Whispered Promises

( 89 )


Called to her father's deathbed, Caitlin Madaris is stunned to find her ex-husband, Dex, there as well. As a flood of bittersweet memories fills Caitlin's heart, her father's real motive for the unexpected reunion comes to light--along with the secret Caitlin has harbored all this time.
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Called to her father's deathbed, Caitlin Madaris is stunned to find her ex-husband, Dex, there as well. As a flood of bittersweet memories fills Caitlin's heart, her father's real motive for the unexpected reunion comes to light--along with the secret Caitlin has harbored all this time.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786003075
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 9/1/1996
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 247
  • Product dimensions: 4.38 (w) x 7.06 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Brenda Jackson
A New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling and award-winning author of more than seventy-five romance titles, Brenda is a recent retiree who divides her time between family, writing and traveling with her husband. Readers may write Brenda at P.O. Box 28267, Jacksonville, Florida 32226, by email at WriterBJackson@aol.com or visit her website at www.brendajackson.net.
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Read an Excerpt

"Girl, take a look at the brother who just walked in."

"He's definitely a good-looking man."

"A real work of art."

"Handcrafted in all the right places."

"I wonder who's the lucky sister meeting him here."

"Wished it was me."

Feminine whispers rippled through the restaurant as a number of heads turned, and admiring eyes glanced toward the man entering the establishment.

Dex Madaris was oblivious to the attention he was getting. His gaze roamed the room before zeroing in on the dance floor. A few couples were dancing, locked in each other's embrace, slowly moving to the soft sound of the jazz music being played. No doubt they were caught up in their own private world, sharing whispered promises of love like he and Caitlin had once done.


He took a deep breath. Everyone was entitled to at least one mistake in life, and Caitlin had been his.

"Welcome to Sisters. Will you be dining alone?"

A soft voice broke through Dex's reverie. He glanced down into a hostess's smiling face.

"I'm meeting my brother here. I believe he made reservations."

"What's the name?"


The woman's smile widened. "So you're Clayton's brother?"

Dex raised a brow. "Yeah, one of them. I gather you know Clayton." It was more a statement than a question. He knew there weren't too many females in Houston who didn't know his younger brother, the confirmed bachelor.

A soft chuckle erupted from the woman's throat. "Oh yes, I know Clayton."

He slanted her a curious look, not failing to notice the light dancing in the depths of her dark eyes. He couldn't help wondering just how deep her acquaintance with his brother went.

"Clayton hasn't arrived yet, but if you'll follow me, I'll show you to your table."

She led the way to a table overlooking downtown Houston. Sitting down, Dex couldn't help noticing the number of females that were either dining alone or together in groups.


It suddenly dawned on him the connection between the name of the restaurant and the number of women that were there. Although quite a few men were in attendance, they were outnumbered by the women two to one. Evidently this restaurant was a meeting place where the sisters came to hang out and bond.

"Would you like to order now, or do you want to wait until Clayton gets here?"

"I'll wait."

"All right." A grin curved the woman's lips. "Clayton has told me a lot about you."

Dex gave her a dry look. "Really? And just what did he tell you?" Evidently, Clayton hadn't told her just how much Dex enjoyed his privacy.

"He said you're a workaholic and somewhat of a loner." Dex moved his shoulders in a noncommittal shrug. A workaholic and a loner. He knew in all honesty there was more than a little truth to Clayton's claim. Since his divorce from Caitlin four years ago, he had drowned himself in his work. He'd volunteered for longer hours and had taken on projects other geologists with Remington Oil hadn't wanted to be bothered with. Since returning to the States from Australia, he had formed his own company, Madaris Explorations, almost a year ago. He worked day and night to assure its success, and to prevent his mind from idle wandering to the past. The memories were too painful, and work, he'd discovered, was the best antidote for a distracted mind.

The waitress had said something. "What?" Dex shook himself out of his distraction and back into awareness.

"I said Clayton's here. He just walked in. I'll be back to take your order."

Dex glanced around and watched with amusement as Clayton stopped at a number of tables to greet the ladies. Dex shook his head as he reflected on just how different the three Madaris brothers were. Justin, his older brother by eighteen months, was considered the warm, loving, sensitive one. After suffering the pain of losing his first wife nearly twelve years ago, he was a happily married physician living near Dallas.

