Promise Me Forever

Promise Me Forever

4.4 31
by Lorraine Heath
     
 

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On the outside, Lauren Fairfield appears the very picture of cool, contained nobility and blueblood British sophistication. Inside, however, she longs for Tom, the charming rogue she loved—and lost.

Now a sinfully handsome would-be gentleman has arrived in London—and Lauren nearly swoons when she realizes it is her Tom, grown to magnificent

Overview

On the outside, Lauren Fairfield appears the very picture of cool, contained nobility and blueblood British sophistication. Inside, however, she longs for Tom, the charming rogue she loved—and lost.

Now a sinfully handsome would-be gentleman has arrived in London—and Lauren nearly swoons when she realizes it is her Tom, grown to magnificent manhood. He has come to claim his lost title as Earl of Sachse . . .and to fulfill an oath once made by two young lovers beneath a long-ago moon, a scandalous promise no proper lady would dare honor.

Lauren could never love a staid and stifling lord, and Tom's future is the aristocracy. So she will teach him their ways before she exits his life forever. But the wildness she adored still lives in Tom's heart—and he will not rest until he proves to the proud, resisting beauty that "forever" is a promise that must be kept . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061750533
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/17/2009
Series:
Lost Lords of Pembroke Series , #3
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
40,107
File size:
461 KB

Read an Excerpt

Promise Me Forever


By Lorraine Heath

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Lorraine Heath
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060749822

Chapter One

London
1880

"They say he's devilishly handsome."

"They say he's frightfully uncivilized!"

"No surprise there. He's American, after all."

"Not quite. He may have grown up in America, but his blood is as English as yours or mine."

"Thank God for small favors, I say."

"I've heard he has more money than the queen."

"I daresay he'll need every ha'penny in order to secure himself a suitable wife. Quite honestly, who among us has any desire to marry a savage?"

Who indeed? Sitting within her stepfather's drawing room, having contributed not a single word to the ludicrous conversation based on speculation and the latest round of gossip, Lauren Fairfield couldn't help but think that her four uninvited guests were doing exactly what they claimed they wouldn't be caught dead doing: entertaining the notion of marrying a savage. If not marrying him, then at the very least gleefully consorting with him. Their eyes were filled with mischief, their cheeks were flushed, and they were studying her as though they thought she had firsthand experience at being ravished and might advise them on the best recourse for pursuing the possibilities.

She hardly knew how to respond to theseladies who had been among the first to accept her into their prestigious inner circle. They were known to swoon upon occasion, at will, their performances worthy of a standing ovation. And why not? They'd held numerous swooning parties in their youth, so they could hone their skills. It was, after all, expected: to be so delicate and fragile that one was always in danger of being broken, to leave no doubt in gentlemen's minds that the men were the stronger of the sexes. It was a ghastly way to live, keeping one's true self hidden behind a screen of expectations that transformed into obligations.

When the looming silence became rather uncomfortable, Lady Blythe reached out and lightly touched Lauren's hand. "Oh, you must forgive us, dear friend, if we offended you by referring to the barbaric nature of Americans."

"We meant no offense," Lady Cassandra concurred. "One wouldn't know by your mannerisms that you're American, and thus we always seem to forget that you are. Which is a grand compliment, I would say."

The other two young ladies in attendance bobbed their heads and murmured their agreement. Like them, Lauren wore the latest fashion: a slenderizing skirt that accentuated her tiny waist and narrow hips. She was grateful the bustle had at last disappeared from fashionable clothing, but she suspected that Ladies Blythe and Cassandra missed it. Their hips weren't well suited to the narrower skirts. A cruel thought that was most unlike Lauren. Perhaps she hadn't quite lost her American mannerisms as much as they thought.

Or perhaps she was simply too weary to extend the proper courtesies. The ladies had arrived right on her heels, after a particularly challenging day, and Lauren had barely had time to greet her stepfather, the earl of Ravenleigh, before she found herself in the role of hostess, since her mother and sisters had gone out for a bit of afternoon shopping.

