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The Fulfillment
     

The Fulfillment

3.8 13
by LaVyrle Spencer
 

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New readers will fall in love with New York Times bestselling author LaVyrle Spencer's unforgettable novels—and for those who have already read her timeless romances, rediscover the passion and magic . . . .

Two brothers work a rich and bountiful land—and one extraordinary woman shares their lives. To Jonathan Gray, Mary is a devoted and

Overview

New readers will fall in love with New York Times bestselling author LaVyrle Spencer's unforgettable novels—and for those who have already read her timeless romances, rediscover the passion and magic . . . .

Two brothers work a rich and bountiful land—and one extraordinary woman shares their lives. To Jonathan Gray, Mary is a devoted and giving mate. To Aaron, she is a beloved friend. But seven childless years of marriage have forced Jonathan to ask the unthinkable of his brother and his wife—binding the two people he cares for most with an act of desire born of compassion . . . awakening Mary to the pain of infidelity, and to all the bittersweet joy and heartache that passionate love can bring.

Editorial Reviews

San Antonio Express-News
Spencer is a winner and the reader is no loser.
Atlanta Journal & Constitution
Spencer brings an added dimension to her stories. Call it grit, call it warmth, call it whatever you like — it works.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061744099
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
54,797
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The truth had long been settling on Jonathan Gray, sneaking into his resisting comers, but it had finally resounded in the deepest part of him. He'd prayed it wasn't so, hoped that if he willed it untrue it would be. But it was true. He knew it. At last it had to be faced...and dealt with. After denying it all these years, it had come to Jonathan Gray that he was infertile.

Jonathan and Aaron had suffered together in that winter when it had happened, as they'd suffered most of their childhood illnesses together. As only brothers they'd shared everything from the tin cup on top of the water Pump to thebed they'd slept in all their growing years, so it was only natural that what one got, the other one got, from the croup of babyhood to the head colds of childhood and, finally, the mumps of adolescence. It was the mumps that had done it.

Who's to say why they'd stayed up on Aaron and moved down on Jonathan. Their ma had tried everything from packs of icy, burning-cold snow to poultices of boiled beans, but Jonathan's swelling genitals had stubbornly refused to subside.

It was one of the few times he ever remembered Doc Haymes coming out to their house, and maybe that had something to do with his mistrust of the man now.

"There's nothing I can do that you haven't already done, Mrs. Gray," the doc had said, and those words rang now in Jonathan's memory. He blamed the doc because Haymes had found no way to take away the pain.

When it was over and done with, they'd all said not to worry because it wasn't a sure thing he'd been damaged. Probably he'd end up with more babies than he needed, they'd ventured.

But he'dbeen married seven years and there were no babies yet. He and Mary had been trying all that time, and now it seemed almost certain there wouldn't ever be any babies.

And that old fool Haymes hadn't helped matters recently, either. For the life of him, Jonathan couldn't figure out why Mary listened to Haymes's farfetched notions. Now he had her counting the days on the calendar with some nonsense about some days it can happen and some days it can't. That riled Jonathan. Somebody ought to shake some sense into that old fool's head, but Jonathan was a peaceful man and it wouldn't be him that did it. Besides, the old fool seemed to keep Mary hopeful. So Jonathan stifled his tongue and went along with it when she announced it was the right day to try again. But he cursed Haymes half of the time for giving her false hopes.

But the pretending got harder and harder and the bed seemed smaller and smaller as their lovemaking brought no babies. The strain was rife between Jonathan and Mary, and nothing would ease it except the baby they both wanted and couldn't have.

It wasn't clear in Jonathan's head just when the notion had come to him, but it was somewhere back during the past winter. He'd had time to mull it over in his mind, holding it, weighing it, measuring it, rolling it back and forth as he might work a lump of spring soil, wondering just when it'd be ready for its mating with the seeds.

When it first came to him he was sitting where he was now, right here in the family pew after Sunday services, soaking up the good closeness of himself and the Lord after all the others had left the two of them alone for a while. It was a time he enjoyed best. Let the others yammer away, exchanging gossip in the churchyard like they always did on a Sunday. He'd rather spend his last few minutes here.

He'd been reading his Bible, easing his eyes over some words there, when he came to a verse that held his mind from wandering on: "Take unto thee Aaron thy brother and his sons with him." At first it was Aaron's name that held him, made him, go over it one more time. It was hard to say who had taken whom unto whom, for Aaron and Jonathan still shared their childhood home, and had since their parents had died. But as for who was doing the "taking unto" ' now that was hard to say. For they shared the home place equally, although, strange as it was, the land had been left to Jonathan while the house and outbuildings had been willed to Aaron.

Their pa knew what he was doing when he left things that way. It was a sure bet that Jonathan would never leave the land. He loved it too much. Aaron, on the other hand, was held more loosely to the land. Hadn't he already left it once and taken a fling in the city? But he'd come back after a year of that wildness. He'd come back to the home place, and you might say Jonathan had taken Aaron unto his land while Aaron had taken Jonathan unto his house. Seven years ago when Mary married Jonathan, she was taken into the lives of both brothers, as wife to the one, as true friend to the other. And that suited them all just fine.

Jonathan was pondering all this after he'd read that Bible verse the first time, and he wasn't quite ready, in his peaceful, unsuspectingstate of mind, for the downright disturbingly sinful idea that entered his soul after he reread the verse a third time. "Take unto thee Aaron thy brother and his sons with him."

It was the part about Aaron's sons that started the notion rolling around in Jonathan's brain.

Meet the Author

LaVyrle Spencer is the author of numerous nationally bestselling novels, including Family Blessings, Home Song, That Camden Summer, and Small Town Girl. She lives in Minnesota.

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Fulfillment 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
ExArkie More than 1 year ago
Of all the historical romances I have read (and there have been many, many), this one remains my favorite. I absolutely love this story - you will too! I have a hardback copy and a Nook copy. Suspend your morality and enjoy this book. Joann
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing so great you can not put it down ... a must read, and i hate to read. You will never be disappointed a page turner from beginning to end.
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SeaShell99 More than 1 year ago
Good story line. Easy to follow. Will read all by Spencer after this book!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first romance novel I had ever read. It's funny because I remember seeing the movie, and liking it until the end where society wouldn't have agreed with the book ending and therefore (in the movie) Mary and Aaron lived separate lives. The book on the other hand was very, very good. At first it throws you because of the sister-in-law, brother-in-law thing. But as the book progresses, you see that Mary and Aaron really were meant for each other. The last chapters of the book are absolutely the best, and it almost makes you wish it went into people's mind more to see what they were really thinking. The book as a whole is a definite read. It makes you cry, and also makes you happy. It involves you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I guess it's just that i never left the 'morality of constraint' time of my childhood, but after the husband's demise and even before ,i could not for the life of me justify the affair by any means. He asked them to do it and they refused, yet they were ''meant to be.' I thought that was farfetched and it read that way. I saw nothing romantic about the fact that he died and they lived happily ever after, even though they betrayed him, after pretending his suggestion was such an abomination.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this novel is not my favorite by LaVyrle Spencer, it is definitely worth reading more that once. I really did not agree with killing off the husband so the wife and brother-in-law could marry, but it is what I would have expected from what I know of Spencer's style.