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Sarah's Child (Spencer-Nyle Company Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview


A tragic accident took everything that mattered to Rome Matthews--his wife, Diane, and their two little boys. And it robbed Sarah Harper of her best friend. In the two years since the tragedy, Sarah has wanted to reach out to Rome, but she knew she needed to stay away, guarding the secret she had kept from him and Diane all those years--that she was in love with her best friend's husband.

But now Rome needs her. And though another woman will hold his heart forever, Sarah agrees...

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Sarah's Child (Spencer-Nyle Company Series #1)

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Overview


A tragic accident took everything that mattered to Rome Matthews--his wife, Diane, and their two little boys. And it robbed Sarah Harper of her best friend. In the two years since the tragedy, Sarah has wanted to reach out to Rome, but she knew she needed to stay away, guarding the secret she had kept from him and Diane all those years--that she was in love with her best friend's husband.

But now Rome needs her. And though another woman will hold his heart forever, Sarah agrees to be his wife, knowing that everything has a price, including love. Then something totally unexpected rekindles her hidden hope that a marriage of convenience will become a union of love. Will Rome keep fighting his own growing need for a woman who dares him to believe there are second chances in life...or will he give in to the healing power of love and miracles?


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Editorial Reviews

Romantic Times
Without a doubt, Ms. Howard is an extraordinary talent [which] allows her to deliver unforgettable novels richly flavored with scintillating sensuality and high-voltage suspense.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552545270
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Series: Spencer-Nyle Company Series , #1
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 108,664
  • File size: 184 KB

Meet the Author


Whether she is reading them or writing them, books have long played a profound role in Linda Howard's life. She cut her teeth on Margaret Mitchell, Robert Ruark, "and anything else that fell into my hands," and is now concentrating on romantic stories. "I get bored with politics and murder and mayhem," she says.

Linda Howard wrote her first book when she was 10 years old. "Needless to say, it was unpublishable," she says. "It didn't even have a title. I didn't name them back then." In the ensuing 21 years of writing for her own pleasure, Linda worked in the transportation industry following junior college. "In the company I worked for, my title was secretary to the terminal manager, but I actually did very little secretarial work," she says. "I worked in every phase of the transportation business, but my main duties were payroll, insurance, and the efficiency and production reports."

Writing production reports, however, soon grew tiresome for Linda. As she continued to write fiction, she eventually worked up the courage to submit a manuscript for publication. "It made me sick--literally, physically ill. It was like putting your naked baby into the mailbox. And I lost 20 pounds waiting to hear from them. I couldn't eat."

Linda needn't have worried--Silhouette Books bought her manuscript, beginning a career that has (so far) lasted over 10 years and earned her many awards and letters of praise from adoring fans. She has over 10 million books in print around the world, and has written more than 25 titles.

Linda is a New York Times bestselling author and has been honored by both the critics and her peers many times. She has won the B. Dalton Bestseller Award and the Romantic Times Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Award for Series and the W.I.S.H. Award for hero Joe Mackenzie from her Silhouette Intimate Moments title, Mackenzie’s Mission. A tie-in book, Mackenzie’s Pleasure, reached number 61 on the USA Today bestseller list. A Romance Writers of America RITA and Golden Choice finalist, she is a frequent Waldenbooks bestselling author, often claiming the number-one position.