"I'm deeply flattered that you hold me in such high regard," she finally responded, more out of habit than anything -else. She and her sisters had spent hours practicing their replies to insincere compliments, so they at least appeared sincere. Sometimes she felt as though her life had become an elaborate play, scripted, rehearsed, performed, words spoken because they were the predictable response. She'd recently taken to doing the unpredictable, and while she was doing it in secret, it still brought her a measure of satisfaction to be doing it at all.

"As well you should be," Lady Cassandra acknowledged. "I daresay nothing is worse than a crass American. While you, dear friend, pass as En-glish with no effort at all."

No effort? Had the lady forgotten how often they'd rolled their eyes at her when she'd first arrived in London? How they'd grimaced at her drawl, snickered at her poor choice of words? How often she'd been the object of hurtful gossip, because she hadn't known the difference between an earl, a duke, or a marquess, and had once -- upon being introduced to a knight -- asked if he would show her his suit of armor? Did Lady Cassandra have no idea as to how often Lauren had fallen asleep on a pillow soaked with her tears?

Why every aspect of Lauren's behavior was an effort: to sit properly, walk properly, speak properly . . . to remember titles and correct forms of address, to know when to curtsy and when to smile at a gentleman, how to subtly flirt without being brazen, how to tamp down boldness. Always, always to comport herself as the most refined in polite society, above reproach, rumor, or innuendo.

She'd practiced, studied, observed, and emulated until she was no longer an embarrassment to herself or her stepfather. Until all her American idiosyncrasies were buried so deeply that she thought she was in danger of never again finding them. Until she'd become, as Lady Blythe had alluded, so near to being the perfect English lady that few remembered the uncultured family Ravenleigh had possessed the audacity to bring back with him from Texas when he'd gone to visit his twin brother, Kit Montgomery.

Until she feared that she might have even lost herself. Although she'd recently begun to take actions to rectify that possibility, she could only hope that she hadn't waited until it was too late.

"So tell us," Lady Blythe prodded with characteristic exuberance, "did you ever meet the latest Earl of Sachse?"

Ah, at last, the true purpose behind their visit: to discover what she might be able to reveal about the man who had only a short time ago arrived on England's shores to claim his rightful title.

Continues...


Excerpted from Promise Me Forever by Lorraine Heath Copyright © 2006 by Lorraine Heath. 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.

Meet the Author

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She's been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA's prestigious RITA®. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

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Promise Me Forever 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the epilogue. One of her best stories. This is the fourth book in a series yet can stand alone.
slimikin More than 1 year ago
Not a bad romance, but I'm a little tempted to knock it down a star purely due to the way the author ended the epilogue. I don't want to know how the hero and heroine die, thank you very much. I don't want to know how many years they ended up having together or who died first and I absolutely don't want to know where they were buried or what was written on the tombstone! Way to ruin the happy-ending high.... So if you're looking for an enjoyable read, pick this up...but unless you have a morbid curiosity about how the hero and heroine end their lives, you might want to consider skipping the epilogue.
janeeyre01 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this story. It is going on my keeper shelf as soon as I get it. I have now checked it out of the library a few times. The love between Ms Fairchild and Mr. Warner over the length of time that the book is set is great. Of coarse you have to have road bumps along the way, but now great love story is perfect is it?? The epilogue that Ms Heath put on this book brings me to tears no matter how many times I read it. You ill have to read it to see why.. It is wonderful!!! I will tell you I love a happily ever after:-) This book goes beyond the 5 star rating in my opinion, but everyones tastes defers so you be the judge.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book, with touching characters and an ending that will make you melt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lauren and Toms story is on my favorite list. Plot, characters, humor, romance... it has everything that I love in a historical romance , love... love....love!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
maria1213 More than 1 year ago
Loved this book I loved how it goes back when they were young and when it comes back to how they are grown older I loved how it begins and how it ended. But the EPILOGUE!!! OMG! it was the most amazing epilogue ever i loved it and its one of the book I just have to keep reading. You would love it 
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Whit25 More than 1 year ago
Absolutely delicious! Thanks Ms. Heath for the beautiful epilogue! Your characters are wonderful!
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