Raised in New York, shipping heiress Sara Fleming was ready to elope—until her disapproving parents tricked her onto a boat heading to England. Her only consolation is getting to see her beloved aunts and cousins. Even the start of London’s Season—and a strikingly handsome earl—can’t make her forget the man she left behind . . .
Considered one of London’s most eligible bachelors, Christopher Townsend, the Earl of Bridgeton, is not what he seems. Having inherited his father’s crushing debt, he must choose a wealthy bride to save his family’s estate. Though rumored to be penniless and committed to another, Sara takes his breath away—and makes him question what he truly needs to be free of the past. But he’ll have to win the headstrong beauty’s heart one kiss at a time . . .
Praise for the Novels of Kaitlin O’Riley
“O’Riley’s believable, charismatic characters and fast-paced plotline set this novel well apart from the usual romance fare.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Reverberates with lighthearted humor, witty repartee and endearing characters that capture the era to the enchantment of readers.” —RT Book Reviews
“A well written, lively romance!” —Kat Martin, New York Times bestselling author
|Product dimensions:||4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)|
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Sara Fleming's only recourse was to fling herself over the side of the ship and into the ocean.
She was a captive. Trapped. Held against her will. Hot tears pricked her eyes and her heart pounded wildly in her chest.
With expensively gloved fingers clinging to the railing, she stared down at the gray water sweeping below her, the salt spray splashing up and stinging her cheeks. Despair surged through her and the idea of throwing herself over the railing and into the sea seemed her only option. If only she had jumped sooner, before the ship had left New York Harbor! She would have had a much better chance of swimming to shore safely then, but she was only just realizing they were not returning to port. It was more than likely too late to jump now.
As she glanced backward, the bustling, crowded city that was her home faded farther and farther from view.
Sara would surely drown before she made it back to land, her heavy mauve brocade dress weighing her down, pulling her into the cold depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps drowning would be preferable to being held against her will and carried away to God only knew where? Outrage flooded through her veins.
How had this happened? How had she been so foolish as to get taken away like this? It wasn't fair! She hadn't done anything to deserve being treated so cruelly. So viciously.
Trapped! Good heavens, she was trapped. There was no way out. Nowhere to go. No way to return home. She might as well jump into the swirling sea below her.
Her heart ached too. She couldn't see how she could possibly go on without him. There hadn't been a chance to say good-bye to him, not even a hastily penned note. The very thought of him ringing the bell at her New York town house this evening to take her to the theater as they had planned and discovering that she had sailed away, caused tears to spill down and sting her cheeks. Great sobs of longing and grief wrenched from her chest.
Then she burned with impotent fury at her heartless parents.
They had tricked her!
She never would have suspected them of such an underhanded maneuver. They lured her out to sea under false pretenses. It would surely qualify as kidnapping if they weren't her very own parents!
"Come see your father's new ship," her mother had suggested innocently enough that morning, a bright smile on her face. "The Captain's Daughter was christened yesterday and he wants you to see it."
Sara had felt slightly guilty that she had missed the ship's christening, because she had been an attendant in her friend Jennie's wedding. It was doubly disappointing since the name of the new steamship was in reference to her.
So like any trusting child, Sara had acquiesced, never imagining she would be callously whisked away against her will. How many times had she visited one of her father's ships before? She'd spent most of her young life on the decks of one type of ship or another, sailing around the world with her parents. The past two years they had been staying at their town house in New York City, and so the prospect of seeing her father's newest steamship was exciting to Sara, as it always was. But it all had been a ruse. A clever ruse to lure her away from the man she loved.
Stunned that her mother and father had tricked her so easily, Sara was deeply wounded by their betrayal. Oh, she had not been unaware of their disapproval of the man she loved, but she assumed that they were merely being overprotective, believing that no man was good enough for their precious daughter. They had not been overjoyed by her courtship with Alexander Drake, but they had not forbidden it either. They were friendly with him, cordial even. So their deception this afternoon came as a devastating blow.
