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The Toll-Gate

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On his 38th birthday, lonely Scott Williams fervently wished for a wife and family, but he never expected to become so utterly captivated by the beautiful, yet troubled Jennifer St. James. She was everything he'd ever wanted in a woman--and he knew she'd be the perfect mother of his future children. But sad memories of her past still shadowed Jennifer's heart. Turning to God, Scott vowed to help heal Jennifer's broken spirit--and offered her his unconditional love.
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The Toll-Gate

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Overview

On his 38th birthday, lonely Scott Williams fervently wished for a wife and family, but he never expected to become so utterly captivated by the beautiful, yet troubled Jennifer St. James. She was everything he'd ever wanted in a woman--and he knew she'd be the perfect mother of his future children. But sad memories of her past still shadowed Jennifer's heart. Turning to God, Scott vowed to help heal Jennifer's broken spirit--and offered her his unconditional love.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780515072525
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/15/1983
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

The late Georgette Heyer was a very private woman. Her historical novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers for decades, though she rarely reached out to the public to discuss her works or private life. She was born in Wimbledon in August 1902. She wrote her first novel, The Black Moth, at the age of seventeen to amuse her convalescent brother; it was published in 1921 and became an instant success.

Heyer published 56 books over the next 53 years, until her death from lung cancer in 1974. Heyer's large volume of works included Regency romances, mysteries and historical fiction. Known as the Queen of Regency romance, Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy and her extraordinary plots and characterizations. Her last book, My Lord John, was published posthumously in 1975. She was married to George Ronald Rougier, a barrister, and they had one son, Richard.

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Read an Excerpt

The Sixth Earl of Saltash glanced round the immense dining-table, and was conscious of a glow of satisfaction. It was an emotion not shared by his butler, or by his steward, each of whom had served the Fifth Earl, and remembered, with a wealth of nostalgic detail, the various occasions upon which the State Dining-room had been used to entertain Royalty, foreign Ambassadors, and ton parties of great size and brilliance.

The Fifth Earl had been a Public Man. It was otherwise with his son, who had neither the desire nor the ability to fill a great office. Indeed, so little expectation had he of entertaining even the most undistinguished scion of a royal house that the State Apartments at Easterby might have fallen into total disuse had he not, at the age of thirty, become betrothed to the Lady Charlotte Calne.

This, since he was the sole surviving son of the Fifth Earl, he could not but consider to be a matter of considerable family importance; and to mark it he had summoned to Easterby, to meet his prospective bride, every available member of the house of Staple. A rapid review of his maternal relations had been enough to convince him that their presence at this triumphant gathering would be as unnecessary as it was undesirable. To the Staples he was a person of consequence, the head of his family, and not even his masterful sister Albinia would withhold from him (in public) the respect to which his position entitled him. It was otherwise with the Timbercombes, owing him no allegiance; and it did not take him more than a few ref lective minutes to decide that his marriage did not concern them.

So twenty persons only sat down to dinner under the painted ceiling in the State Dining-room; and the Earl, seated at the head of a table loaded with plate, and bearing as a centrepiece an enormous epergne, presented by some foreign potentate to the Fifth Earl, looked around him with satisfaction.

It mattered nothing to him that the room was over-large for the company, and that the gentlemen outnumbered the ladies by two: the Staples had responded in the most gratifying way to his invitation, and were behaving —even his formidable Aunt Caroline —just as they ought. He could see that Lady Melksham, his future mother-in- law, was impressed. With most of the Staples she was already acquainted, but she had not until today met his Uncle Trevor, the Archdeacon, who was seated beside her, or his huge cousin John. His unmarried aunt, Maria, who kept house for him, had suffered a little qualm about John's lowlier position at the dining-table, but she had yielded to the Earl's wish. She knew, of course, that an Archdeacon must take precedence over a retired Captain of Dragoon Guards, but the Archdeacon was her younger brother, and it was difficult for her to realize that he had any particular standing in the world. John, on the other hand, was the only son of her second brother, and heir-presumptive to the Earldom, which made him, in her eyes, a person of consequence. She ventured to say as much to the Earl, and he was not displeased: he felt it to be a very just observation.

'However, I daresay dear John won't care where he sits!' had added Lady Maria comfortably.

The Earl felt that this was regrettably true. He was very fond of John, but he thought him far too careless of his dignity. Probably his years of campaigning in the Peninsula had made him forgetful of what was due to himself and the name he bore. His manners were easy to a fault, and he very often behaved in a freakish way which seriously shocked his noble relative. His exploits in the Peninsula had made him a by-word amongst his fellow-officers; and one at least of his actions since he had sold out, in 1814, had seemed to the Earl unbecomingly whimsical. No sooner did he learn that Napoleon was again at large than he returned to the Army as a volunteer; and when the Earl had shown him that duty did not demand such a sacrifice of his dignity, he had burst out laughing, and had exclaimed: 'Oh, Bevis, Bevis —!