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Read an Excerpt

It was the end of a long week, and Sarah knew that she should go home, but just the thought of facing the broiling late August heat was enough to keep her sitting in her chair with the air-conditioning humming pleasantly overhead. She wasn't working; she'd swiveled the chair around and spent the last fifteen minutes simply staring out the window, too relaxed to really care that it was getting late. The sun had dipped low enough that the Dallas array of dazzling skyscrapers of glass and steel was outlined against a bronzed sky, which meant she'd missed the six o'clock news yet again. It was Friday evening; her boss, Mr. Graham, had left over an hour before. There was no reason why she shouldn't join the mass exodus on the streets below, yet she felt reluctant to go home. She'd taken such pains with her condominium; made it as homey and comfortable as she could, but lately the emptiness of it had been haunting her. She could fill it with music, rent any movie and watch it on the VCR, lose herself in reading and pretend that she was in any other country in the world, yet she would still be alone. Lately it was becoming a state of loneliness, rather than one of solitude.
Perhaps it was the weather, she thought tiredly. The summer had been hot and humid, wearing everyone down, but she knew inside that it wasn't the heat that was bothering her. It was the inevitable sensation of time slipping away, as summer died once more and became another autumn. It seemed that even in the fierce heat she could feel the chill of winter in her bones. It was more than the passing of another season: it was her own youth slipping away, inexorably draining from her grasp. The years had passed, and she'ddevoted herself to her work, because there was nothing else, and now she realized that all the things she'd wanted had passed her by. She hadn't wanted riches, or material things. She'd wanted love, a husband and children, a home filled with laughter and security, the things she'd never had as a child. She'd stopped even dreaming about them, she realized, and that was the saddest thing of all. But then she'd never really had a chance: she'd fallen in love with the one man she couldn't have, and it appeared that she was one of those women who loved only once in their lifetime.
Her phone gave a muted ring, and a slight frown of puzzlement touched her brow as she reached for the receiver. Who would be calling the office at this hour?
"Sarah Harper," she said briskly.
"Sarah, this is Rome," a deep voice said by way of identification.
Her heart gave a jump and hung in her throat. She didn't need to hear his name to know who was on the other end of the line. She knew his voice as well as she knew her own, and the clipped accent that hadn't softened despite years in the south would always give him away. But she swallowed the lump, straightened her spine, and pretended this was just another business call. "Yes, Mr. Matthews?"
He made an impatient sound. "Damn it, don't call me that! It's all right in the office, but this...this isn't business."
Sarah swallowed again, but she couldn't say anything. Had she conjured him up? Had thinking about him produced this call? After all, it had been months since he'd said anything to her other than a polite "good morning" whenever he came into the office to talk to Mr. Graham.
"Sarah?" He was really impatient now, and his rising ire was revealed in the way he barked her name.
"Yes. I'm still here," she managed.
"I'm selling the house," he said abruptly. "I'm boxing up Diane's things...and the boys'.... I'm going to give them all to the Salvation Army. But I found a box of things that Diane had kept from high school, stuff that the two of you did together, pictures, and I thought you'd like to go through it. If you want any of it, you can have it. If not...."
He didn't finish the sentence, but she knew. If not, then he'd burn it. He'd take all of those memories and destroy them. She winced inside at the thought of going through the box and reliving the years she'd grown up with Diane, because the loss still hurt, but neither could she let him burn Diane's mementos. Perhaps she couldn't go through the box yet, but she'd keep it, and in later years she'd be able to take the things out and remember without too much pain, with only sadness and nostalgia.
"Yes," she said hoarsely, forcing the word out. "Yes, I want it."
"I'm about to leave now, to go to the house and finish packing. You can get the box anytime tonight."
"I'll be there. Thank you," she whispered, and he hung up, leaving her with the phone still pressed to her ear and the dial tone buzzing.
Her hand was shaking as she replaced the receiver, and suddenly she noticed that she was no longer sitting. At some point during the conversation, tension had propelled her to her feet. Quickly she leaned down to get her purse from the lower drawer of the desk, then locked the desk and turned out the lights, locking the door behind her as she left.
It wasn't only her hand that was shaking; her entire body was quivering. Talking with Rome always did that to her. Even after years of training herself not to think about him, of not allowing herself to even dream about him, just hearing his voice had the power to reduce her to jelly. Working for the same company was bad enough; she'd even transferred to a different department so she wouldn't see him as often, but that had eventually backfired on her: He'd been promoted steadily through the ranks and was now one of the corporate vice presidents. Her position as secretary to the senior vice president threw her constantly into contact with him; the only salvation she'd had was that his attitude toward her was strictly business, and she'd forced herself to treat him in the same manner. What else could she do, when she'd been foolish enough to fall in love with her best friend's husband?
