Still in My Heart

Still in My Heart

3.8 11
by Kathryn Smith

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Brahm Ryland is a man used to getting everything he desires...

Another London season has just wound down and Brahm Ryland, Viscount Creed, is thankful for it. Since a horrible mistake ruined his betrothal to the beautiful Lady Eleanor Durbane, his life as a scandalous bachelor has grown tedious; every day without Eleanor seems longer than the last. But then a


Brahm Ryland is a man used to getting everything he desires...

Another London season has just wound down and Brahm Ryland, Viscount Creed, is thankful for it. Since a horrible mistake ruined his betrothal to the beautiful Lady Eleanor Durbane, his life as a scandalous bachelor has grown tedious; every day without Eleanor seems longer than the last. But then a break in the monotony appears: an invitation to a shooting party at the home of Lord Burrough, Eleanor's father, and he knows his chance to make amends has come at last.

Yet Brahm soon finds that Eleanor will need more than a simple apology to atone for his betrayal -- and after so many years of hurt it will take time and care to make her learn to trust again. When all her sisters warn her against him, she knows she would be a fool to give their passion another chance. But what Eleanor doesn't know is that London's boldest viscount will do anything -- anything -- it takes for a second chance at his one true love ...

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Ryland Brothers , #5
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Still in My Heart

By Kathryn Smith

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Kathryn Smith
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060740744

Chapter One

Once upon a time ...

He was drunk.

Not drunk in a silly manner, or even drunk in a vaguely belligerent fashion, but head-spinning, worldwhirling, out-of-his-mind drunk. He hadn't meant to get so foxed; it had simply happened. One brandy had led to another and then another, until his feet became as heavy as lead and his entire body was engulfed in woozy numbness.

He liked being numb.

Still, his inebriation wasn't so consuming that it kept him from remembering the promise he had made earlier that day. He had asked the fair Eleanor to marry him, and she had agreed. All that was left was to tell her father, and as the earl was a friend of his own papa, there would be no obstacles to the union. The license would be procured, and Eleanor would be his. Soon he would kiss her sweet lips, feel her luxuriant body against his, and make her his in a way that would seal his claim to her. The very thought of it caused him to stiffen with desire. Perhaps he wasn't as drunk as he'd thought.

Tossing back one more glass, he decided it was time to leave the company of these amiable gentlemen, who seemed more than happy to pour brandy down his throat by the barrelful. He could stay there all night, drinking. It made him feel so very free. Eleanor made him feel free as well. And Eleanor didn't make his head ache the next morning.

The image of her face swimming in his mind put a spring in his step as he made his way through the darkened corridors of the manor house, up the stairs to his chamber. Country house parties were always such fun.

In his room he kicked off his boots and tossed his coat on the floor. Waistcoat and shirt followed. He tripped taking off his trews and fell onto the bed with a gleeful "Oops!" He kicked at the offending garment until his limbs were finally free and lay on the bed gloriously naked and gloriously warm, as a soft summer night breeze drifted through the windows.

The world wasn't spinning, but it swayed a bit as he closed his eyes, and he gave himself up to the sensation. It was like being in a boat on gently rippled lake. He liked boats. He liked this rocking feeling. It lulled him toward the uncompromising darkness of a spirits-induced slumber. No thoughts, no insecurities, no dreams. Nothing but sweet blackness.

He was on the verge of slipping under when something touched his thigh. His brow wrinkled with the effort of trying to will his eyes open. Reluctantly the lids parted slightly, revealing the blurred vision of a woman with long blond hair hovering above him.

He smiled. "Eleanor." Even her name was calming, an audible representation of serenity. What was she doing there? They hadn't made their understanding known yet. She could still be ruined if anyone found her there in his room. He didn't want their marriage to start off with rumors surrounding it. "You should not be here."

"Shh," she replied, her soft hand sliding up between his thighs. She stroked his growing erection until he arched his hips in languid arousal. And when she closed her mouth around him, a groan escaped his lips.

Where had an inexperienced virgin learned such technique? Had he been sober, he might have given the question more thought. Had he been sober, he might have given the woman kneeling between his legs with her lips wrapped around his pole a second glance, but he wasn't sober. And he didn't do either of those things.