Her eyes looked longingly back at the grand city she loved and called home, while the tears continued to spill down her cheeks. Somewhere in that New York hustle and bustle of buildings and streets and people, Alexander alone was waiting for her, the man who held her heart. She should be with him now.
It wasn't fair! It simply wasn't fair!
A frustrated scream of helpless rage welled within her, surging much like the waves that crashed below against the hull of the elegant ship. How could they do this to her? Their only daughter! Didn't they care about her feelings? She was no longer a child, but a grown woman of twenty. Why, she would be turning twenty-one in the fall! How dared they treat her this way? Maybe she should throw herself over? They would be sorry then. When she was no longer alive, they would regret hurting her and breaking her heart.
The vast water swirled cold and dark gray, far below her.
She placed her stylishly and expensively booted foot upon the polished railing of the boat, gripping tightly with her kid-gloved hands. If she pushed up, she could swing her legs over the side, taking her long, heavy skirt with her, and just slip quietly into the sea and disappear forever. Her absence might not be noticed for hours, since her parents thought she had locked herself in her suite in a fit of temper.
But when they finally discovered she was gone, her mother and father would be wracked with regret and guilt over what they had done to her. And it would serve them right, because they had hurt her far worse than they could imagine.
The time was now or never. She took a deep breath and —
"Stop being so melodramatic, Sara."
Startled, she turned to see her mother standing beside her.
Although her facial expression was one of annoyance, Juliette Hamilton Fleming was an unmistakably beautiful woman. With her dark hair elegantly coiffed under a fashionable bonnet and wrapped in an expensive fur jacket to ward off the chill of the early May sea air, her heart-shaped face was relatively unlined for a woman in her forties and her blue eyes were clear and full of life. She carried herself with grace, ease, and confidence. People always said that Sara favored her mother, but Sara didn't see the resemblance at all.
Juliette stared at her daughter in sympathetic understanding. "It's not the end of the world. And he's certainly not a man worthy of throwing yourself overboard."
Ignoring her mother, Sara turned her face away. Slowly she removed her foot from the railing. She continued to stare off at the sea, feeling more than a bit embarrassed to be caught contemplating something so foolish.
"I know you're upset with us," Juliette continued, "and to be honest, I would be upset too if I were you. Believe it or not, I am sorry for hurting you like this."
Sara glanced at her mother for the briefest of moments. As she looked back to the horizon, New York was no longer visible at all and her heart sank. Her parents had betrayed her. Most dreadfully. Sara didn't know if she would ever forgive them. She wiped at the cold tears on her cheeks, the wind whipping loose strands of hair around her face.
"It had to be done. He wasn't the right man for you. There were things you were not aware of and he would have only broken your heart. Please trust your father and me in this matter." Juliette's voice held a firm note.
"Trust you?" Sara flung back, her voice incredulous. "You tricked me! You and Father deceived me! You led me to believe we were just look — "
Juliette placed a calming hand on Sara's arm. "I am terribly sorry we hurt you, but I am not sorry about what your father and I did today. It's our duty to protect you. And you definitely needed protecting."
"Protection from what? From the man I love?" Sara cried, an anguished sob wrenching her throat. When would she ever see Alexander Drake again? Would he understand that her parents had taken her away against her wishes? Would he know that she had not left of her own volition? Would he think she had simply run off? Would he forgive her? Would he still love her? Doubt and heartache filled her with sorrow.
Her mother gave her a rueful smile. "You'll thank me for this one day, I promise you."
Sara looked away again, trying to stop the tears that were welling again. How dared her mother be so nice to her? "I shall never forgive you for this." Her words were icy.
"How you feel now is quite understandable," Juliette said softly, patting her daughter's arm in an attempt to comfort, not patronize.
Sara was too upset to speak. Her parents were wrong. So terribly, terribly wrong. They had deliberately ruined the only love of her life. How could she ever forgive them for doing this to her? How could she continue to go on? Her every moment was consumed by thoughts of Alexander Drake.