Even though the shadowed multilevel parking deck was at least ten degrees cooler than the street, the heat still slapped her in the face as she walked quickly to her car, a late model, low-slung Datsun 280-ZX. The car was, she feared, an example of her growing tendency to collect things to replace the emptiness at home. All her life she'd sworn to avoid the cold hollowness of her parents' home, yet as she grew older she tried harder and harder to fill the empty places with things. The car was gorgeous, and it got her where she was going faster than she needed to be there; she enjoyed driving it, she liked it, but she hadn't needed it. The car she'd traded in had been a good car, and it hadn't been that old.
Rather than drive straight to the house where Rome and Diane had lived, in one of the posher Dallas neighborhoods, Sarah deliberately drove to a restaurant and wiled away an hour and a half, picking at her seafood while all of her instincts screamed at her to hurry, to see Rome as soon as she could. But some part of her was reluctant to enter the house where he'd lived with Diane, where she and Diane had laughed and played with the babies. She hadn't been inside it in two years...it had been almost two years since the accident.
When her watch told her it was eight o'clock, she paid her tab and drove slowly, carefully, to the house. Her heart was pounding again, and she felt a little sick to her stomach. Her palms were damp; she clutched the steering wheel more securely to make certain it didn't slip in her grip.
How did she look? She hadn't checked her appearance. Her lipstick had worn off surely, but she didn't bother to replace it. With one hand she felt to see if any strands of hair had escaped from the severe twist she wore while working, but it still felt reasonably tidy, so she sighed and forgot about it.
Rome's dark blue Mercedes was in the driveway, so she parked behind it and got out, walking slowly up the sidewalk to mount the five shallow steps and press her finger to the doorbell. The grass had been kept mowed, she noticed, and the shrubbery was trimmed. The house didn't look empty, but it was. Heartbreakingly empty.
After a moment, Rome opened the door and stepped aside to let her enter. After a brief glance at him, Sarah felt as if she'd been punched in the stomach. She hadn't expected him to be wearing a three-piece business suit, but somehow she'd forgotten how powerfully he was built, how impossibly virile he looked in tight jeans. He wore track shoes, no socks, an old pair of jeans, and a white T-shirt that clung to his muscled torso, and he looked absolutely beautiful to her.
He glanced down at her, taking in the trim business suit she still wore. "You haven't been home yet?" he asked.
"No. I stopped to eat dinner, but I haven't gone home." It was uncomfortably warm in the house; he'd opened some windows but hadn't turned on the central air-conditioning. She pulled off her light linen jacket and started to hang it in the closet as she'd always done when visiting Diane, then caught herself and instead simply tossed it over the stairway railing. As he led the way upstairs she loosened the collar of her white tailored silk blouse and rolled the sleeves up to her elbows.
Rome paused before the doorway to the bedroom he'd shared with Diane, and his dark eyes were shadowed, his mouth grim, as he looked at the closed door. "It's in there," he said briefly. "In the closet. I'll be in the boys' bedroom packing their things. Take your time looking through the stuff."
Sarah waited until he'd gone into the other bedroom before she slowly opened the door and entered Diane's bedroom, turning on the light and standing for a moment looking around. Everything had been left as it had been the day of the accident. The book she'd been reading was still lying on the bedside table. Her nightgown was tossed across the foot of the bed. Rome hadn't spent a night here since Diane had died.
Sarah pulled the box out of the closet and sat down on the floor to go through the contents, tears blurring her vision as she picked up the first photograph of her and Diane together. God, if it hurt her this much to lose a friend, how did Rome feel? He'd lost his wife and two sons.
She and Diane had always been best friends, all the way through school. Diane had been a human dynamo, laughing and chattering, propelling the quieter Sarah along the way. Her blue eyes had sparkled, her honey-brown curls had bounced, and she'd infected everyone who came into contact with her with the enthusiasm for life that brightened every day for her. Oh, the plans she'd made! She was never going to marry. She was going to be a famous fashion designer and travel all over the world. Sarah's dreams had been only of a real family, one with love in it. Somewhere along the way their plans had been switched. Diane had fallen in love with a tall dark-eyed young rising executive who worked for the same company where Sarah had gotten a job, and from that moment on Sarah had known that her dream would never come true. Diane considered a glamorous career as a fashion designer well lost when she could have Rome Matthews, when she could give birth to his two adoring and adorable sons and bask in his love. Sarah quietly devoted herself to the job that was her only solace.
She'd tried not to love Rome, but she'd discovered that emotions weren't easily controlled. If she hadn't loved him before he met Diane, she might have kept her feelings from growing into anything serious, but she'd been his from the first. From the moment she'd met him, she'd known, deep inside that he would be more to her than just a colleague. It was his eyes, she thought; they were so deep and dark, eyes with a burning inner intensity. Roman Caldwell Matthews was no lightweight. He had drive and ambition, coupled with a lightning intelligence that had carried him through the ranks of middle management like a meteor. Oh, he wasn't handsome: his face had a rough-hewn, slightly battered look to it; his cheekbones were too high and sharp; his blade of a nose had been broken once; and his jaw was as solid as a piece of granite. He was a man who would reach out and grasp life, and shape it the way he wanted. He'd been friendly enough to her, but Sarah knew she was too pale and quiet to interest a man with his forceful personality.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 49 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2006

