Bret Nolan has never gotten used to the confines of the city. He’ll always be a cowboy at heart, and his restless blood still longs for the open range. And he’s on his way back to the boundless plains of Texas to escort a reluctant heiress to Boston-on his way to pick up a woman destined to be a dutiful wife. But Emily Abercrombie isn’t about to just up and leave her ranch in Texas to move to an unknown city. And the more time Bret spends with the determined beauty, the more he realizes he wants to be the man in Emily’s life. Now he just has to show her the true honor found in the heart of a cowboy.
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A Texan's Honor
By Leigh Greenwood
Copyright © 2006
All right reserved.
Bret Nolan approached his Uncle Silas Abbott's office with
barely concealed anticipation, a smile threatening to banish
his habitual frown. He was certain he was being called in for
the long-promised but often postponed meeting about the
changes Bret had proposed for the company.
He had worked in his mother's family's shipping company,
Abbott & Abercrombie, since leaving Texas six years ago.
During that time he'd carefully studied the inner workings of
the transportation industry as the last of the great clipper
ships gave way to steam power. He had spent more than a year
developing a detailed plan of changes the company needed to
make to remain competitive into the twentieth century.
He was doubly excited because the changes would mean bigger
roles for him and for his cousin Rupert who supported him. He
wished Rupert were here today, but he was in Providence, Rhode
Island, inventorying the contents of Abbott & Abercrombie's
warehouses. It was the kind of job that reminded the two men
they were poor relations.
"Your uncle said you were to go right in," his secretary said
with a broad smile when Bret entered her office. "He's
anxious to see you."
Bret's steps grew lighter. His uncle was never anxious to see
him. In fact, seeing Bretusually gave him gas. He must have
grasped the value of Bret's plan. Finally, he would begin to
see his nephew as a valued member of the company, not merely
the son of a disinherited sister and her rabble-rousing
husband who was thoughtless enough to get himself killed in
circumstances that brought unwelcome publicity to the family.
He knocked on the door of his uncle's office. The words Come
in sounded so welcoming he smiled.
"You wanted to see me, sir."
"Come in and have a seat," his uncle said.
He was in such a sunny mood Bret began to feel uneasy. He
felt certain his recommendations were sound, but he'd expected
his uncle to argue every point. Silas Abbott liked to think
all good ideas were his own. When they weren't, he'd talk in
circles, making and discarding suggestions, until he arrived
back at the starting point, convinced he'd come up with the
"How have you been keeping yourself?" his uncle asked. "We
haven't had a chance to see much of each other lately."
Bret grew even more apprehensive. His uncle never wanted
anything to do with him, had only hired him because Bret's
grandmother had insisted he give Bret a job. Uncle Silas paid
Bret barely enough to live on, a measure of his displeasure at
having his hand forced.
"I have nothing to complain about," Bret lied. "Working ten
hours a day six days a week doesn't leave much time for me to
find trouble ... or it to find me." He could tell from the
twitch of his uncle's eyebrows the remark had angered him, but
Bret was tired of seeing his uncle and his son, Joseph, leave
the office when he and Rupert still had several hours of work
to do. Even the regular staff went home before they did.
"Honest work never hurt anyone," his uncle said. "It's how
you get ahead."
But Bret hadn't gotten ahead. Everybody in the office knew he
and Rupert could work circles around Joseph, yet Joseph
continued to get promoted, with commiserate raises in salary,
while Rupert stayed a glorified errand boy and Bret an equally
exalted clerk. Bret had tried very hard to control the
bitterness that burned in his stomach like an acid, but it had
become increasingly difficult in the face of Joseph's
"I don't mind. I like the work." Okay, he was lying, but
telling the truth wouldn't get him anywhere. This was his
chance for a real future. It was worth a little white lie.
"Shepherd tells me you've done a very good job," his uncle
said. "In fact, he can't seem to stop talking about you."
Unlike Silas, Shepherd wasn't one to deny praise where it was
"I'm glad he thinks I've been helpful."
