Flowers from the Storm

Flowers from the Storm

by Laura Kinsale

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Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale

The Duke of Jervaulx was brilliant and dangerous. Considered dissolute, reckless, and extravagant, he was transparently referred to as the ′D of J′ in scandal sheets, where he and his various exploits featured with frequency. But sometimes the most womanising rake can be irresistible, and even his most casual attentions fascinated the sheltered Maddy Timms, quiet daughter of a simple mathematician.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380761326
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/27/2003
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 322,223
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.12(d)

About the Author

Laura Kinsale is a winner and multiple nominee for the Best Book of the Year award given by the Romance Writers of America. She became a romance writer after six years as a geologist -- a career which consisted of getting out of bed in the middle of the night and driving hundreds of miles alone across west Texas to sit at drilling rigs, wear a hard hat, and attempt to boss around oil-covered males considerably larger than herself. This, she decided, was pushing her luck. So she gave all that up to sit in a chair and stare into space for long periods of time, attempting to figure out What-Happens-Next. She and her husband David currently divide their time between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Texas.

Read an Excerpt

Flowers from the Storm

Chapter One

"I′ve yet to fathom it. No doubt I never will. How canst thou expect any real consideration from a person of his -- " Archimedea Timms paused, searching for a suitable word. " -- his ilk, Papa?"

"Wilt thou pour me a cup of tea, Maddy?" her father asked, in just the sort of amiable voice that left one with no room to start an effective argument.

"He is a duke, for one thing," she said over her shoulder, a parting shot as she marched through the back dining room to locate Geraldine, since the parlor bell was in disorder. The time it took to find the maidservant, see water drawn and set to boil, and return to the parlor was not enough to make her forget the sequence of her thoughts. "A duke can scarcely be supposed to care seriously for such matters -- the square is above thy left hand -- as must be perfectly clear when his integration has not been prepared for the past week."

"Thou shouldst not be impatient, Maddy. This sort ofthing must be done with infinite care. He is taking his time. I admire him for it." Her father′s searching fingers found the carved wooden numeral two and slid it into place as an exponent of s.

"He is not taking his time, nor a bit of care. He is out and about the town, engaged in creaturely socializing. He has not the smallest regard for thy credit, nor his own."

Her father smiled, gazing straight ahead as he searchedout a multiplication sign and added it to the sequence ofwooden letters and numbers on the red baize tablecloth infront of him, his fingers floating over the blocks to checkeach by touch. "Knowest thou certain sure about the creaturely socializing, Maddy?"

"One has only to read the papers. There is not a worldlyfunction which he has not attended this entire spring. Andyour joint treatise scheduled to be introduced on Third Dayevening! I shall have to be the one to cancel it, I know, for he won′t think of it. President Milner will be most aggravated, and rightly so, for who is to take Jervaulx′s place at the podium?"

"Thou shalt write the equations upon the slate, and I shall be there to answer questions."

"If Friend Milner will allow it," she said broodingly."He′ll say that it′s most irregular."

"No one will mind. We delight in thy presence everymonth, Maddy. Thou hast always been welcome to attend.Friend Milner himself once told me that a lady′s face brightens the meeting rooms considerable."

"Of course I attend. Should I let thee go alone?" Shelooked up at the maidservant as the girl brought in the tray. Geraldine set the tea down, and Maddy poured her father a cup, touching his hand and guiding it gently to the saucer and handle. His fingers were pale and soft from all the years of indoor work, his face still unlined in spite of his age. There had always been an air of abstraction about him, even before he′d lost his sight. Truthfully, the set habits of his life had not changed so much after the illness that had blinded him years ago, except that now he leaned on Maddy′s arm when he went for his daily walk or to the monthly meetings of the Analytical Society and used carved blocks and dictation in his mathematics instead of his own pen.

"Thou′lt call on the duke again today about the differentials?" he asked.

Maddy made a face, safe to do so when Geraldine hadleft. "Yes, Papa," she said, keeping her vexation from hervoice with an effort. "I′ll call on the duke again."