    I love Linda Howard but I hated this book!

    You have Rome who only marries Sarah so he can have regular sex. He treats her like a hooker (except she doesn't get paid), coming to 'her' room, then leaving when he¿s done. When she gets pregnant (his fault more than hers) he wants her to get an abortion. A man who lost two children to a terrible accident wants to intentionally get rid of another one? While she's pregnant he won't go near her after she starts to show and never does one kind thing for her. Doesn't rub her back, fix her meals, just basically ignores her. He leaves her to give birth to HIS child alone. Then she allows him to put her in a position where she hides her child while he pretends it doesn't exist. And she is so spineless that she lets him climb back into 'her' bed afterwards. What kind of creature is he? What kind of mother is she? These are two of the worst characters I've ever read. She is a total wimp and he is a cold-hearted jerk!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2008

    Awful book

    Although I enjoy almost all of Linda Howard's books - even her early stuff - this book was awful. I honestly wanted to burn the book after I read it. It's not horribly written, but the actual romance is minimal, and the screwed-up relationship just ruins everything. If you want to be majorly depressed, by all means read this book, but otherwise avoid it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2002

    Linda Howard's Best Book

    I love all of Linda Howard's books, but this one is definitely my favorite. This book has such an emotional storyline that it puts it above the others. My heart ached so abdly for both Rome and Sarah. Once you start this book, you won't be able to put it down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    Wow

    Great book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    The Best

    This is one of the best books I have ever read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2012

    wow

    this book made me cry. I t was so emotional

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2010

    Great

    This was a great book. You will have a hard time putting it down once you start reading it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2007

    Anita, New York. Never without a book in hand.

    I've read Sarah's Child a few times already. It is one of my all time favorite. Grab a box of tissues and enjoy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2002

    Pretty Good!

    I have read this book more than three times. It gets better each and every time. The amount of emotion that surrounds the story is outstanding and Sarah's character is one of the best I have ever seen. Strong, determined, yet sensitive and caring. Ms. Howard did a number on Rome. You really felt bad for him from page one, however, because of the unfortunate circumstances surrounding his life, you did not feel as though he or Sarah were doing anything immoral. Great Read!! Liz Thompson

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2002

    I've read this book about 25 times.

    I first read Sarah's Child in the summer of 1994 and Ive been rereading it ever since. I went to the Barnes and Noble bookstore a couple of weeks ago and ended up buying another copy because I was reading it while I was there and couldn't put it down. So now I have two copies with two different covers. Excellent book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2001

    It's one of the BEST.

    The only thing that I can say about Linda Howard is EXCELLENT and EXCELLENT!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    Probably my favorite Linda Howard book. It's so romantic. Loved

    Probably my favorite Linda Howard book. It's so romantic. Loved how Rome initially didn't want children. Typical guy response. And how Sarah helped him see the light. I'm a huge fan of Linda Howard's.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2013

    not worth the $10 I paid for it

    not worth the $10 I paid for it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2013

    Too expensive

    I own the paperback of this book and its one of her shortest books. Its poorly written and definitely not worth 10$ but its not as bad as independent wife. That was the worst book ive ever read

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2012

    Not worth the money

    $10.15 is too much to pay for 256 pages.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2011

    Keeps you wanting more!

    This is a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the last word. This is a book that is hard to put down once you start. The book leaves you wanting to know what happens next.

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

    Posted July 26, 2008

    It's a great book.

    It's a good book and I've enjoyed it time after time. However, I can't see this relationship between Sarah and Rome actually work in reality.

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

    Posted January 17, 2004

    Skip It!

    I picked up this book because I LOVE Linda Howard, or at least I thought I did. I was very disappointed in this novel. I found Sarah weak and meak! The only reason it works out is because Rome CHOOSES to come around not because of any cosmic relationship he and Sarah have. The whole direction of the book was everything ROME wanted. Yeah at one point Sarah did leave him but she came back after a lame compromise. I finished this book disgusted and disappointed. Unfortunately it has turned me off to any straight Romance written by Ms. Howard. I do, however, LOVE her romance/suspense novels. That's the genre she should stick with because she does it GREAT! She keeps you absorbed from beginning to end.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2002

    ULTRA STUPID

    THIS BOOK MADE ME ILL. THE MAIN CHARACTERS DID NOT CLICK. THE GUY WANTED TO BLAME THE GIRL FOR ALL OF HIS THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS AND SHE WAS SO IN LOVE WITH HIM THAT SHE ACCEPTED MOST OF THEM. ALTHOUGH THE MAN (DON'T EVEN REMEMBER HIS NAME)LOST HIS FAMILY IN A TRAGIC ACCIDENT, HE WAS NOT THE TYPE OF BAD BOY YOU JUST WANTED TO HELP AND LOVE. WHY DO MOST OF LINDA HOWARD BOOKS CONTAIN SOME SORT OF SEXUAL, VERBAL OR PHYSICAL ASSAULT ON THE WOMEN CHARACTERS IN HER BOOK? THIS BOOK WAS WORST THAN ALL THE GLITTERS.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2002

    There aren't enough stars to rate this powerful story

    I've read other works from Linda and have been a big fan. It was only by chance that I saw this book at my local library and snatched it up. I've never been so moved nor returned to read a story each and every time. Miss Howard breathes lives into characters who are flawed and heroic all at once. They touch you with their struggles, heartaches, and the incredible bond of deep love despite all their pain. A most beautiful, intimate form of writing.

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