Tender Is the Storm

Tender Is the Storm

4.1 68
by Johanna Lindsey

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Headstrong heiress Sharisse Hammond wants no part of the New York society marriage that has been arranged for her. So she heads west across a vast and dangerous land -- with no intention of honoring her agreement to become the mail-order bride of a rugged Arizona rancher.

But Lucas Holt needs a wife -- any wife -- if his plan to destroy his most hated enemy

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Headstrong heiress Sharisse Hammond wants no part of the New York society marriage that has been arranged for her. So she heads west across a vast and dangerous land -- with no intention of honoring her agreement to become the mail-order bride of a rugged Arizona rancher.

But Lucas Holt needs a wife -- any wife -- if his plan to destroy his most hated enemy is to succeed. And this gullible Eastern lady would do quite nicely. However, their separate schemes to use one another are complicated by raw, aching passion. For Lucas's beautiful, unsuspecting pawn was not supposed to be so irresistible alluring. And freedom-loving Sharisse never dreamed she could ever desire one man so much!

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HarperCollins Publishers
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6.76(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.08(d)

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Chapter One

1882, New York City

Not too far north of the hectic business district, Fifth Avenue became a quiet residential area. Trees grew at curbside between handsome street lamps. Elegant mansions lined Fifth Avenue. Brownstones could be found next to houses with mansard roofs in the French Second-Empire style. A Gothic Revival mansion stood next to an Italianate-style mansion with pediments over the windows and a balustrade atop the cornice.

The facade of Hammond House was a mixture of brownstone and white marble, with a high stoop on the first floor and three more stories above the first. Marcus Hammond lived here with his two daughters. A self-made man who was well on the way to wealth long before his first daughter was born, he permitted no obstacles. Few challenged his will, so he was generally good-natured and generous, especially with his daughters.

One of those daughters, the older one, was at the moment readying herself for an outing with her fiancé, a man chosen for her by her father. Sharisse Hammond didn't mind the choice. The day Marcus had told her she would marry Joel Parrington during the summer, she'd just nodded. A year before she might have questioned his choice, might even have protested, but that was before she returned from a tour of Europe and a disastrous love affair so humiliating that she welcomed a safe, loveless marriage.

She had nothing to complain about. She and Joel Parrington had been friends since childhood. They shared the same interests, and she found him terribly handsome. They would have a good marriage, and if they were fortunate, love would come later. It would have beenhypocritical for either of them to speak of it now, though, for Joel also was abiding by a father's dictates. But they liked each other well enough, and Sharisse knew she was envied by her friends. That went a long way toward keeping her pleasant if not overly enthusiastic. It never hurt to be envied by a crowd of women who were forever trying to outdo one another. With her wealth on a par with theirs and her looks rarely commented on, her fiancé was the only thing Sharisse was envied.

Her thoughts were not on Joel just then, however. Sharisse was wondering where in a house of so many rooms she would find Charley. She had decided to take him along on today's outing. He would keep her company if Joel turned absentminded, as he had been doing lately.

She left her maid, Jenny, to put away the outfits she'd been trying on before she'd decided on the basque top with a skirt trimmed in velvet, a French style of plain green satin combined with wide moiré-striped green satin. She carried her Saxe gloves and plumed poke bonnet to put on just before she left.

She stopped first at her sister's room down the hall to see if Charley might be with her.

Sharisse knocked once and didn't wait to be invited in before opening the door. She took her younger sister by surprise, and Stephanie gave a start and quickly stuffed some papers into her desk drawer. She glared at her sister accusingly.

"You might have knocked," Stephanie pointed out sharply.

"I did," Sharisse replied calmly, a twinkle in her amethyst eyes. "Writing love letters, Steph? You don't have to hide them from me, you know."

Stephanie's lovely pale complexion was suffused with color. "I wasn't," she said defensively. "But it's none of your concern, anyway."

Sharisse was taken aback. She didn't know what to make of her little sister anymore. Ever since Stephanie had turned seventeen at the start of the year, her whole disposition had changed. It was as if she suddenly harbored resentments against everyone, and all for no reason. Sharisse, particularly, became the brunt of unexpected temper tantrums ending in bursts of tears and followed by no explanation at all. She had given up trying to find out what was bothering her sister.