Dex knew that he himself was often viewed as a true-blue Scorpio man—deep, complex, intense and as serious as a heart attack. He was the Madaris not to cross.

Baby brother Clayton, two years younger, was a prominent attorney here in Houston and a womanizer of the third degree. Outgoing and friendly, the only time he was completely serious was in the courtroom. Unfortunately he was also a notorious busybody. He acted as if it was his God-given right to stick his nose into his brothers' affairs whenever he felt it was necessary.

"Sorry I'm late," Clayton said, sitting down. A mischievous grin played at the corners of his mouth. "So what do you think of this place? Have you ever seen so many gorgeous sisters under one roof before?"

The glint in Clayton's eyes confirmed Dex's suspicion that his brother was up to something. "No, can't say that I have."

Clayton leaned back in his chair. "Did you get the chance to check out any of the ladies?"

Dex decided to sidetrack Clayton's question. "And how was your day?"

"It was just another day. And don't change the subject. Did you get the chance to check out any of the ladies?"


"But you will."

Dex gave an exasperated sigh as he picked up his menu. "Maybe."

Clayton rolled his eyes. "Can't you get excited about anything other than rock formations and soil samples?"

Dexter Madaris stared long and hard at his brother. "Like I said, maybe."

Clayton snorted in frustration. "You're a hopeless case, Dex."

"Does that mean you're finally giving up on me?" Clayton chuckled. "It would serve you right if I did. But I won't let you off that easily. When was the last time you were with a woman?"

Dex raised a brow. "That is none of your business."

A burst of laughter exploded from Clayton's throat. "Hey, man. Come on. You can level with me. I'm blood, remember," he said when his laughter had subsided to a chuckle. "It's been that long, huh?"

Dex grinned and shook his head. "The last time for me, I'm sure, was probably not as recent as for you."

"Probably not," Clayton responded, scanning the menu.

"So what's the problem?"

"There isn't one. You may find this hard to believe, but there're more important things in life than sex."

"Really?" Clayton exclaimed in a tone of total disbelief.

"Name one."

Hearty laughter escaped from Dex's lips. It was a rare occurrence. "Now I happen to think you're the one who's a hopeless case."

Clayton smiled. "If I am, you better believe I'm definitely a very satisfied one. How about letting me fix you up with Cocoa over there? She's just what you need."

Dex's gaze followed Clayton's to the lone diner sitting across the room. The attractive woman was smiling at him. The meaning behind her smile, and the look she was giving him, were obvious. But he refused to acknowledge or to accept her open invitation. "Thanks, but I'll pass."

Clayton looked intently at Dex. "When will you bury the past?"

"I have."

"I don't think so.You're still carrying a torch for Caitlin." Dex gave Clayton a scathing look. "I hate to disappoint you, bro, but you're wrong."

"Am I?"

"Yes, you are. Caitlin's history."

"Then prove it. Let me introduce you to Cocoa."

"Clayton…" he began.

"You need a woman, Dex, and Cocoa is just the person for you. She'll make you think about something else besides work. Don't you know that all work and no play makes Dex a dull boy?"

Dex frowned. "Dull, huh? Then it's a good thing I won't be wasting Hot Chocolate's time."

"Her name's Cocoa, and she has a knack for undulling people."

"Yeah, I bet she does. Maybe some other—"

Dex suddenly stopped talking when his ears picked up the sound of the music being played. It was the song that had been playing the last time he and Caitlin had danced together. Even after four years, he could still remember the warm, soft feel of her in his arms; her body so close to his as he held her tight, not ever wanting to let go.

"Dex? Is something wrong?"

Dex took a deep, calming breath before answering, forcing the memory to pass. "No, there's nothing wrong. Let's go ahead and order. I need to make a stop by the office tonight. There's some work I need to finish up."

Long hours and hard work helped him to forget the things he didn't want to remember.

200 miles away

Caitlin Madaris stood near the window gazing at the beauty of the skyscrapers that spanned the moonlit sky. In the distance below, specks of light could be seen reflecting from the blue waters of the San Antonio River.

A tremor shuddered through her as she desperately tried to appreciate the night's allure. It was useless. Her thoughts were miles and miles away. Drawing in a deep breath, she inhaled the disinfectant smell of the visitors' waiting room and swallowed the lump in her throat.

