Red Roses Mean Love

Red Roses Mean Love

4.8 22
by Jacquie D'Alessandro
     
 

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Yellow for friendship.
Pink for passion. But . . .
Red Roses Mean Love.

She dreamed of roses....

Orphaned and abandoned by her fiancé, Hayley Albright is determined to care for her younger siblings even if it means having to give up her own dreams. She doesn't expect to ever find love or get married . . . until one moonlit night when she

Overview

Yellow for friendship.
Pink for passion. But . . .
Red Roses Mean Love.

She dreamed of roses....

Orphaned and abandoned by her fiancé, Hayley Albright is determined to care for her younger siblings even if it means having to give up her own dreams. She doesn't expect to ever find love or get married . . . until one moonlit night when she saves the life of a mysterious stranger.

. . . And he wants only to make her dreams come true....

Lord Stephen Barrett woke up gazing at the face of an angel. He was alive. And safe, for now, from the killer stalking his every move. Allowing Hayley to believe he is just a tutor of modest means, Stephen stays on for reasons of his own, never anticipating the passions Hayley would stir in his cold, wary heart. Her innocence is pure seduction. Her touch is sweet temptation. And suddenly the man who has everything is willing to risk it all—for a woman who has nothing to give . . . but all her heart. . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440235538
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/28/1999
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.81(d)

Read an Excerpt

London Outskirts, 1820

Someone was following him.

Dread curled down Stephen's back and settled like a brick in his gut. He reined Pericles to an abrupt halt and scanned the area around him, straining to pick up any sound or movement.

It was so dark, he could barely discern the outline of the forest surrounding him on both sides of the deserted road. A pine-scented breeze cooled the July air. A chorus of crickets hummed nearby. Nothing seemed amiss.

But he was in danger.

He knew it.

An icy chill of foreboding shivered through his body. Someone was there. Watching him. Waiting for him.

How the hell did they find me out here? I was certain I slipped out of London unnoticed. His lips twisted. So much for spending a few peaceful days at his private lodge. Stephen's thoughts were halted by the rustle of dry leaves. Whispered voices reached his ears. A flash of white broke the enveloping darkness. The loud report of a pistol cut the air.

Searing agony tore into his upper arm. He groaned and dug in his heels, making Pericles shoot into the forest. They raced between the trees, their pursuers close behind. In spite of Stephen's best efforts, the thrashing sounds grew ever closer.

He clenched his teeth against the pain spearing his shoulder and pushed Pericles harder. Damn it, I am not going to die here. Whoever these bastards are, they will not win. They have tried before and failed. They will not succeed tonight.

Racing through the forest, Stephen thanked God he had refused Justin's offer to accompany him on this trip. Stephen had needed solitude, and his small lodge was private and unstaffed. A rustic haven free of duties, people, and responsibilities. He prayed he would get there. Alive. But if he did not, at least his best friend would not die also.

"There 'e is! Just ahead!"

The rough voice came from directly behind him. A slick film of perspiration broke out over Stephen's body. The metallic stench of blood—his blood—filled his nostrils and his stomach turned over. It flowed, warm and sticky, soaking his shirt and jacket. He felt himself growing light-headed and gritted his teeth against the weakness.

God damn it! I refuse to die like this!

But even as he made the mental vow, Stephen realized his grave peril. He was miles from help. No one, save Justin, knew where he was, and Justin would not expect to hear from him for at least a week. How long before anyone realized he was dead? A fortnight? A month? Longer? Would he ever be found here in the forest? No. My only hope is to lose these bastards.

But the bastards were nearly upon him.

Another shot rang out. The stinging impact jolted Stephen from the saddle. He cried out and fell heavily to the ground, rolling over and over down a steep incline. Jagged rocks tore at his skin. Thorny bushes scraped him unmercifully.

Images flashed in his mind. His father's frigid, unforgiving gaze; his mother's vapid laugh; his drunken brother, Gregory—who would now inherit the title, and Gregory's timid, mousy wife, Melissa; his sister Victoria's radiant smile when she married Justin. So many regrets. So many wounds unhealed.

His downward plunge ended with a bone-jarring splash when he landed in a stream of icy water. White-hot pain sizzled through him. Blackness engulfed him. Cannot move. Hurts so much. Jesus. What a bloody, stupid way to die.

Hayley Albright drove her gig at a steady pace and tried her best to ignore her growing discomfort. Squashed between her two servants on a seat intended for only two, she could barely draw a breath into her compressed lungs. Tired and cramped, she longed for a hot bath and a soft bed. Instead I have a long, bumpy ride and a hard seat.

She tried to move her shoulders, but they remained firmly wedged between Winston and Grimsley. A resigned sigh escaped her. They were hours late getting home. Everyone must be terribly worried about them. And if Winston and Grimsley didn't stop arguing, she'd have to strangle them with her bare hands—if she could manage to pry her arms loose. As it was, she had to drive the gig in order to separate them.

A flash of white in the darkness caught Hayley's attention, turning her thoughts from murder and mayhem. She peered ahead but saw nothing.

Except a large shadow lurking near a copse of trees.

Her mouth dried up with fear. She pulled back on Samson's reins, grinding the gig to a squeaking halt, then pointed a shaky finger and whispered, "What is that?"

Grimsley squinted into the darkness. "Heh? I don't see a thing, Miss Hayley."

"That's because yer blasted spectacles are perched on yer bald head instead of yer long nose," Winston muttered, his gravelly voice filled with disgust. "Put 'em where they belong and you'll see fine, ya scurvy old coot."

