Riley in the Morning

( 10 )


One of romance’s best-loved authors, Sandra Brown creates love stories whose “larger-than-life heroes and heroines make you believe all the warm, wonderful, wild things in life” (Rendezvous). Now the New York Times bestselling author delivers a poignant, funny, and irresistibly sensual novel about one night in the life of a man and a woman that will change their future forever.

Television producer Brin Cassidy was throwing the biggest dinner party of her life. And with ...

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One of romance’s best-loved authors, Sandra Brown creates love stories whose “larger-than-life heroes and heroines make you believe all the warm, wonderful, wild things in life” (Rendezvous). Now the New York Times bestselling author delivers a poignant, funny, and irresistibly sensual novel about one night in the life of a man and a woman that will change their future forever.

Television producer Brin Cassidy was throwing the biggest dinner party of her life. And with everything in utter chaos, who should show up unannounced on her doorstep but her handsome estranged husband, Jon Riley.

Brin had not only worked with the popular star of Riley in the Morning, she had fallen in love with and married him. She knew she owed Riley an explanation for why she walked out. But did he have to come on this of all nights?

Temperamental, charismatic, and devastatingly blue-eyed, Riley was a man who knew what he wanted, and he wasn’t leaving until he got it. But the sensuous and strong-willed beauty he still called his wife was every bit his match.

From dusk until dawn the two will experience a second honeymoon of passion, seduction, and deep revelation that will determine if there is any future for Riley in the morning.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
When Brin Cassidy left her husband, Jon Riley, star of the hit TV show Riley in the Morning, she thought that would be the end. But the unpredictable Riley appears at Brin's door as she is preparing for an important dinner party, demanding to know why she left him. Brin knows he won't leave without an answer -- but is she ready to face him?
From the Publisher
“A novelist who can’t write them fast enough.”—San Antonio Express-News

“Author Sandra Brown proves herself top-notch.”—Associated Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553576047
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/27/2001
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 641,835
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.84 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

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

    Chapter One

    “Ms. Cassidy, dear?”


    “So sorry, darling, but your table simply isn’t large enough.”

    “Damn,” Brin muttered under her breath as she struggled with the zipper at the back of her dress. She twisted around to check in the mirror what was causing it to stick. When she turned, an electric curler slid out of her hair, leaving a heavy strand to fall over her eye. She shoved it off her face, looping it around one of the hair-curler pins that radiated from her head like a space-age halo. “Arrange everything as best you can, Stewart. Has the bartender arrived yet?”

    “I have arranged everything as best I can,” he said petulantly. “You need a larger table.”

    Brin’s arms fell heavily to her sides. Glancing at the harried image in the mirror, one eye artfully made up, the other as yet untouched, she called herself a fool for hostessing this party in the first place. She had timed everything down to the second. She didn’t need any kinks in the tight schedule, such as a stuck zipper and a querulous caterer.

    Turning, she flung open the bathroom door and confronted Stewart, who stood with his pale hands on his hips, wearing an expression just as sour as hers.

    “I don’t have a larger table,” Brin said irritably. “Let’s see what we can do. Is the bartender here yet?” On stocking feet she hurried through the bedroom, down the stairs, and into the dining room, where a buffet was being set up. Her dress was slipping off her shoulders, but then, there was no need to be too concerned about modesty in front of Stewart.

    Two of his assistants were standing by, arms crossed idly over their chests, as though waiting for a bus. She shot them exasperated looks that didn’t faze them in the slightest.

    “Jackie said he’d be here by now,” Stewart said of the missing bartender. “I can’t imagine what’s keeping him. We’re extremely close.”

    “Why doesn’t that make me feel better?”

    Brin spoke the question under her breath as she studied the table. The food on the silver trays was attractively arranged and lavishly garnished, but the trays were jammed together, overlapping in places. Some extended over the edges of the table. Stewart might be difficult and aggravating, but he knew his stuff, and she couldn’t argue with him. “You’re right, we’ll have to do some rearranging.”

    “It’s that ghastly centerpiece,” Stewart said, pointing with distaste. “You should have let me select the flowers. Remember I told you — ”

    “I remember, I remember, but I wanted to choose my own florist.”

    “Can’t we remove the thing? Or at least let me rearrange it so it isn’t so ... so...” He made a descriptive gesture with his hands.

    “You’re not to touch it. I paid a hundred dollars for it.”

    “You get what you pay for,” he said snidely.

    She faced him angrily, hooking the errant strand of hair around another pin when it slipped from the first. “This has nothing to do with money. The florist happens to be a friend of mine, and she’s been in the business longer than you’ve been alive.”

    I must be agitated, Brin thought. Why am I standing here arguing with smug Stewart, when I’m only half dressed and forty guests are due to arrive at any moment?

    She returned her attention to the crowded table. “Can you leave some of the trays in the kitchen and replace the ones on the table as they empty?”

    Stewart’s hand fluttered to his chest and his mouth fell open in horror. “Absolutely not! My darling, these dishes are planned to alternately soothe and excite the palate. They’re a blend of tart and — ”

    “Oh, for heaven’s sake!” Brin cried. “Who will know in what order their palates are supposed to be soothed or excited? These people will just want to eat. I doubt they’ll pay attention to anything except whether the food tastes good or not.”