Fear and grief surged through her. Biting her lower lip, she clenched her hands together. She wanted to scream out her pain, yell out her anguish and tear the inner turmoil from within her. Unfortunately she couldn't. She could not lose control. Not now, not ever. She had to be strong. There were no family members she could turn to. Both of her parents had been the only child of their parents. There weren't any grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins. There was no one to share her anguish.

The sound of footsteps echoed softly on the tiled floor. "Caitlin?"

Bracing herself, she turned around. Fighting back tears, she faced Dr. Flores. "How is he?" she asked, her voice remarkably steady. She searched the face of the gray-haired man wearing a white lab coat. He was not only her father's physician, but an old family friend, as well. Seeing his sullen expression, any hope she harbored vanished. Nevertheless, she willed herself not to panic.

Dr. Flores placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. "Your dad's condition is stable for now, and he seems to be resting comfortably. Although his medication has worn off and he's in pain, he refuses to swallow another dose until he speaks to you."

A terrifying weakness paralyzed Caitlin. Her father had always been a healthy man, except for a light heart attack a few years back from which he'd fully recovered.

"You can only visit him for a few minutes, Caitlin. Then I need to sedate him so he can rest comfortably through the night."

A sense of despair washed over her. Her dark eyes burned with fatigue brought on by a sleepless night. "So nothing has changed." It was more a statement than a question.

Dr. Flores hesitated before answering. "As I explained over the phone this morning, we diagnosed his condition over eight months ago. Since the tumor was discovered, its malignancy has spread very rapidly. Chemotherapy would have been useless. I advised him to tell you about his condition but he refused. He didn't want you to know he had prostate cancer until it became absolutely necessary."

Caitlin nodded, then asked the dreaded question she had to have answered. "How much longer?"

Louis Flores shrugged. "A matter of days, maybe a week. It's hard to say at this point. There's really nothing we can do for him, other than making him comfortable. He doesn't want you to see him this way, but has no choice."

Dr. Flores paused and then went on. "And another thing, Caitlin. Don't question anything he tells you. The reason he won't let me sedate him just yet is because he wants to be completely coherent when he talks to you. Don't think what he's saying is prompted by the medication."

Caitlin's instincts sensed a warning in Dr. Flores's words; a warning that went beyond mere medical advice. She lifted her eyes to his face, letting her gaze run over the distraught features he arduously shielded behind a cloak of professionalism. "Dr. Flores—"

"No, Caitlin. Whatever Halston has to say, he'll tell you himself." An expression of tenderness softened his face.

"Let's not keep him waiting."

A short walk down the hall brought Caitlin to her father's room. Inhaling a deep breath, she walked over to the bed where he lay with his eyes closed. Taking a seat in the recliner next to the bed, she studied her father's pallid face. As if sensing her presence, a weak smile touched his mouth. His eyes opened slowly.

His gaunt appearance looked nothing like the robust man she'd always known and loved. Sickness had aged him beyond his fifty-eight years and he'd lost an enormous amount of weight. Caitlin had to bite back a strong urge to cry out in agony. Instead she remembered Dr. Flores's words and took her father's hand in hers. Immediately she sensed his loss of strength. Her heart ached.

Halston Parker forced out a ragged breath. "Caitlin?"

"Yeah, Dad. It's me. Don't try to talk now. I'm here, and I'm not going anyplace."

He closed his eyes, then reopened them. A hint of a smile barely touched his mouth. He stared at her. Caitlin wondered if he saw her or was visualizing her mother whom she favored, his beloved Catherine, who'd died eight years ago. He had taken her mother's sudden death from a ruptured appendix extremely hard, never fully recovering from it. It had been during that time their already close relationship had become even closer. He had devoted all of his time and attention to his only child. It was as if Caitlin had become the only thing that had kept him going in a world filled with extreme loneliness.