The first thing Christian thought of when he woke was the unfinished integration. He threw back the covers, evicting Cass and Devil from the bed, and shook his hand vigorously, trying to rid himself of the pins-and-needles sensation caused by sleeping on it. The dogs whined at the door, and he let them out. The uncomfortable itchy numbness in his fingers was slow to fade; he worked his fist as he poured chocolate and sat down in his dressing robe to leaf through the pages of Timms′ ciphering and his own.

It was easy to tell the difference: Timms had a small, refined hand, a third the size of Christian′s inverted scrawl. From his first day in the schoolroom, Christian had rebelled at the insistence on right-handed cursive and used his left, enduring the regular beatings across the offending palm with sullen silence, but it still embarrassed him to write when anyone could see him. This morning Timms′ writing appeared so small that it even seemed hard to read; it swam on the page and gave Christian a headache trying to focus on it.

Obviously, he was a little the worse for whatever brandyhe′d consumed last night. He took up a quill, alreadytrimmed by his secretary to the special angle that Christian′s ungraceful, upside-down hand posture required, and began to work, ignoring what had been written before. It was easy to lose himself in the bright, cool world of functions and hyperbolic distances. The symbols on the page might slide and quiver, but the equations in his head were like unfailing music. He blinked, screwed up his face against the pain that seemed to have settled around his right eye, and kept writing.