It wasn't possible to forget him, and even if she could, she wouldn't ever, couldn't ever, love anyone else. He was far too handsome. With his deep green eyes, golden blond hair, captivating boyish smile, and dashingly romantic ways. Oh, when he looked at her, she knew he loved her. She could see it in his eyes.
Now poor Alexander would be frantic with worry over her, brokenhearted too. He would wonder where she had gone to and would be desperate to find her ...
Finally Sara gave a defeated sigh. "Can you at least tell me where we are sailing to?"
A delighted smile lit her mother's face and her eyes danced with happiness. Juliette answered in one word, which explained everything. "Home."
Of course, that's where they were headed! But with her parents, they could have been sailing to China or Australia for all she knew. However, Sara also understood that home meant London for her mother. Juliette had been born and raised in England and only moved to the United States when she'd married Sara's father, Captain Harrison Fleming.
Sara had been to London many times, and she loved it there too. Her heart lifted slightly at the thought of visiting Devon House and seeing all her Hamilton cousins again. It had been over two years since she was last there. Under normal circumstances she would be looking forward to a wonderful visit with her mother's family, but now ...
Now all she could think about was that she had been callously ripped from the man she loved.
Alexander had been on the verge of proposing to her. She had known that with every fiber of her being. He'd even said that he had something important to discuss with her. What else could it have been except marriage? They had begun courting last fall. He'd proven his love and constancy to her. And just when the most exciting experience in her life was about to happen to her, just when the handsomest, most dashing man in all the world was about to ask her to marry him, her parents carried her off against her will! She didn't even have time to send a message to Alexander before the ship set sail.
Another sob caught in her throat at the thought of him.
"You'll be happy and have fun in London, Sara," her mother offered gently. "The Season is just beginning and there will be plenty for you to do. We'll even get some new ball gowns made. All your cousins will be so excited to see you and introduce you to their friends. And, of course you know, Mara will be thrilled."
Yes, thought Sara, seeing Mara again would be wonderful. Her closest cousin and dearest friend was guaranteed to be very sympathetic to her current plight. Mara would understand her heartbreak and comfort her and commiserate with her, which was just what Sara needed now. Yes, she looked forward to seeing Mara! In spite of the circumstances, she had to admit to herself that it would be fun to see her cousins Phillip and Simon again. And Aunt Colette and Uncle Lucien. Of course, Uncle Jeffrey was always great fun. And the little girls must be so grown-up by now!
Still ... Her heart was not in this trip to London.
All things considered, she would rather be in New York as planned, attending the theater with Alexander this evening, looking into his divine green eyes and knowing he would kiss her when she agreed to be his wife. That special excitement, that romantic thrill, that she had been yearning for her whole life had been cruelly stolen away from her. Now she longed only to be with the love of her life. Her Alexander. Oh, how she missed him so much already! Pined to be in his arms ... to have him tell her again how he loved her and couldn't live without her by his side ...
"How are my two beautiful girls doing over here?"
Her father's voice startled Sara from her musings of Alexander's kisses.
Captain Harrison Fleming stood beside her, his eyes moving between his wife's face and his daughter's, assessing the situation with concern. He was a tall, handsome man, his tawny hair tousled by the wind and his skin golden from years at sea.
Juliette Fleming gave her husband a rueful smile. "Well, Harrison, I managed to prevent our daughter from throwing herself overboard."
Harrison looked at Sara with disappointment in his eyes. "Drowning?" He shook his head in disbelief. "Quite honestly, Sara, I expected better from you."
A sting of embarrassment flooded her cheeks. Disappointing her father was definitely not something Sara was used to doing. She adored him and was inordinately proud of him, and in turn he was immensely proud of his only daughter and doted on her.
