Gabriel's Bride

Gabriel's Bride

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Gabriel's Bride by Samantha James, Sandra Kleinschmidt

Trapped by duty -- and the demands of his cruel,unyielding father -- Lord Gabriel Sinclair, the dark and moody Earl of Wakefield, is being forced to find a bride. But Gabriel plans an exquisite revenge on his cold-hearted parent: wedding the sultry, low-born Yankee wench who tried to steal his watch. Ragged and beautiful Cassie McClellan is desperate to escape her life of poverty -- and, therefore, willingly accepts the handsome, arrogant aristocrat's offer of marriage in name only. But neither is prepared for the awakening passions that will bind their fragile, damaged hearts -- or the blistering, sensual need that comples them both to surrender body and soul.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061984365
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/06/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 214,454
File size: 679 KB

About the Author

It was Samantha James's love of reading as a child that steered her toward a writing career. Among her favorites in those days were the Trixie Belden and Cherry Ames series of books. She still loves a blend of mystery and romance, and, of course, a happily-ever-after ending. The award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many romances and one novella, her books have ranged from medieval to Regency.

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Gabriel's Bride

Chapter One
Charleston, South Carolina


A torrential summer rain poured from the sky, drenching to the skin those dauntless souls who ventured outside, and turning the already rutted, stinking streets into a sea of mud. But inside the taproom of Black Jack's Inn, the air fairly seethed with the pulse of life and raucous, masculine laughter.

Although it was only a few blocks from the Waterfront, Black Jack's was one of the better establishments of the city. It boasted excellent food, clean sheets, and respectable service, all at a fair price.

On this particular wet, dreary night, the table in the far comer was occupied by two well-dressed men, one with hair as dark as the midnight hour, the other slender and chestnut-haired. After weeks at sea, they'd decided to forego the ship's cramped quarters for the pleasures of a warm, comfortable mattress.

"To a safe trip back to England-and to the earl of Wakefield and his future bride!"

The laughter-filled voice belonged to one Sir Christopher Marley. Lord Gabriel Sinclair, however, was not so eager to join the toast. And little wonder, for his impending nuptials were hardly to his liking ...

They were most certainly not of his doing.

He stared into his glass as if it held the secrets of the world. These last weeks had blurred into a dream-sweet heaven, a nightmare.

Stuart was dead, a casualty of the battle of New Orleans.

Stuart. An unseen hand seemed to close about his heart and squeeze. In truth, his brother's death was something Gabriel had never once considered. He and Stuart had never been truly close, and the years had foundthem drifting further and further apart. Gabriel had left Farleigh the day of his mother's funeral, and he'd not been back. In truth, he had turned his back on his father and set about building a successful shipping business of his own. And in so doing, Gabriel had turned his back on all that he was.

Bitter remembrance seared his heart. Needless, his father had not sought him out, even when he'd left to march with the English forces against Napoleon. No, not once in nearly five years had his father deigned to call upon him. Indeed, it was as if he never existed ...

But all that had changed with Stuart's death.

It was inevitable, perhaps ... Gabriel's mind slid back in time, back to his last meeting in his father's London study when he'd learned his brother was dead.

His father had not changed. He was as arrogant, as imperious ... as cold as ever.

"You are now the earl of Wakefield, the next duke of Farleigh,"his father said in that frigid, formal tone Gabriel remembered so well-and hated so intensely. "'Tis your duty to marry, to give me a grandson so that our family name does not die out."

Duty. God, but the word was suddenly vile. In truth, Gabriel had known precious little of duty, for that was the role for which Stuart had been groomed.

He forced himself to relax, then smiled lazily. "Oh, I've many uses for women, Father, both in the bedroom and without." He paused, taking a perverse delight at his father's expression, visible proof of his displeasure. He gave a short laugh and continued. "Fortunately, none of them have ever included marriage."

Brows the color of iron drew together over Edmund Sinclair's eyes. His hair, still well in abundance, was streaked with the same iron-gray. Gabriel did not flinch from such piercing regard, the way he had done so often as a child. "Ah, yes, so it would seem." The duke's tone was icily distant. "I've been kept apprised of your ... activities. It seems you've had many a mistress yet never a wife."

Gabriel's smile vanished. The man had dared to spy upon him! He glared at his father, only barely able to conceal his temper.

"With a title comes responsibility, Gabriel, as well as respectability. In light of your ... behavior, I believe the first step should be to remedy the situation. You must take a wife. Now. From your own lips, you've indicated no preference. I,therefore, propose a solution. Since Stuart can no longer wed Lady Evelyn, it seems only logical that you take his place."

Gabriel had known, of course, of Stuart's betrothal to Lady Evelyn, only child of the duke of Warrenton, whose estate bordered Farleigh in Kent.

"Indeed," his father had gone on,"I see no reason why the wedding should not take place as planned."

For an instant, Gabriel had been too stunned to reply. It was only later that he realized he should have expected such haughty presumption-after all, this was his father with whom he was dealing.

The urge to walk away was almost overpowering. Lord, he'd been tempted to do exactly that, to shirk his so-called duty and to hell with his father. Yet something stopped him ...

