influences told The New York Times that felt she had reached a plateau. In fact, she doesn't even look at her books as romances anymore. "I think of my books now as suspense novels, usually with a love story incorporated," she said. "They're absolutely a lot harder to write than romances. They take more plotting and real character development. Each book is a stretch for me, and I try something interesting each time that males will like as well as women."

Good To Know

  • "I hate to exercise and only do so because I absolutely must."

  • "I love to eat and my favorite foods are all bad for the body. Fried chicken and gravy, TexMex, red meat (hey, I'm from Texas!). My only saving grace is that I'm not that fond of sweets. Salty is my thing. Chocolate cake and ice cream I can skip. But a bag of Fritos. . ."

  • "It takes me a long time to go to sleep, usually because I read in bed and hate to put down the book. But when I do nod off, I'm a champion sleeper. I can easily do eight or nine hours a night."

  • "My worst "thing" is mean-spirited people. People who deliberately belittle or embarrass someone really irk me. The people I admire most are the ones who find something good about even the most undesirable individual. That was a quality my mother had, the one I hope most to emulate."

  • "I have a fear of gravity. Recently my whole family went to Belize. We had several adventures. We tubed a river through miles of cave, wearing head lamps so we'd have illumination. No problem. I scaled Mayan ruins. I rode horseback (on a monster named Al Capone) through the rain forest. No problem. But I couldn't zip line. Even though my five-year-old grandsons did it with glee, I just couldn't make that leap."

  • "I and my husband are huge fans of Jeopardy! We never miss it if we can help it. Does that make us complete dorks?"

  • Read More Show Less
      1. Also Known As:
        Laura Jordan, Rachel Ryan and Erin St. Claire
      2. Hometown:
        Arlington, TX
      1. Date of Birth:
        March 12, 1948
      2. Place of Birth:
        Waco, Texas
      1. Education:
        Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Texas Christian University, 2008
      2. Website:

    Read an Excerpt

    Long Time Coming

    By Sandra Brown

    Random House

    Sandra Brown
    All right reserved.

    ISBN: 055380409X

    Chapter One


    The Porsche crept along the street like a sleek black panther. Hugging the curb, its engine purred so deep and low it sounded like a predator's growl.

    Marnie Hibbs was kneeling in the fertile soil of her flower bed, digging among the impatiens under the ligustrum bushes and cursing the little bugs that made three meals a day of them, when the sound of the car's motor attracted her attention. She glanced at it over her shoulder, then panicked as it came to a stop in front of her house.

    "Lord, is it that late?" she muttered. Dropping her trowel, she stood up and brushed the clinging damp earth off her bare knees.

    She reached up to push her dark bangs off her forehead before she realized that she still had on her heavy gardening gloves. Quickly she peeled them off and dropped them beside the trowel, all the while watching the driver get out of the sports car and start up her front walk.

    Glancing at her wristwatch, she saw that she hadn't lost track of time. He was just very early for their appointment, and as a result, she wasn't going to make a very good first impression. Being hot, sweaty, and dirty was no way to meet a client. And she needed this commission badly.

    Forcing a smile, she moved down the sidewalk to greet him, nervously trying to remember if she had left the house and studio reasonably neat when she decided to do an hour's worth of yard work. She had planned to tidy up before he arrived.

    She might look like the devil, but she didn't want to appear intimidated. Self-confident friendliness was the only way to combat the disadvantage of having been caught looking her worst.

    He was still several yards away from her when she greeted him. "Hello," she said with a bright smile. "Obviously we got our signals switched. I thought you weren't coming until later."

    "I decided this diabolical game of yours had gone on long enough."

    Marnie's sneakers skidded on the old concrete walk as she came to an abrupt halt. She tilted her head in stunned surprise. "I'm sorry, I-"

    "Who the hell are you, lady?"

    "Miss Hibbs. Who do you think?"

    "Never heard of you. Just what the devil are you up to?"

    "Up to?" She glanced around helplessly, as though the giant sycamores in her front yard might provide an answer to this bizarre interrogation.

    "Why've you been sending me those letters?"


    He was clearly furious, and her lack of comprehension only seemed to make him angrier. He bore down on her like a hawk on a field mouse, until she had to bow her back to look up at him. The summer sun was behind him, casting him in silhouette.