Later, as he slipped between her eagerly spread thighs, he thought he heard someone gasp behind him, but the sound was drowned out by Eleanor's welcoming coos and sighs as he nudged her body open and slid into her warm, welcoming wetness. There was no barrier to his possession -- a detail that should have given him pause, but didn't. Right now he didn't care if she was a virgin or not. All that mattered to him was that she belonged to him.

The amazing, wonderful Eleanor was finally his.

London, September 1819

"You are not actually entertaining the idea of accepting Burrough's invitation, are you?" The question was asked in a tone both incredulous and vaguely insulting.

Over the edge of the invitation, Brahm Ryland flashed an annoyed glance at his brother. He and Wynthrope had been on speaking terms but six months now, and the slightly younger man still knew how to get under his skin like a festering splinter.

"Actually," he mimicked dryly, "I am doing just that, yes."

Wynthrope's tanned brow creased in a scowl that told Brahm in no uncertain terms what the younger Ryland thought of that answer. "Are you foxed?"

From anyone else, that question would have been the most insulting they could ask. However, Brahm knew his brother was capable of being much, much more obnoxious than that. He leaned back in his chair, crossing his freshly polished boots on the top of his desk. "I am as sober as Aunt Jane."

His brother blinked. "Aunt Jane is dead these past twenty years."

Brahm smiled condescendingly. "I imagine it has been a while since she had a drink, then."

"Prior to her death, she was sauced every day of her life -- except for Sunday, of course."

"Of course." Closing his eyes, Brahm stifled a sigh. Was his brother deliberately provoking him, or was Wynthrope truly stupid? It had been so long since they'd had a brotherly relationship -- not that they had one now -- that there were times when he really didn't know what to think of his sibling. He loved him -- sometimes he even liked him -- but most of the time he thought ofWynthrope as the wind; the only thing constant about him was that he was never, ever constant. Not with Brahm, at least ...


Excerpted from Still in My Heart by Kathryn Smith Copyright © 2005 by Kathryn Smith. 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

Kathryn Smith has always loved happy endings. From the bedtime stories her wildly imaginative mother told, to the soap operas she wasn't supposed to watch, Kathryn loved to speculate as to how the characters would end up. Needless to say the entire Smith household heard about it when things did not go as young Kathryn thought they ought. Through her school years, Kathryn wrote stories and books for her friends to read. Even during college, when she studied journalism, her need to make up her own tales often drove her to late nights at the typewriter, writing about sexy men and the women they fell in love with. Fortunately, Kathryn's idea of sexy has changed over the years. Instead of rock stars and spies she writes about lords and...well, spies. The best part is she gets to share these stories with a few more people than were in her homeroom class!

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Still in My Heart 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just couldnt really get into had a fairly good storyline. I usually tire of all the details that must go into a book for the 'written visuals', however now I know why authors do that. This book got right to the point, and kept repeating it over and over. I wasnt overly impressed!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Viscount Brahm Ryland is rake who does not care about his sordid reputation. In fact Brahm uses the image of a rake to hide how much he hurts inside. He misses the woman he loves Lady Eleanor Durbane, but has no hope of reconciliation with his ex fiancée who will never forgive seeing him make love with another woman. Brahm had been drunk and thought she was his beloved Eleanor, but the betrayal cut deeply and she will not give him a chance to plead his case..................... By1819 after several years of pining for Eleanor with no hope, opportunity finally arrives when Eleanor¿s father invites Brahm to attend a shooting party at his estate. He hopes his beloved will accept his apology and allow him back into her life. Heeding the advice of her sisters and her years of hurt by his betrayal and subsequent womanizing Eleanor rejects his plea. Brahm knows he must rebuild the trust she once had in him he also knows he will do anything including grovel in public to get a second chance at love....................... Though similar to many of the sub-genre tales, STILL IN MY HEART is a fine regency romance starring likable characters struggling with trust issues even though the love between them remains strong. The story line focuses on Brahm trying a Hail Mary desperation play to win back the regard of the woman he loves. Eleanor considered an ape on the shelf being single in her thirties, still loves Brahm, but she knows even if she forgave him, she will never trust him. His efforts to prove his worthiness make for a fine time for readers.................... Harriet Klausner
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book imensely. I truely liked every character, good or bad. The only compliant i have is ellie is too naive and forgiving towards her mean-spirited sister. It drove me crazy that instead of blaming her sister, she made excuses and even blamed herself. All and all a good read!
Lulu90 More than 1 year ago
Redundant. Plods along, couldn't wait to get through it, as I had already paid for it.
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