He was a self-made man, her father. Born into hellish poverty in the slums of New York City, Harrison Fleming survived a brutal childhood with hard work and determination. He made his way up in the world, becoming a successful and wealthy shipping magnate. After he married Juliette Hamilton, the three of them spent a great deal of time sailing around the world on his clipper ship, the Sea Minx. Oh, how Sara had loved that ship! She knew every inch of it by heart, from its lofty sails to the polished railings. This new steamship was lovely to be sure. But it wasn't the same as the clipper ship.
Sara and her father enjoyed a close bond, and when she was a child, he had always indulged all of Sara's whims, even against her mother's wishes at times. He used to let her run wild about his ship, from climbing the rigging and chatting with the sailors to sitting beside him at the helm. He'd even had a little captain's hat specially made for her to match the one he wore. Sara was the captain's daughter and loved every minute of it. She and her father had had many adventures, as her family traveled the world together.
But in spite of everything, Sara wasn't ready to forgive him for what he'd done to her this day. She was still far too angry with him.
"I didn't truly intend to jump," Sara protested coldly. "Mother is exaggerating." And to be perfectly honest, when all was said and done, Sara was more than likely not going to throw herself into the ocean, and her mother did have a tendency to overstate the facts of any situation.
"I know you're angry and hurt, Sara," her father said, not unkindly. He placed his hand under her chin, forcing her to look up at him. "And I understand why you're upset with us, but your mother and I only did what we thought was best for you."
She had heard that before. But they didn't know what was best for her. It was infuriating to be told that she didn't know what she wanted. That she couldn't decide for herself what was best. In their eyes she was simply a silly little child who couldn't think for herself, not a grown woman who knew her own mind and heart. She pulled away from her father. "Well, you are both quite wrong on this account."
Her parents exchanged a secretive glance between them.
Sara was used to that behavior. Her mother and father were still ridiculously in love with each other, even after more than twenty years of marriage. Often it felt as if they spoke a different language that only the two of them could understand. It was simply a part of who they were. Sometimes Sara felt a little left out by their connection to each other, slightly jealous even. She'd always longed to find the kind of love her parents shared.
And she believed that she'd found such a relationship with Alexander Drake. The way he treated her, the words he whispered in her ear ... Sara knew he loved her. And she loved him. Everything about him was perfect.
But now her parents had destroyed it all in one fell swoop. Or so they both thought.
"I just don't understand why ..." She gazed at them. "What has Alexander done that is so terrible? Can you at least tell me that much?"
"We shall tell you when the time is right," Harrison said in a tone so firm that Sara knew it was fruitless to pursue the answers now.
For whatever reason, her parents had made up their minds that Alexander was somehow a threat to her and yet Sara knew without a doubt that they were wrong. "How long are we staying in London?" she managed to ask, desperate to change the subject.
"As long as it takes." Juliette looked at her with unflinching frankness and there was no mistaking her meaning. Her parents intended to keep her captive on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, far out of reach, until Sara forgot all about Alexander Drake.
Sara took a deep breath, the sea air bracing and invigorating her, as it always did. Once again she turned her eyes to the horizon. So this was how it was going to be. Her mother and father thought this was over. That they had won.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Heiress He's Been Waiting For"
Copyright © 2018 Kathleen M. Milmore.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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.