    He was blond, tall, trim, and dressed in casual slacks and a sport shirt-all stylish, impeccably so. He was wearing opaque aviator glasses, so she couldn't see his eyes, but if they were as belligerent as his expression and stance, she was better off not seeing them.

    "I don't know what you're talking about."

    "The letters, lady, the letters." He strained the words through a set of strong white teeth.

    "What letters?"

    "Don't play dumb."

    "Are you sure you've got the right house?"

    He took another step forward. "I've got the right house," he said in a voice that was little more than a snarl.

    "Obviously you don't." She didn't like being put on the defensive, especially by someone she'd never met over something of which she was totally ignorant. "You're either crazy or drunk, but in any case, you're wrong. I'm not the person you're looking for and I demand that you leave my property. Now."

    "You were expecting me. I could tell by the way you spoke to me."

    "I thought you were the man from the advertising agency."

    "Well, I'm not."

    "Thank God." She would hate having to do business with someone this irrational and ill-tempered.

    "You know damn well who I am," he said, peeling off the sunglasses.

    Marnie sucked in a quick, sharp breath and fell back a step because she did indeed know who he was. She raised a hand to her chest in an attempt at keeping her jumping heart in place. "Law," she gasped.

    "That's right. Law Kincaid. Just like you wrote it on the envelopes."

    She was shocked to see him after all these years, standing only inches in front of her. This time he wasn't merely a familiar image in the newspaper or on her television screen. He was flesh and blood. The years had been kind to that flesh, improving his looks, not eroding them.

    She wanted to stand and stare, but he was staring at her with unmitigated contempt and no recognition at all. "Let's go inside, Mr. Kincaid," she suggested softly.

    Several of her neighbors, who had been taking advantage of the sunny weekend weather to do yard chores, had stopped moving, edging, and watering to gawk at the car and Miss Hibbs's visitor.
    It wasn't out of the ordinary for a man to come to her house. Many of her clients were men and most of them consulted with her there. Generally they were stodgy executives in dark business suits. Few had deep tans, looked like movie stars, and drove such ostentatious cars.

    This area of Houston wasn't glitzy like some of the newer neighborhoods. Most of the residents were middle-aged and drove sensible sedans. A Porsche on the block was a curious thing indeed. And to her neighbors' recollections, Marnie Hibbs had never engaged in a shouting match with anyone.

    She turned on the squeaky rubber soles of her sneakers and led Law Kincaid up the sidewalk and through the front door of her house. Air-conditioning was a welcome respite from the humidity outside, but since she was damp with perspiration, the colder air chilled her. Or maybe it was her distinct awareness of the man behind her that was giving her goose bumps.

    "This way."

    She led him down a spacious hallway, the kind that could be found only in houses built before World War II, and toward the glassed-in back porch, which served as her studio. There she felt more at home, more at ease, and better able to deal with the astonishing reality that Law Kincaid had unexpectedly walked into her life again.

    When she turned to face him, his arctic-blue eyes were darting around the studio. They connected with hers like magnets.

    "Well?" he said tersely, placing his hands on his hips. He was obviously awaiting a full explanation for something Marnie was in the dark about herself.

    "I don't know anything about any letters, Mr. Kincaid."

    "They were mailed from this address."

    "Then there's been a mistake at the post office."

    "Unlikely. Not five times over the course of several weeks. Look, Mrs. uh . . . what was it again?"

    "Hibbs. Miss Hibbs."

    He gave her a swift, inquisitive once-over. "Miss Hibbs, I've been a bachelor for thirty-nine years.

    "It's been a while since puberty. I don't remember every woman I've gone to bed with."

    Her heart did another little dance number, and she took a quick, insufficient breath. "I've never been to bed with you."

    He threw one hip slightly off-center and cocked his head arrogantly. "Then how is it that you claim to have mothered a son by me? A son I'd never even heard of until I got your first letter several weeks ago."

    Marnie stared at him with speechless dismay. She could feel the color draining from her face. It felt like the world had been yanked from beneath her feet.

    "I've never had a child. And I repeat, I never sent you a letter." She gestured at a chair. "Why don't you sit down?" She didn't offer him a seat out of courtesy or any concern for his comfort. She was afraid that if she didn't sit, and soon, her knees would buckle beneath her.

    He thought about it for a moment, gnawing irritably on the corner of his lower lip before he moved to a rattan chair. He sat down on the very edge of the cushion, as though wanting to be ready to spring off it if the need arose.

