The Carpenter's Lady

The Carpenter's Lady

by Barbara Delinsky
3.7 14

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The Carpenter's Lady by Barbara Delinsky

A classic novel from New York Times bestselling author Barbara Delinsky, The Carpenter’s Lady is the poignant and romantic story of two people seeking to rebuild their lives. After a painful divorce, a successful writer leaves New York for New Hampshire, where she hopes to mend her broken heart. But when she meets a compellingly enigmatic carpenter, a new love begins . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061030246
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/25/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 576,105
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

Barbara Delinsky is the author of more than twenty-two New York Times bestselling novels. Her books have been published in thirty languages, with over thirty-five million copies in print worldwide. A lifelong New Englander, Delinsky currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband. She is a passionate photographer, an avid tennis player, a drop-all-when-they-call mom and Grammi, and a confidante to friends of all stripes.


Newton, Massachusetts

Date of Birth:

August 9, 1945

Place of Birth:

Boston, Massachusetts


B.A. in Psychology, Tufts University, 1967; M.A. in Sociology, Boston College, 1969

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

From the waist down, he was promising. His jeans fit him like the hide of a lion, gliding over hard muscle as he twisted on the dolly beneath the truck in search of an elusive valve. Weathered from wear, the denim traversed a rangy path from the worn leather of his belt to that of his work boots. When he bent one knee up in an attempt to lever himself properly, the muscle of his other thigh tensed, drawing the faded material taut.

Feeling like the voyeur she'd never been, Debra Barry cleared her throat.

"Excuse me? Graham Reid?" When the topless body made no move to respond, she stepped closer and bent from the waist to assure herself that there was indeed a man above the lean hips beneath the truck in the service-station bay. "Hello?"

His wrench hit the cement with a soft clang as he muttered an oath.

Straightening his torso, he used his flexed leg to guide the dolly forward. With the emerging of a chest, shoulders and head, Debra found herself face-to-face with the man she'd been sent to see. He was dirty, with streaks of grime on his face and hands and on his forearms where the sleeves of his heavy wool shirt had been rolled back. That, too, had seen cleaner days, as had his hair, a shaggy thatch that cleared his forehead only by virtue of his still-prone position. But his eyes were clear, clear and amber, staring at her as though she'd personally sabotaged his truck.

"Yes?" came his voice, deep and remarkably impassive.

"I'm looking for Graham Reid," she returned in relief. At least he hadn't lashed out at her as those eyes had hinted he might have done. But then, this was New Hampshire, not NewYork. This was a rural man, not a city man. His temperament would be that much more even. She'd have to remember that.


She raised a brow in anticipation. "You're Graham Reid?"

"Yes." This time his voice was firmer and bore a note of impatience. With his hands grasping the footboard of the truck above his head, he continued to stare at her.

Debra took a deep breath. "I need a carpenter. You've been recommended. I wonder if we might talk."

When the man simply continued to stare, she wondered if she'd somehow offended him. Had it not been for his eyes, she might have suspected that he hadn't understood her request. But those eyes were sharp, looking at nothing but her face, yet seeming to see everything at once. Suddenly, she grew self-conscious."You are a carpenter, aren't you?" she queried in frustration. "Or is it your father . . . or some other Graham Reid whose work I've seen?"

The man on the ground blinked as though brought back from a daydream, then gave a shove with his hands, rolled free of the truck and stood in one fluid move. Debra half-wished he'd remained on the ground. If she'd thought that his eyes were intimidating, she hadn't counted on his superior height or the commanding breadth of his chest and shoulders.

"You've seen my work?" he demanded in that same level voice.

"Yes. I made stops at both the Hardys' and the Lavelles' before I came looking for you. There seemed little point in taking your time or mine to talk," she reasoned, "if I didn't like your work to begin with." A flash of something akin to respect passed through his gaze, though it was gone so quickly she half-suspected she'd imagined it.

Graham Reid rubbed his hands on the back of his pants, extended his right in belated introduction, but turned it up just before hers met it and studied the grease, then shrugged and let it fall to his side. His gaze took in her own immaculate appearance, skimming the soft blouse and fitted jeans beneath her open hip-length parka and resting momentarily on the toes of her fine leather boots before returning to her face. "Sorry about that. Wouldn't want to get you dirty."

"No problem," she countered quickly, anxious to get down to business. "That was your work I saw this morning, wasn't it?"

"It was." He cocked his hands on his hips.

"It's impressive," she ventured. But when he held her gaze unwaveringly, without any sign of appreciation, she forced herself on. "I've bought a house just outside of town and want some work done on it. It's a large job, but you'd be well compensated." At his look of mild disinterest, she added cautiously, "You are available, aren't you?"