    Gnawing her cheek in concentration, she scanned the table again. “All right,” she said, her mind made up, “set that bowl of marinated shrimp on the coffee table in the living room. Have a cup of toothpicks nearby. And you,” she said, pointing to one of the indolent assistants, “move that cheese tray over there by the bar. I think there’s room for that chafing dish of Swedish meatballs on the table by the sofa. That should make room on the table.”

    The three young men rolled their eyes at one another. “You’re a gastronomical philistine of the worst sort,” Stewart said snippishly.

    “Just do it. And where’s that bartender you promised me? Nothing’s set up.”

    “He’ll be here.”

    “Well, he’d better be here soon, or I’m going to start deducting from your bill.”

    The doorbell chimed. “See?” Stewart said loftily. “No cause for panic. That’s him now.” He swished toward the front door before Brin had a chance to.

    “Who are you?” The disembodied voice asking the rude question was deep and demanding.

    Brin recognized the voice immediately and felt the earth drop out from under her.

    “Oh my dear, I’m positively dying!” Stewart cried theatrically, his hands aflutter. “I can’t believe it. She didn’t tell me you would be among the party guests.”

    “What the hell are you talking about? What party?” the voice asked in a surly growl. “Where’s Brin?”

    She forced herself into motion and went toward the door, stepping in the line of vision of the man standing on the threshold. “Thank you, Stewart,” she said quietly. “I believe you have work to do.”

    She was amazed at how calm she sounded. On the inside, chaos reigned: Her vital organs were doing backward somersaults; her knees had turned the consistency of Stewart’s famous tomato aspic; all the blood had drained from her head. But outwardly she presented a facade of aloofness that should have won her an Oscar at least.

    After Stewart had moved out of earshot, she looked at the man. “What are you doing here, Riley?”

    “Just thought I’d drop by.” He propped his shoulder against the doorjamb and let his eyes — damn those blue eyes — drift over her. He seemed amused by the curlers in her hair, the unfastened dress she was having a hard time keeping up, and her stockinged feet.

    “Well, you should have called before you came, because you couldn’t have picked a more inconvenient time. You’ll have to excuse me. I have guests due to arrive in a few minutes. I haven’t finished my makeup — ”

    “That’s not a kinky new fad? Making up just one eye?”

    “ — or touched my hair,” she finished, ignoring his teasing. “The bartender hasn’t shown up yet. And the caterer is being a colossal pain.”

    “Sounds like you need help.” He shoved his way in- side before Brin could stammer a protest. “You guys have everything under control?” he asked the three caterers, who were staring at him in awe.

    “Everything’s perfect, absolutely perfect, Mr. Riley,” Stewart gushed. “Can we get you anything?”

    “Riley,” Brin ground out between her teeth.

    “Hmm?” He turned around, supremely unconcerned about her apparent agitation.

    “May I see you alone? Please.”

    “What, now?”


    “Sure, honey. The bedroom?”

    “The kitchen.” She walked stiffly past the three gaping caterers, saying, “Carry on,” in as firm a voice as she could muster.

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    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4
    ( 10 )
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    Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted April 20, 2006

      Pretty Good!

      I thought this was one of the better novels by Sandra Brown. Unlike so many other books, where one partner would cheat on the other, these two remained faithful to their marriage vows. The characters have a strong passionate relationship that is hindered by miscomunication. But is eventually settled in the end.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 8, 2004

      A must read!!!!!!!!!

      this novel had alot of love and desire between two people. I loved it. Way to go Sandra!

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 1, 2004

      she is the best writer i have ever read

      i love the strugle with in Brin to fight against her attraction to Riley.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 1, 2003

      I love reading but.....

      I did enjoy this story but don't need so much description on sex. Was glad to read Brin was a virgin.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 21, 2002

      LOVED IT!!!

      This was the first Sandra Brown book I have ever read and I had a hard time putting it down. I don't usually read love novels, but this one was great.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted January 9, 2002


      I loved this book. It was romantic and heart-warming. A must read!

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 17, 2001

      What a disappointment!!

      I normally purchase audio books new and pass them on when I have finished. It is fortunate that I had just joined this audio book club that lets me read unlimited books for a set price or I would be demanding my money back. What an insult to adult readers!! I had recently finished and enjoyed 'The Switch' and my all time favorite Brown novel is 'Fat Tuesday'. I have a hard time believing that 'Riley in The Morning' was written by the same author. Save your money. Skip this one and hope the next will be back to her usual standard.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 1, 2001

      This book is dumb.

      I was expecting much more out of this author. It was a big disappointment. I was unsatisfied with the ending.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 8, 2001


      Readers know what to expect from Sandra Brown and she doesn't disappoint. Forty-one bestsellers are more than proof of her enduring popularity, as she continues to offer a melange of sex, love, wit, and entertainment. Riley In The Morning delivers again with its story of TV producer Brin Cassidy, who is hosting an all important party honoring network president Abel Winn. So, who appears at her door? The caterers? No. The florist? No. Her irresistibly handsome estranged husband Jon Riley, host of television's 'Riley In The Morning.' What a night that turns out to be! How appropriate that the audio version is read by Tony Award nominee Alison Fraser who has been seen on TV's 'All My Children.' She knows how to read a love story, and she does it with gusto!

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    • Anonymous

      Posted September 12, 2009

      No text was provided for this review.

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