Table of Contents
ALONE WITH THE HEIRESS,
1 - Overboard,
2 - All Ashore,
3 - Adrift,
4 - Charting a Course,
5 - A Sinking Ship,
6 - A Little Leeway,
7 - Currents,
8 - Low Tide,
9 - Trade Winds,
10 - Any Port in a Storm,
11 - Lost at Sea,
12 - Mal de Mer,
13 - Ebb Tide,
14 - Dead Ahead,
15 - Close Quarters,
16 - Below Deck,
17 - Cast Off,
18 - Steady as She Goes,
19 - Batten Down the Hatches,
20 - Gangway,
21 - Toeing the Line,
22 - Abandon Ship,
23 - All Hands on Deck,
24 - Run Aground,
25 - Safe Harbor,
26 - Coming Around,
27 - Smooth Sailing,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sara Fleming is in love with Alexander Drake. Both are Americans from New York City. Sara's parents are very rich and they believe that Alexander is after her fortune. After she gets over the shock of being practically kidnapped to London, she is persuaded to have fun until Alexander comes to rescue her. She meets Christopher Townsend, the Earl of Bridgeton and there is an attraction between them, but Christopher needs to marry for money as his dead father left the family destitute. Sara is an accomplished flirt but is happy that Christopher takes an interest in her. Sara's uncle thinks it would be good to tell everyone that Sara is very poor. It would keep the fortune hunters away. Christopher becomes betrothed to an heiress with a lot of money. Sara becomes compromised when she and Christopher are caught in a situation that could possibly leave her pregnant. Alexander arrived to rescue her. When he tells her that he wants to run away and marry her, Christopher helps look for her after she runs off with him. There's secrets, honesty and love. I absolutely adored this book. I received this book from Net Galley and Kensington Publishing for a honest review and no compensation otherwise.
Nice plot twists
This was a great read, intriguing plot and believable characters. Can’t wait for the next installment, it’s Mara’s turn next!
Reading the write up for this, I had high hopes for the story....but it wasn't to be. There was nothing likable about the heroine and why the hero was falling for her was beyond me. He, on the other hand, was very likeable. I wish he could have gotten paired with someone else. I really didn't want to finish the book, but since O'Riley was a new author to me, I felt the need to read until the end. This is definitely not one I would recommend to my friends...
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review American heiress Sara Fleming's parents spirit her away to England to protect her and remove her from the reach of Alexander Drake, the man who has been pursuing her. She doesn't know that Drake's good looks and charm hide an unscrupulous fortune hunter and believes herself in love with him. Sara and Christopher Townsend, Lord Bridgeton, meet on her first day in London, and he is attracted to her. He is tall, dark and handsome; and Sara also finds herself intrigued. Lord Bridgeton has inherited a debt-ridden estate and needs to marry well to save it and his family. Hence, Sara could be the heiress he's been waiting for, only he doesn't know it. Her family decides to spread the story that their fortune was lost to protect Sara from other fortune hunters while in London. The ensuing story was confusing at times, and I confess to skimming some sections. The setting is England in 1894 yet, through much of the story, I felt as if I was reading a contemporary novel. For example, Sara is referred to at one point as "selfish and stuck up." The formality of English society, where manners and reputation were paramount, doesn't figure into the story. Sara and Christopher spend an afternoon alone together, get drunk, and have an interlude. Her cousin Phillip arrives and finds them in this compromising state. Look at you....I come home to find my sweet little cousin intoxicated. Asleep on the library sofa. With her hair loosened. And all alone with my best friend. You tell me what happened, or I will jump to the only obvious conclusion. Although the conclusion is obvious and such impropriety would normally result in a marriage proposal, nothing happens. I wanted to like this book. The cover is beautiful, and the description interested me but, while the basic elements of a good story were present, the execution was not what I expected.