Grimsley drew himself up as straight as his creaking bones would allow. "Who are you calling an old coot?"

"You. And I called ya a scurvy old coot. Must be a scurvy deaf old coot."

"Well, a body can hardly be expected to hear above the cacophony from that wheel you supposedly fixed," Grimsley replied with a haughty sniff.

"At least I fixed it," Winston shot back. "And a damned bloody good job I did, too. Didn't I, Miz Hayley?"

Hayley bit the inside of her cheek. For the three years her father's first mate had lived with the Albrights, Hayley had attempted to clean up the former sailor's salty tongue—though not always successfully.

"Your repair job was excellent, Winston, but look over there." She pointed again to the shadow moving near the trees. A shiver of fear rippled down her spine. "What is that? Dear God, I pray we're not about to be set upon by thieves!"

She surreptitiously patted her skirt to ensure her reticule was securely fastened and hidden in the folds of material. Good heavens! When I think of the risks I've taken—the lies I've told to get this money, I have no intention of handing it over to highwaymen.

A wave of guilt washed over her. No one, including Grimsley and Winston, had any idea of the true nature of today's excursion to London, and she intended to keep it that way. As much as she hated lying, secrets led to falsehoods. Her family needed this money and she was solely responsible for their security.

Fighting to calm her mounting fear, Hayley looked around. Nothing seemed amiss. The warm summer breeze played with her hair, and she impatiently pushed back several unruly curls. The pungent scent of pine tickled her nose. Crickets chirped their throaty song. She inhaled a calming breath, and nearly choked. The large shadow detached itself from the copse of trees and moved toward them.

Hayley froze. Her mind whispered do not panic, but her body refused to obey. Dear God, what would become of her family if she died on this dark, lonely road? Aunt Olivia could barely take care of herself, let alone four children. Callie was only six! And Nathan and Andrew needed her. Pamela, too.

The shadow moved closer and her entire body went liquid with relief. A horse, she realized. It was merely a horse.

Winston laid a callused hand on her shoulder. "Don't you worry none, Miz Hayley. If there's somethin' evil afoot here, I'll not let any harm come to ya. I promised yer Pa, God rest his soul, that I'd protect ya and protect ya I will." He puffed out his massive chest. "If there's a bandit about, I'll break his scrawny neck. I'll yank out his gizzards with me bare hands and tie the blighter up with his own innards. I'll—"

Hayley cut off the grisly diatribe with a dry cough. "Thank you, Winston, but I don't think that will be necessary. In fact, it appears our 'bandit' is nothing more than a riderless horse."

Meet the Author

Jacquie D'Alessandro grew up on Long Island and fell in love with romance at an early age. She dreamed of being swept away by a dashing rogue riding a spirited stallion. When her hero finally showed up, he was dressed in jeans and driving a Volkswagen, but she recognized him anyway. They married after they both graduated from Hofstra University, and are now living their happily-ever-after in Atlanta, Georgia, along with their very bright and active eight-year-old son, who is a dashing rogue in the making. Red Roses Mean Love is Jacquie's first book. She is currently working on her next historical romance for Dell.

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Red Roses Mean Love 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was so delighted by her characters and the emotions I felt while reading the book. Although there is obviously romantic love there is also family and friendship love. I loved how the minor characters were all such a big part of the storyline. I would recommend the book to anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the bomb! The characters really came to life. It has everythig you want in a great book (romance, mystery, pizazz and a excellent story line)......READ THIS BOOK! I am shocked that this is Jacquie's first book because very few can create a excellent read for a first book. I can not say enough about this book!!!......OUTSTANDING!...I smell a diva
Guest More than 1 year ago
The characterizations painted by the author actually put the reader in the middle of the story. One feels such a warmth in reading of the unselfish love of the main character that you cannot put this book down until you have reached the conclusion. Although it might be considered rather predictable it doesn't interfere with one's enjoyment and reading pleasure. I eagerly await the next book by this excellent writer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is an awesome book that everyone should read at least once, if not more. This book basically tells about lessons that you can use throughout your life. Also, there is a little bit of romance...so if you like the genre romance, please keep reading on! This book is about a man named Stephen Barretson, who fails to tell his identity to a young woman named Hailey Albright. Haley rescues Stephen when he was shot by a masked intruder. Haley nurses Stephen in a gentle manner and is always kind to him, but Stephen doesn't seem that all greatful to Haley. Stephen hurts Haley but he really doesn't mean to do so. This book is really good because it gives and teaches you important lessons. Also, the suspense is so great that you can't even put the book down if you try to. I recommend this book to all who like romance and suspensful plots in books. So, check out this book and read it! I guarentee if you like romance and suspense, you will love Red Roses Mean Love by Jacqie D'Alessandro.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyable read. Loved the characfers. Could be a seriex.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading Hayley and Stephen's story. The minor characters nicely filled out the story with humor: Callie's tea parties with too-small chairs, Winston's salty sea language, and Hayley's younger brothers cleverly insulting each other using Shakespearean quotes. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Imari got locked out go to butterfly res 1
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is nore than one jay stuuuuuupid Haha a joke im going to take my fist and plunge in ypure pee hole and twist it and it going to hurt You:you can try mexican way
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey...y hv u bin off?
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Imatis is locked out!! And wants you to meet her at cup of joe res.4 or 5 or pool res.3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Imari is locked out so go to butterfly res 1 :)
Krystal Watkins More than 1 year ago