    Self-conscious of her muddy sneakers, ragged cutoffs, and ancient T-shirt, Marnie sat in the matching chair facing his. She sat straight, keeping her dirty knees together and clasping her hands nervously on the tops of her thighs.

    She felt unclothed and vulnerable as his incisive eyes moved over her, taking in her face, her uncombed hair, her yard work attire, and her grubby knees.

    "You recognized me." He shot the sentence at her like a missile.

    "Anybody who watches TV or reads a newspaper would recognize you. You're the most popular astronaut since John Glenn."

    "And therefore I'm a visible target for every nutcase who comes down the pike."

    "I am not a nutcase!"

    "Then why the hell have you been sending me those letters? That's not even an original idea, you know. I get several dozen a day."


    "They're not all fan letters. Some are hate mail from the religious crazies who believe we're going where God never intended man to go. Some credit God with the Challenger accident-His punishment for our tampering with heaven or nonsense to that effect. I've had proposals of marriage and of other assorted liaisons of a prurient and/or perverted nature," he said dryly.

    "How nice for you."

    Ignoring her snide remark, he continued. "But your letters had a stroke of originality. You were the first one to claim that I was the father of your child."

    "Don't you listen? I told you I've never had a child. How could you possibly be the father?"

    "My point exactly, Miss Hibbs!" he shouted.

    Marnie stood. So did he. He tracked her when she moved to her drafting table and needlessly began rearranging sketch pencils and paintbrushes in their various canisters.

    "You were also the first one to threaten me with public exposure if I didn't do what you wanted me to."

    She turned to find him very close. She could even feel the fabric of his trousers against her bare legs. "What possible threat could I pose to you? You're the fair-haired child of the space program, hailed as a hero. You held every American spellbound in front of his television set while you and a Russian cosmonaut shook hands over a peace treaty in space.

    "There was a ticker-tape parade in honor of you and your crew in New York. You had dinner at the White House with the President and First Lady. Almost singlehandedly you've turned around public opinion on NASA, which certainly wasn't favorable after Challenger. Critics of manned space flight are being ridiculed after what you've done.

    "To pit little ol' me against a celebrity giant like you, I would have to be crazy or stupid. I assure you that I'm neither."

    "You called me Law."

    After her lengthy speech, his four-word rebuttal came as an anticlimax that took her off guard. "What?"

    "When you first recognized me, you called me Law."

    "Which happens to be your name."

    "But the average man on the street would address me as Colonel Kincaid, nothing as familiar as Law. Unless we'd known each other well before."

    She sidestepped that. "What did these alleged letters demand from you?"

    "Money first."

    "Money?" she exclaimed. "How crass."

    "Followed by public acknowledgment of my son."

    Marnie eased herself from between him and the drafting table. His closeness was wreaking havoc on her ability to think clearly. She began shuffling through a stack of sketches left lying on one of her worktables. "I'm a very independent, self-reliant person. I would never ask you or anybody else for money."

    "This is a nice neighborhood, a big house."

    "My parents'."

    "They live here with you?"

    "No. My father is dead. My mother suffered a stroke several months ago and is in a rest home." She slapped down the stack of sketches and faced him. "I manage to support myself. What business of yours is any of this?"

    "I think the victim ought to get to know his extortioner." Huskily he added, "In every way."
    His eyes moved over her again. This time more slowly and analytically. She saw them pause in the vicinity of her breasts, which the damp T-shirt did little to conceal. She could feel her nipples projecting against the worn, soft cotton and tried unsuccessfully to convince herself that the response resulted from the air-conditioning, and not Law Kincaid's stare.

    "I'm afraid you'll have to excuse me now," she said with affected haughtiness. "I'm expecting someone soon and I've got to clean up."

    "Who are you expecting? The agency man?" At her startled expression, he said, "You mentioned him when I first got here."

    "He has an appointment to look at my proposed sketches for a commission."

    "You're an artist?"

    "An illustrator."

    "For whom?"

    "For myself. I freelance."

    "What project are you working on?"

    "The cover of the Houston telephone directory."

    His tawny eyebrows rose a fraction, impressed. "That's quite a commission."

    "I haven't gotten it yet." Marnie could have bitten her tongue the minute the words were out. He was shrewd enough to catch the slip.

    "It would be an important commission to you?"