Flowers from the Storm. Copyright © by Laura Kinsale. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Flowers from the Storm 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
readerWriterJG More than 1 year ago
This is my first Laura Kinsale novel. wow, she is a prolific writer. If you love wounded heros this is the book for you. I loved it. The rehabilitation of the stroke victim was amazingly portrayed. How the character felt and viewed his world as he recovered was so in depth that I was blown away. Sure our leading male hero had to recover some on his own, that is what romantic hero's have to do, show strength of character in the face of adversity and all that.Maddy helped him of course, but vacillating with her conflicting morals to hold our tension. I was angry with her at some point, but the story was well worth that for the end. A delicious ride of hope, and romantic tension.
srbSH More than 1 year ago
Christian Langland, arrogant rake Duke of Jervaulx is a mathematical genius whose fellow theorist is blind Quaker Timms. Archimedea (Maddy) Timms is the go-between for her father - she writes out his equations - and the Duke. Their breakthrough work is presented at the Analytical Society with resounding response. (Maddy has already made up her mind that Jervaulx and his world are distasteful. Her father is more accepting). Plans that were made for the mathematicians' continuing partnership come to naught when the Timmses learn that Jervaulx is 'no longer in this world'. (We know that he's had a stroke, but to the then medical profession he's lost his mind.) Months later Maddy brings her father to her cousin's model sanatorium where she will help out in exchange for their upkeep. Jervaulx is there, shackled, unable to speak; ill kempt, and secretly ill treated; word put out by his family is that he is critically ill (or dead). After making eye contact, Maddy knows her Work is to help him, and for Jervaulx she's his anchor in the storm. This is a wonderful love story and an engrossing look into Jervaulx's muddled perception of the world and how with Maddy's help he makes determined progress to overcome his infirmity. But can they keep the forces against them at bay - his family who wants to permanently commit him to gain power over the estate? her Quakerism and fellow Quakers who want her to leave him? The reader is swept up in a storm of interesting secondary characters and a dense, taut plot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the first romance novels I ever read, and I am now a romance editor at a large publisher! I can honestly say, hundreds of romances later, that this is still one of the very best books of any genre that I have ever read--Laura Kinsale completely deserves her reputation as an icon in the romance community.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Kinsale did an amazing job with her hero in this one, portraying a man who underwent a devastating stroke. At times when the story was told from Christian's point of view, I almost felt as if I had to work as hard as he did to try and figure out what the people around him were saying and what was going on. His frustration with himself and his situation were brilliantly written, and for a good 7/8ths of the novel he was one of the most sympathetic heroes I've ever read. Maddy, though, is a bit harder to love. She is wonderful in her patience with Christian and her determination to do whatever she could to help him. Her rigidity of faith, though, was disturbing. She was constantly at war with herself over what she wanted to do for Christian and what she believed her religion would find "right", and it caused her to say and do very hurtful things at times, both toward Christian and toward herself. Of course it all comes out well in the end (if all a bit abruptly) and the prologue is delightful, and really, for much of the book I would have said it was a solid 5-star read. Both Maddy and Christian have some less-than-stellar moments toward the end, though, and behave in ways that just seemed a bit over the top to me, so it got bumped down to four; but still, it was a wonderfully written book that will definitely have me looking for more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a lovely story. I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. The story was such a contrasting of opposite worlds with loving blended together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The struggle of the hero recovering from a stroke. And how a couple from different faiths and social strata can work through varying challenges and perspectives.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was such a good book. Well developed characters. Highly reccomend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very unexpected plot and characters. Vividly and honestly written. I truly enjoyed it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book--In fact, I've re-read it twice.
ExArkie More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this book!  So many highlights - the ill-advised dual, the unspeakable horrors of the asylum, the unorthodox wedding, the legend of  the staghound,  the king's visit and then back to the staghound - this is a wonderful read!  Cannot recommend it highly enough.  ExArkie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
booklover10CM More than 1 year ago
Loved this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SunDancer1 More than 1 year ago
This is my second Laura Kinsale novel after Shadow and the Star. I must say, Jane Austen was my favorite but, she has stiff competition. From the first to the last page, she had me rooting for the couple as if they were alive and breathing. I was tempted so many times to flip forward to be assured that things weren't going helter skelter but, I prevailed and duly rewarded from my restraint. Being in the healthcare field, what I especially liked is that the author didn't write a quick cure (especially in that time period) for a person suffering from a stroke. She wrote the main character with realism and dignity and showed that with love and patience and strong will, it is possible for a person to take charge of their life after such a dibilatating set-back. I especially like the fact that thoufh the heroine was staunch in her views of her religion and upbringing. Her love was strong enough for her to have the courage to eventually find a balance that she could except without sacrificing the man she loved. Bravo!!! I will definitely be spending more time with this author's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a truly original story. I kept expecting the hero to all-of-a-sudden be too perfect for words again. I liked that fact that he was always going to be flawed, yet deep and emotional and sexy in the end anyway. I like how Kinsale drops enough hints that allow you to pick up on his sexual magnetism, but treats it realistically. Woman aren't necessarily swooning at his feet after he had a stroke, aside from his former disgruntled flame..with good reason. I like that his past mistakes and flaws weren't actually excusable due to some-yet-to-be-disclosed all-knowing foresight. The hero has to come face to face with who he was and how he looks through the eyes of others, such as Maddy. I was quite annoyed with Maddy, but that's ok. I don't have to see a character as being everything we are all supposed to want to be like to still be interested in their story. I have to say that I was still having trouble buying into their connection at the end of the book, but I think...that the message was love is unpredictable, and what you see on the surface is not the deep part of someone that determines what they seek in others. This was a thoroughly intriguing story and very much out of the romance mold.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not really surprised that there aren't more 5 stars, because this story is complicated and real! These characters STRUGGLE, but I think it makes their relationship more believable and rewarding. These aren't two fluffy headed Brits meeting during the season and chasing each other over on the mall. This is a man who has hit bottom and can either give in to oblivion or fight. I can honestly say that I don't know if I even liked the hero for most of the story. He was a jerk and acted dishonorably in the beginning of the story, but he certainly earned my respect at the end (notice how I mentioned respect...I'm still not sure I like the guy). At first I was surprised that these two characters got together (a Quaker and a nobleman?), but I've had some time to reflect and read beyond their superficial character descriptions to the strong wills that both of these characters have and need to be together. Great read! If you're tired of non-sense fluff try Mrs. Kinsale
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
romancefanWI More than 1 year ago
The plot was well-thought out and very unusual for a romance novel. But it worked well and the chemistry between the characters was great. I'd recommend you check this one out.
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