Caitlin sighed, remembering how, six months ago, he had encouraged her to accept a job offer that required a move to Fort Worth. He'd known about his condition and had sent her away to spare her the anguish of seeing him suffer. If only she had known…

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 89 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 89 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012


    This was the first novel by Mrs. Jackson that had me hooked on the Madris family. I loved Dex and Caitilyn's story so much that I could not put this novel down. If you are searching for a well developed story and sizzling romance, search no more because this is truly the story for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2005


    I've just recently started reading the 'Madaris Series' and I am hooked on every novel. This book captured my mind, soul and body in every way. I couldn't put the novel down even at bedtime. Brenda Jackson is truly a very gifted and inspiring author. Pls don't stop writing about the Madaris family.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 15, 2013


    Another great book by Brenda Jackson full of friendship, love, and romance. I have come to expect nothing less from this author. It was very difficult to put this one down, or have I said that about all of her books. LA-TXN

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    Love brenda jackson

    Never disappointing or to far over the edge

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I have enjoyed reading all of Brenda's books and this is one of my favorites. Once you start reading you can't put the book down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2012

    Laquisha sauls/Whispered promises by Brenda Jackson

    This book was one of my favorits of hers It's about trust and forgiveness and learning how to give your heart to the one you love. I recommend this book to people all over the world you will anjoy this book and i can,t wait to read more books written by this author.

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

    Posted January 27, 2012

    Great Read

    I am a hopeless romantic! I loved all three books about the Mardrais brothers and about to start the one about their kid sister Chrissy.

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  • Posted December 16, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the best

    This is one of my favorite Madris Family books. I have read this story 3 times. I love Kaitlin and Dexter story. I finally bought the ebook. I guess I will be reading it again... he he he he

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2011


    One of the best authors I have read in a long time

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    Could'nt get enough

    Very good read

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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    love never fails!

    I liked the drama that is added to this love story. Takes a minute to get started,but keep reading you wont be disapointed.

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  • Posted April 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Whispered Promises

    When the loss of one brings you the gain of another, whom you thought was lost turns out to bring a family unit together, what can you say?

    Caitin has spent years in the dark. A dark past her father, Halston, is responsible for. Secrets threaten to rob her of what is rightfully hers and Dex to share as one. She forgives her father because she feels it was all done in the name of love and protection.

    On his dying bed, Halston summons, the one man he never approved of to his bedside. Dex Madaris, being the man that he is, obeys the request. One of the things he learns is that, he has been missing some years that he would have never missed, had he known the truth.

    Dex is forced to change his habits of being a loner and a workaholic. He is suddenly given a gift, which he had been denied for years.

    Secrets are the culprit in this novel.

    Again, its Romance theme allows you hope, even in the midst of dark situations. If you love someone, let them know and please do not keep secrets from them. Please.

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

    Posted January 19, 2008

    an Madaris family

    Dexter Madaris had gone to a café to meet with Caitlin Parker, for his Uncle Jake, about a summer job on Jake¿s ranch. The moment Dex saw the lovely Caitlin he knew that she was too young for him. However Dex still hired Caitlin for the job. Dex was visiting at Jake¿s ranch but he was leaving in three weeks to go too Australia for two years. The attraction that was between Dex and Caitlin began to burn hot, Dex knew that he couldn¿t leave Caitlin behind so he asked her to marry him. Dex took Caitlin home to tell her father that they were married. Halston Parker became so angry that he had a heart attack. After a few days Caitlin told Dex to go on to Australia without her and she would come as soon as her father was better. Dex was surprised when he received papers for their divorce. Dex was so hurt and he swore that he would never love again. Four years later Caitlin was back at the hospital because her father was dying of cancer. Halston wanted Caitlin to call Dex and have him come to the hospital. Caitlin calls Dex and he comes. Halston tells them that they are still married because he hadn¿t filed the divorce papers. Halston also tell Dex that someone had been harassing him, because he wouldn¿t sell a piece of land that he owned. Halston wanted Dex to protect Caitlin in case they start coming after her. Caitlin is afraid that Dex will discover a secret that she has hidden from him, and that he will never forgive her. Brenda Jackson beings the next installment of Madaris family and it was a heart warming tale of love, betrayal and love found again. Caitlin was young when they married and she was being pulled in two directions by Dex and her father. Dex being eleven-years older then Caitlin knew that he was too old for her, but he had loved her so much. He would stay with her now but she would never have his heart again... or would she? This was a great read and I enjoyed it very much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2004

    Loved reading about the love between Dex & Caitlin

    I just brought this book and finished it in one day. I could not put this book down. It felt like I was there feeling the love between Dex and Caitlin. I can't wait to start on the next Madaris family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2003

    Love survives

    I enjoyed this book so much. Even though this is fiction many aspect of the book were real. Love was still strong after all those years apart. In real life there are some only who love one for a lifetime. I love the Madaris series. I can't wait for the christy and alex story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2002



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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2002



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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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