You don't suppose I'd miss this campaign, do you? I wouldn't, for a fortune! Duty be hanged!' So off had gone John to the wars again. But he had not remained for long in the humble position of a volunteer. Colonel Clifton, commanding the 1st Regiment of Dragoons, no sooner heard that Crazy Jack was back than he enrolled him as an extra aide-de- camp.

He emerged from the Waterloo Campaign much refreshed, and with no more serious injuries than a sabre-cut, and a graze from a spent ball. The Earl was very glad to see him safe home again, and began to think that it was time he settled down, and married an eligible female. He had inherited a small estate from his father; he was twenty-nine years of age; and he had no brothers.

His lordship, glancing round his table, remembered this, as his eyes alighted on his aunt-in- law, the Honourable Mrs Staple. He wondered that she should not have provided her son with a suitable wife, and thought that perhaps he would broach the matter to her later in the evening. He was not quite two years older than John, but as the head of the family he believed himself to be responsible for his cousins. This helped him to overcome the feeling of inferiority which too often possessed him when he was confronted by these over-poweringly large persons. A big race, the Staples: he was himself a tall man, but narrow-shouldered, and inclined to stoop. John, of course, was a giant; and his sister, Lady Lichfield, who was talking with determined amiability to the Earl's very dull brother-in- law, Mr Tackenham, stood five foot nine inches in her bare feet. Lucius Staple, only child of the Fourth Earl's third son, was a big man, too; and so was Arthur, the Archdeacon's eldest-born, just now striving to entertain his cousin Lettice, who was making sheep's eyes at John, across the table. Even young Geoffrey Yatton, Lettice's brother, though still slightly gangling, bade fair to tower above the Earl; and their mother, Lady Caroline, could only be described as massive. Lady Charlotte Calne, the Earl's betrothed, had been so much struck by the splendid proportions of the Staples that she had been moved to utter a spontaneous remark. 'How very big your cousins are!' she said. 'They are all very good-looking: exceptionally so, I fancy.'

He was gratified, and said eagerly: 'Do you think so indeed? But Lucius has red hair, you know, and although Geoffrey is well enough, I don't consider Arthur above the ordinary. But John is a fine fellow, isn't he? I hope you will like him: everyone likes John! I have a great regard for him myself.'

'If that is so he must have a claim on my regard. I assure you I shall like him excessively,' replied the lady, as one who knew where her duty lay.

Not for the first time he congratulated himself on his choice of bride. Himself a man of no more than mild sensibility he found nothing amiss with his Charlotte's colourless manner; and he would have experienced considerable surprise had he known that she did not meet with universal approbation in his family. But although Lady Maria thought she would make Bevis an excellent wife, the Archdeacon that she was a pretty-behaved girl, and Lady Caroline that her only fault was a lack of dowry, it was noticeable that Mrs Staple refrained from expressing an opinion, and Mr Yatton (though not within his wife's hearing) went so far as to say that she favoured her mother too much for his taste.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

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(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2011

    Old-fashioned and utterly delightful

    Like most of Georgette Heyer's works, it's sheer enjoyment from beginning to end. Although this one is a bit of a thriller, it still has her hallmark wholesome romance (no sex, just love) and delicious tongue-in-cheek comedy. Her books are light but not shallow, and infused with the author's immense intelligence without being "intellectual." Thorough historical research bases, as always, her deft escapist writing and clever plots with their likable characters.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Heyer does it again!

    This book is highly entertaining, with an air of mystery that is wonderfully engaging. I loved it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 30, 2012

    Fun romantic mystery

    Its a nice Heyer novel with everything I like about her works....sweet romance, a bit of mystery, and interesting characters.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2011

    I Love Every word

    Very few romance books hold my attention well enough for me to read word for word. Rather, I tend to skim. Georgette Heyer creates delicious nuances in every conversation that delight me and sets up entertaining situations.

    Toll-gate is one of her more memorable books for me. This is my second reading and it still delights.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Toll Gate

    Like all Georgette Heyer's books it is witty and very well written. I love all her books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 5, 2012

    Angela Shikany

    So good I ve always thought this would make a great movie. As much mystery as romance, classy and funny I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 23, 2012

    Pure Enjoyment!

    While I’ve already read all of Georgia Heyer’s Regency Romances, they’re all REALLY worth reading again and again. I’ve never found any books that come anywhere near them for pure escapist enjoyment!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 9, 2010

    Romance and mystery on the Toll Road

    The author is one of my favorites, this book was up to her usual good story and characters.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2014

    My comment is about the plot BN has for the book. What the heck?

    My comment is about the plot BN has for the book. What the heck? That is not the plot or characters for The Toll-gate.  I have no idea where else to mention it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2011

    Pretty Good

    I verily enjoyed this book. (: It's very interesting.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2011

    Highly Recommended- You must check it out!

    Very very good, I enjoyed it very much.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2011

    Skip it!

    I love Georgette Heyer but this is not her best!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2011

    Really enjoyed this book. Worth every penny.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 2, 2011

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    Posted October 22, 2011

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    Posted October 24, 2012

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    Posted January 21, 2012

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    Posted January 21, 2012

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