    "Of course. Now, if you'll-"

    He caught her arm as she tried to go around him, headed for the front door. "It must get tough, living from one commission to the next while you maintain this house and pay your sick mother's medical bills."

    "I do fine."

    "But you're not rich."

    "Not by a long shot."

    "That's why you've been writing me these threatening letters, isn't it? To get money from me?"

    "No. For the umpteenth time, I haven't ever written you a letter."

    "Blackmail's a serious crime, Miss Hibbs."

    "And a charge too ridiculous even to discuss. Now, please let go of my arm."

    He wasn't hurting her. But his encircling fingers held her much too close to him. She was close enough to smell his sexy cologne and the minty freshness of his breath, close enough to see the dark centers of eyes that had sold more copies of Time than any other issue in history when they'd graced the front cover.

    "You seem reasonably intelligent," he said.<<br>

    Excerpted from Long Time Coming by Sandra Brown 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 3.5
    ( 14 )
    Rating Distribution

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    Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted January 4, 2008

      Looooved it!!

      This is one Sandra Brown book that I checked out from the library and am now going to purchase. I am continually amazed at how accurately Sandra portrays her characters and their romantic entanglements. I try reading other authors, but keep coming back to Sandra Brown.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted February 29, 2012

      more from this reviewer


      Long Time Coming by Sandra Brown
      Marnie is raising a teen ager and is working on an advertisement for a freelance job when the astronaut comes to her
      house and wants to know why she's been sending him letters that he's the father of her child. They had met back 14
      years ago one summer when their families summered at the beach. Law had gone out a few times with her sister and
      she did have a baby, David later dying in a car crash. That's how got to raise her sister's child. Her mother was in a
      local nursing home and the expenses were adding up.
      He spends time in the area to get to know his son and her, he would've remembered making love to her.
      After the test he does confess to her that he is the father and they need to talk more.
      He finds out a lot more when he looks through the family albums and Marnie tells him of her sister, Sharon and when she got
      pregnant and had the baby. Pictures of David as a child.
      Marnie solves the mystery also of who's been sending the letters to Law.

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

      Posted April 17, 2010

      More Research Needed

      I believe that this is the first time that I was really interested in the plot and writing of a book but was unable to finish it. I enjoyed Law and David and Marnie immensely. the lack of proper research confused me to no end. Going into this book, I knew that Kincaid is an astronaut and was curious as to whether he was a naval aviator or part of the Air Force. I thought my problem was solved when he mentioned that he was a Colonel. Later, I was confounded for a minute when he went said that he went to Annapolis; however, I remembered that after going to the Naval academy you can become commissioned into the Marines. This fit with Kincaid being a Colonel. However, I almost gave up reading when Marnie said that Law is in the Navy. I gave Sandra Brown the benefit of the doubt as to what branch of the service he was in, but I couldn't take it any longer. The Navy is unique its rankings; while the Air Force, Army, and even the Marines have the same rankings, the Navy is different and has no Colonels! The Naval equivalent would be the Captain. I am surprised that no one caught this error. I had to give up on this book because every time Kincaid was referred to as "Colonel" I was pulled out of the story.

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

      Posted September 25, 2007


      I usually like Sandra Brown books but was disappointed in this one. When the guy tries to seduce the woman by getting naked in the pool rubbing himself on her I was disgusted. It sounds like something a dog would do.

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 9, 2007

      A reviewer

      This was a short and sweet book, a softer side to Sandra Brown that I had never read before. I really enjoyed reading this on the beach.

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

      Posted May 18, 2006


      I think 'Long Time Coming' is a wonderful book. It has love written all over it. I wish that I could have held onto a love for that long from my childhood. I have read every Sandra Brown Book and I've loved them all. Some more than others but for the most part they are all great in there own way. Please read this book if you love romance.

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

      Posted February 27, 2006

      Very disappointing

      I have read many many Sandra Brown's and this one was terrible!! The dialog was silly and the whole story was flat and dry. What a waste of good paper!! I will read Sandra again but this was just awful!!

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted October 10, 2004

      A great story

      I thought this story was good. The relationship between the two characters was great. Its about a woman who is taking care of her sisters son and one day the father comes back into both her and Davids life.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 24, 2011

      No text was provided for this review.

    • Anonymous

      Posted October 25, 2008

      No text was provided for this review.

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      Posted August 4, 2009

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