When he first came from Texas, Bret had had difficulty making
meaningless conversation. There was no such thing in the
Maxwell household. Jake was brusque, Isabelle direct, and the
other orphans just waiting for a chance to put somebody down.
As long as what they said was fair, Jake and Isabelle let them
say pretty much what they thought. They believed all the boys
had a right to be heard, that their feelings should be
respected as far as possible, and that treatment should be
fair. But most of all, they'd loved every one of their eleven
adopted kids. The orphans had worked hard, played hard, and
occasionally fought hard, but they were a loved and a valued
part of a family. They knew they belonged.
Bret hadn't expected his mother's family to feel the same way
about him, but reality had been a brutal shock. His father's
sister had welcomed him back, but she was involved in her
causes and was seldom around. Only his grandmother's
attention enabled him to keep his tongue between his teeth.
She had encouraged him to be patient, said that his hard work
and intelligence would pay off someday. Today was that day.
"I called you in because I have a very special assignment for
you," his uncle said.
"I was hoping we could discuss the suggestions I gave you. It
wouldn't take more than a few minutes to-"
"I'm still studying them." Silas tried unsuccessfully to hide
his irritation at Bret's interruption.
"I doubt you're aware of it," his uncle said, "but Ezra
Abercrombie had a brother who went west. Samuel was something
of an embarrassment to the family so Ezra was relieved to be
rid of him. But apparently their father had a change of heart
before he died."
Amos Abercrombie, ninety-three-year-old only son of one of the
original founders of Abbott & Abercrombie, had died the
previous year and had been buried with all the pomp and
recognition the city fathers of Boston could give him.
"It came as quite a surprise to Ezra to learn his father had
left a quarter interest in the firm to Samuel in his will."
Bret could see how that would upset his uncle, but he didn't
see what it could have to do with him. The Abercrombies were
a proud family who didn't waste time on poor relations. He
doubted they'd let him in the door.
"It seems the old renegade has managed to make a fortune in
cows somewhere in that godforsaken state of Texas," Silas
grumbled. "You ought to know all about that sort of thing."
Bret did know all about that sort of thing, and his family
never let him forget it. Whenever one of them made any
slurring remark about the South or the West, they always
turned to him as though he'd been personally responsible for
the Civil War as well as anyone wanting to settle west of the
Mississippi River. The fact that he would not back down in
his admiration for Jake and Isabelle was held to be proof he
was not yet rehabilitated.
"How does that affect me?" Bret asked.
"You can keep twenty-five percent of our company stock from
ending up in the hands of some ignorant cowpoke."
Bret had to force down a spurt of anger before he could reply.
"How am I supposed to do that?"
"Samuel is dying. He wants this daughter - his only child - to
move to Boston. The only problem is the old turncoat has
given the girl such a poor image of the Abercrombies she
refuses to budge. The only person she remembers favorably is
Joseph, so Samuel wants us to take her in. I want you to
bring her to Boston before she gets any foolish ideas about
marrying a cowpoke."
Bret wasn't the least bit flattered by this very special
assignment. His uncle had chosen him to go to Texas because
he thought everybody else was too good to be subjected to the
rigors of entering a state he was convinced was populated
almost entirely by thieves and murderers.
"It's your job to make sure she gets here in an unmarried
state. Until she's safely settled in Boston, it's your only
"I can't force her against her will."
"Who said anything about forcing her?" his uncle asked. "You
lived among those people for years. You understand them. If
you want me to believe you're smart enough to figure out a
better way to run my business, you can begin by delivering
that girl without a husband in tow."
"Sons and daughters of those people don't always do what their
"That would serve Samuel right," Silas said with a nasty
smile. "He never did what anybody wanted, but we can't afford
to let those shares go out of the family. You get her here,
and I'll find somebody to marry her."
"Who?" She might be heir to a quarter of the company, but
Bret couldn't see one of the Abbotts or Abercrombies marrying
anybody who hadn't been born into Boston society.