Gabriel was many things, but never a fool. Farleigh was a grand estate, and a future dukedom was a powerful lure indeed ...

Perhaps, he decided grimly, this was fate's way of seeking to erase those miserable years of his youth.

"Well?" Oh, but his father's note of impatience was far too familiar. "Have you nothing to say, Gabriel? If so, then I must assume you have no objection to wedding Lady Evelyn."

Gabriel clenched his fists at his sides. "Father," he said evenly, "the years have not changed you. You possess no will but your own. You acknowledge no will but your own. Would it truly matter to you if I harbored some objection?" Even as he spoke, his mind was otherwise encumbered. He needed time to consider, time to decide one way or the other ...

One thing stood out high in his mind. If he chose to wed Lady Evelyn, it would be done not to please his father,

Gabriel's Bride
. Copyright © by Samantha James. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Gabriel's Bride 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Must read!!!!!
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babyface760 More than 1 year ago
This book is one of her best, many might say that gabriels behavior was abusive but it all fits with the plot. what makes it good is that its not your traditional love story where boy meets girl he charming and eventually wins her over or vice versa. he acts the way he does because of his chilhood and all the pain he experienced as never being put first and feeling like an encumberance ( just as cassie feels ) it doesnt excuse it but not everyones perfect. cassie chose to see the good instead of all the bad. the plot was essentially good characters even better even the mystery of the book was good. it had all the key elements of a good book ( for people who enjoy love stories only with no drama and the guy is always charming to the girl this is not for you) it has mystery, romance, love, hatered, regret and will make you feel almost every emotion you wont want to put the book down
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read almost every Samantha James book out there. I have to say that she is one of my favorite authors out there. In my life I have read over 1000 romance novals. Yes 1000, I read a lot. When you get to a certain point its all the same. This book was differant. Gabe was very intreiging as the protaginist. Amd Cassie was the sweat yet strong herione. The only complaint I can give to this book is that I wish Gabe showed his soft side more. Other than that, this book is a treasure. I stayed up all night reading it. I would recommend you to read more of Samantha's books though. They just get better and better. My favorite SJ book is My Lord Conquer. I have read that over 15 times. My overall opinion f this books =great. Yes there are problems with it, but you pull for the characters and want to see them make it. Definitly worth the read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the third novel by SJ I have read. I also read ¿A Perfect Bride¿ (very good) and ¿His Wicked Promise¿ (so-so). It appears this is one of her earlier works and it was not one of her best. The plot wasn¿t bad ¿ poor American girl working as a bar maid as all her family is dead or abandoned her meets up with rich, wealthy and handsome Brit who needs to find a wife to take back home. Our hero Gabriel picks our heroine Cassie as she is all that his father would hate and since Gabriel and his father detest one another ¿ he chooses the worst bride possible. A dream come true for Cassie as she needs food, a home and clothes - until she gets to England and not only does the father dislike her but, her new husband Gabriel embarrasses her, treats her poorly and reminds her constantly of her low birth origins. Thus¿.a dream turns into a nightmare. It was frustrating that page after page Gabriel remains the same cold, aloof, self-fish and nasty man he was from day one. I kept waiting for him to slowly thaw and become the warm, kind and thoughtful man he could be but, alas¿it wasn¿t until the last few pages of the book he finally redeemed himself. Regardless of his poor upbringing¿he should have had the common sense not to treat everyone like dirt. Even with all of her growth over time, it is still not enough for Gabriel to see her as anything but, an attractive wench he can bed since she is now his wife. A few times he even forced her into the sexual encounter ¿ mind you ¿ she always gave in ¿ but, he began some passages with force and that wasn¿t appealing at all. Cassie certainly had spunk and grit but, she often caved when it came to Gabriel. She stood up for herself, kept herself in high regard most of the book but¿sometimes, she lost her confidence and seemed weak willed. Like when she needed to tell him she was pregnant and they were both shocked---ya, that happens with dozens of sex scenes!!! It was more than irritating that he constantly called her ¿Yank¿ ¿ even in heated love scenes. This was not sexy, romantic or appealing for a hero. Cassie in turn would yell at him, tell him she hated and detested him and even when he showed her little tenderness or kindness, she still found a way to fall in love with him. Why? Who knows? His friend Christopher was much more appealing but, alas¿she never fell for him. As expected, the end of the book cleaned everything up neat and tidy. I could not root on these characters as they just didn¿t work for me. They met and married for all the wrong reasons. I just didn¿t buy that this love story would bloom and last forever. This author is good and I¿ll look to her later works to find more enjoyment from her writing. This one was a bomb.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read hundreds of romance books. This book was my first Historical romance. I read it the first time almost 10 years ago. Since then I have read it 4 more times. It was my first and remains my favorite historical of all time. I recommend it to anyone who likes a book that will make you laugh through tears.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not to many books I read actually gab me but this one did. I absolutely adore this book....a real treasure!
Guest More than 1 year ago
gabriel's bride is one of my favorites. i have it on my keeper shelf. i read it in an afternoon and spent the night crying about it. this book will touch your heart.