Taken aback by his abruptness, she frowned. "No? That's strange. I was told that you were just finishing a job. In fact, Mr. O'Hara went out of his way to tell me that he was sure you'd be able to help me."

The amber eyes narrowed. "O'Hara, was it?" He grimaced and looked away, focusing on a distant mountaintop. "O'Hara's a crafty one," he murmured more softly, then returned his full attention to Debra. "But I'm afraid I can't help you." Turning, he bent to retrieve the wrench he'd dropped beneath the truck, leaving Debra nothing but the broad expanse of his back to study. She wasn't about to be satisfied with that alone.

"Then . . . you have another job lined up?"

"Nope." Wrench in hand, he straightened and crossed the garage to replace the tool on its hook. Debra followed.

"I don't understand. If you're finishing one job and don't have another in the offing, why won't you consider mine?"

Digging into the pocket of his shirt, he withdrew the broken stub of a pencil, looked at it in disgust before tossing it aside, then began to search the open shelves for one that was in better condition.

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Carpenter's Lady 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Debra Berry has said goodbye to her cheating husband, over bearing family and hello to a life that will be one she creates. Debra has so many possibilities of where to go from here, especially with the new house she just bought and the career she is so successful at. The house is a mess but she owns it and nothing from the past can spoil this dream. She hires the best carpenter in town, Graham Reid who is less than anxious to take the job. He doesn't think he can get any work done while he spends the day thinking about her and trying to control he desire to possess her. But the money is too tempting and the opportunity to enticing to walk away from. Graham and Debra try to control the passion between them but the longer they are together the worse it is to resist. Debra and Graham both have had past relationship failures and trouble with trust but it seems like they can build from the ground up not only the house but themselves. While everyone is trying to manipulate the end result with Debra's life she knows that she could not write a better ending to a script than one that has Graham in her life forever. Don't judge the book by the writing, take it for the year it was written and enjoy. When you read the earlier books by Barbara Delinsky you realize that contemporary romance was not her greatest forte shall we say. But this book was written in 1999 and does it fit the writing style for that time, place, and tone of contemporary romance - absolutely. I also felt this book was a precursor to Escape which came out this year as the story is different but the concept of being your own woman and finding your own place is important.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aya63 More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jessica Sadler More than 1 year ago
Not much to say, good but not her best
SharingBooks More than 1 year ago
I was nothing but disgusted with this book. I have never read a Barbara Delinsky before and randomly picked this up. Based on the title, the charming cover art and the story description, this should have been a charming country living / rainy day romance. The characters were likeable. The plot had potential. However, that all came to a crashing halt when the hero of the story decides he's attracted to the leading lady and instead of asking her on a date or spending time getting to know her, he just announces he wants her and starts forcing himself on her. She says: no, back off, step back, leave, etc. and he just keeps pushing with the justification that if he keeps forcing physical contact eventually she'll want it too and give in so it won't be "rape". And the fully adult, 30 year old woman, raised in New York City turns into a wilting flower. Where is the respect? Where is the romance? This book cured me of ever picking up another Barbara Delinski as long as I live. I threw it out after 80 pages For romance I recommend Linda Howard's "MacKenzie's Mountain" (the whole MacKenzie series is fabulous), Nora Robert's Key trilogy, and Jennifer Cruisie's "Getting Rid of Bradley" and "Agnes and the Hitman"(love everything by Jennifer Cruisie.
grame More than 1 year ago
if you are a fan of Barbara Delinsky, you will love this book. It is a constant changing plot. Of course you know the lady gets the man, but the things they go through will keep you wanting to read. You will continue to be shocked by the changes. I think this is one of her best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Patokagwp More than 1 year ago
This is probably a good book. It just wasn't and isn't something I like to read. I was entranced by the book's description. The writing is good from what little I could do. It just isn't my style of book. So, read a bit before you buy. Make sure that you can read all of it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I have read many efforts by Barbara Delinsky and have thoroughly enjoyed all, this one is special. She produces a tangible, almost tasteable passion between two very independent individuals...The plot is simple, the people are complex, and the book is impossible to put down. A must read. Strongly suggested for any new Delinsky readers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The Carpenter's Lady' was nice. It cannot truly be summed up in a better word. The characters were attractive enough and the plot captured your attention for a time or two, yet the problem was it was just plain nice. Perhaps, Delinsky should have thrown in more emotion rather than a fast romance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Read the whole thing in an afternoon! The anticipation of the story builds throughout and takes several turns.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down, the writing was great, the charaters were perfect for each other and fell in love in the best way. I was compelled to read every word, the parts with love making were too hot to handle.. Love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Had a hard time getting anything else done, for wanting to read this book. Wonderfully written.