What was so perplexing about it was that Stephanie had finally come into her own over this last year, turning into a stunning beauty who had beaux at her beck and call. With her full breasts and trim waist, her very petite build, and the added bonus of lovely blonde hair and blue eyes, hers was the beauty that happened to be at the height of fashion. She was envied by every woman who lacked even one of those attributes-including Sharisse, who lacked them all. She couldn't help it, but she did so wish she looked like her sister. Sharisse hid her disappointment well, though, hid it under a guise of self-assuredness that fooled the most discerning. Some even thought her haughty.

Stephanie's perplexing behavior was enough to try a saint. The only one she didn't snap at was their father. But both girls knew better than to show a fit of temper in his presence. Their mother, who had died two years after Stephanie was born, had been the only one who'd dared to argue with Marcus Hammond. She'd had a fierce will, and their fights had been frequent and heated. When they were not fighting, they had loved just as fiercely.

Neither girl seemed like her parents. Their father believed both were biddable and sweet-natured. They were excellent performers.

"What do you want?" Stephanie asked peevishly.

"I was looking for Charley."

"I haven't seen him all day."

Sharisse started to leave, but her curiosity was piqued. "What were you doing when I came in, Steph? We never used to keep secrets from each other."

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Tender Is the Storm 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 68 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book.. It was very thrilling and exciting to read.. It kept me coming back for more.. I had to read it TWICE before it got out of my system! Great book.. Highly recommend it..
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book kept me guessing until the very end! It is a wonderful read and I could not put it down! In fact I stayed up until nearly two in the morning trying to finish this wonderful book! It is a definite Johanna Lindsey must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stick with it to the end. You wont be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read it twice because i read it so fast the first time I wanted to fully absorb all of it again.
Mobar More than 1 year ago
This was a WONDERFUL book!! Did not want to put it down once I started reading it!! Many unexpected twists and turns! Highly recommend!! If you are debating this read...debate no more....go purchase! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a sweet love story from the old wild west. A very shocking but wonderful ending.
kcody03 More than 1 year ago
Tender is the Storm is a story about two individuals who for different reasons needed to get married. Both believed that the other was in it for the long haul, but neither suspected that this marriage of convenience would soon turn into a marriage of love. This story has plenty of twists and turns and kept me guessing right to the very end. I am rarely surprised by a book ending, but this one definitely achieved that. The characters are really well thought out and the plot keeps you on your toes from beginning to end. A few catfights here and there along with some surprises from both the heroine and the hero make this a very entertaining read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best book ever! Filled with humor, seduction, and surprises. After I finished reading it, wanted to read it over again the next day. Its a classic. Will have to pass it down to my daughter when she is of age! You won't be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first for me and how I fell in love. Since reading this book I have been a devote reader ever since. This started my love for romance novels with all other writer behind Linsey.
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Awesome book very good all the way through
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the whole thing of there being a twist here n there .. then other forks in the road along the way.. until they realize the attraction is real... n specially since itz not the 'pretty' sister .. it kinda gives hope to us 'other' sisters that there's someone out there that saw u next to ur supermodel sis, but cudn't take their eyes off of you!!! Love Joannaz books.. love for everyone..even us 'plain jane'z of the world... thanks Joanna!! I have allll of them except the latest one which i plan to get...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The idea was interesting, but there were so many jumps in time and important events that took place during those times that were clumsily thrown in...especially towards the ending. It was kind of a let down after so much excitement. Not her best writing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cannot get enough of Johanna Lindsey.  I have read almost all of her books and they are so hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this story of Sharisse & Lucas! I have read it twice since i bought it this summer and will read it many more times over the years. There are several JL books that are good enough to read yearly. Here are a few other of my faves by her: Viking series with "Fires of Winter" being my fave! I read this book at least once per year!! Love Brenna & Garrick!!! The other two, about their children finding love are also fun. Kristen's story is better than Selig's to me but love the series as a whole. Mallory Series with "A Loving Scounrel" being my fave. Have read it at least 5 times!!! I also like Amy & Warren's story a lot and of course, George & James!! But Danny & Jeremy are my faves in ALS!! The Cardinia Series only has two books but I love them both with Once a Princess being my fave!! I could go on but will save the rest for another review. Ha!
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