"Samuel has sent his brother several pictures of her over the
years. I don't know where he found anyone with a camera in
that godforsaken place, but the girl appears to be rather
attractive. Joseph is quite taken with her. I admit I'm not
pleased at the prospect of a woman of that kind as my
daughter-in-law, but we can't allow that twenty-five percent
to leave the family."
"I'll have nothing to do with marrying her to Joseph."
"Joseph is capable of handling his own affairs," Silas said.
"Your job is to get her here. And don't get any ideas about
marrying her yourself." Silas never thought anything he said
was insulting. As far as he was concerned, only people like
himself had feelings.
"I couldn't marry if I wanted," Bret said. "I don't make
enough to support a wife much less a family."
"Don't despair," Silas said without the slightest hint of
sympathy. "Once you work off some of the rough edges you got
from spending so many years with horses and cows, you might
find a wife. Boston is full of wealthy young women who don't
come quite up to the mark and are willing to accept something
less in a husband."
Bret wasn't willing to accept something less in a wife. "If
Joseph is interested in marrying Miss Abercrombie, maybe he
should go to Texas."
"He wouldn't know how to deal with those people," Silas said.
"Besides, I have no intention of letting him marry that girl
until she's brought up to our standards. No, it will be much
better for you to bring her here. That will give you plenty
of opportunity to sing Joseph's praises, let her know how
fortunate she is to have attracted the notice of a man of his
quality. If you do your job right, by the time she gets here,
she'll be ready to fall into Joseph's arms and do anything he
Bret knew he had no choice about going to Texas, yet he
wouldn't be a party to talking any woman into marrying his
cousin. "If she's spent her whole life on a ranch in Texas,
she won't know what to do in a place like this."
"Joseph will take care of that. All you have to do is get her
"What if I can't bring her back?"
His uncle's cold stare bored into Bret. "Then don't come
Excerpted from A Texan's Honor
by Leigh Greenwood
Copyright © 2006 by Leigh Greenwood .
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In 1881 Bret Nolan left Texas over six years ago to work in his family¿s shipping firm Abbott & Abercrombie in Boston. He enjoys the eastern big city, but at times misses the wide open spaces of back home. His odious Uncle Silas Abbott who treats Bret with contempt for being a Texan assigns him with a key task. Apparently, dying Samuel Abercrombie, who lives in Texas, inherited twenty-five per cent of the company¿s stock last year he wants his daughter to move to Boston. Silas and his partner Samuel¿s brother Ezra order Bret to escort his niece Emily to Boston so she does not marry some wild cowboy. Bret agrees as it gives him a reason to return to Texas even for a short respite before returning to Massachusetts.--------- In Texas, Bret realizes how much Emily enjoys her ranch, but still they agree for her to see her father. However, Bret, who admires the courageous young woman, worries about her safety when he learns someone is rustling her cattle. He asks his two brothers to help stop the thieves while he hopes to prove to Emily how much he loves her.----------------- A TEXAN¿S HONOR is a delightful Texas historical romance starring two likable protagonists who to the readers¿ pleasure and to the chagrin of Uncles Silas and Ezra (clever first names for this avarice pair) fall in love. The story line is fast-paced and filled with Cowboy- style action. However it is the cast that brings late nineteenth century Western cattle country Texas vividly to life, a trademark of a Leigh Greenwood westerner.-------------- Harriet Klausner
Okay book. #6 IN THE NIGHT RIDER Series. 220 pages. The next book in this series is someone like you and it hs 262 pages. I like to know how many pages a book has so i can see if the cost will be helpful when i decide if i'll want to purchace a book. More readers should hell others. D
I so looked forward to reading a new L. Greenwood novel - but unfortunately the plot was not exciting, after the first few pages it was quite obvious what the last few pages would reveal thus not 'urging' the reader to continue!! I will read the next Greenwood novel with hopes it will be more exciting, make the reader anxious to read the next page and chapter!!