I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The Heiress He’s Been Waiting For is the first book in Kaitlin O’Riley’s The Hamilton Cousin series. This series is about the children of the sisters in the 7 book series The Hamilton Sisters. It is not necessary to have read that series to enjoy this one but I did enjoy reading the first series and do recommend them. Sara Fleming’s parents tricked her into leaving New York and whisked her off to London to save her from an unsuitable suitor. Upon her arrival at her Aunt and Uncle’s house she is introduced Christopher Townsend, the Earl of Bridgeton her cousin’s best friend and sparks fly, but she’s still in love with her New York suitor isn’t she? Plus Christopher needs to marry money and he’s been told that her father has lost all of his. Sara is impetuous, headstrong and quite melodramatic, most of which I attribute to her youth, so there are a few TSTL moments but overall I enjoyed the story and look forward to reading about the rest of the cousins. Medium Steam. Publishing Date August 28, 2018 #NetGalley #TheHeiressHesBeenWaitingFor
When her parents force her to go to England, how can a spoiled American heiress marry the man she is in love with in the United States? Not too easily and unfortunately Sara does not understand he is after her money. Staying with family in England, Sara continuously plots how to marry her beau in New York. Then she meets Christopher Townsend, the Earl of Bridgeton, who has to marry for money to save his family. He does not know Sara is a heiress, but finds himself very attracted to her and has to battle with himself to keep on tract. As their attraction grows though, will Sara continue to pine for her love in America or give Christopher a chance? This is the first book I have read by this author but I really enjoyed it. Wanted to knock Sara out at times and tell her to wake up, but it kept my interest until the end. Lori Dykes
This was an entertaining, well-written book. Sara Fleming, living in New York, is on the verge of becoming engaged, but then her disapproving parents trick her onto a ship to England. At least being in England lets her spend time with her cousins and aunts. She meets Christopher Townsend, the Earl of Bridgeton, at a ball, and though she enjoys talking and dancing with him, she hasn't forgotten the man in New York. Christopher is fascinated by Sara, but he needs to marry an heiress and he's been told she is penniless. Yet they continue to spend time together and the more they do the more confused things become... I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others.
1894 Sara Fleming, age 20, has just realized that her parents have tricked her. Thinking they were taking her to see her father’s new steamship, The Captain’s Daughter, they all end up sailing from New York harbor for London England. Sara was being courted by Alexander Drake who does not meet with her parents’ approval and now she has been torn from him. Sara’s parents have learned that Alexander is unfit for their daughter and is only after her money. The Fleming family is heading to Sara’s uncle’s home, Devon House, in London. There, Sara is to have her come-out. Her cousin, Phillip Sinclair, introduces her to his friend, Christopher Townsend, age 23, who is the Earl of Bridgeton. Christopher and Sara become friends and he learns that she has left someone very dear to her in New York and is very sad about it. Christopher’s father left very little funds when he died due to his gambling debts. Unless he marries a wealthy woman soon, he will have to sell the family home. He has two younger sisters to care for and a mother who was always neglectful of her children as well. Christopher is very taken with Sara and she is attracted to him as well, but still professes to love Alexander. Christopher thinks Sara’s father has lost his money when indeed, he is quite wealthy. Since he knows he has to marry a wealthy woman to save his home and family, he realizes he must pursue a rich, but obnoxious, young woman for his wife. This story really had lots of promise and there were some really well-written parts, but Sara’s flighty ideas of “love” are a real turn-off. But since Christopher is a good man, I decided to be more generous in my review rating. Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I am so thrilled Kaitlin O’Riley is writing again! Her first series about the five Hamilton sisters who run the family book shop is one of my all-time favorites. Those books have been re-read and sit on a keeper shelf. Her new series features the children of the Hamilton sisters and can easily be read without knowing the parents’ HEAs. Ms. O’Riley has done an excellent job of introducing the family for new readers. Sara Fleming lives in New York and has a beau her parents don’t approve of. She was tricked by her wealthy parents onto her father’s ship headed for a family visit in London. She is angry with them but happy to visit her cousins, aunts and uncles. Her cousin Phillip’s friend, Christopher Townsend, Earl of Bridgeton is attracted to Sara even after she tells him she has an American beau. Christopher has inherited an estate deeply in debt with two younger sisters to care for. He knows he needs to marry an heiress but thinks Sara’s family is not wealthy. However, they are attracted to each other and can’t seem to stay apart. But what happens when her American beau shows up in London? I have left a lot out of this review because I don’t like spoilers and this book has twists and turns that shouldn’t be revealed. My favorite line is by Sara’s Aunt Paulette: “I’ll never understand that mindset of not loving books.” If you love books, read this one! I highly recommend it.
The plot sounded promising, but I was out of patience with the heroine by the third chapter. She was petulant, arrogant, and too immature. Really couldn't see why the hero would want her. She spent most of the story dragging a puppy around and cooing to it like a thirteen-year-old. This wasn't anyone I wanted to read about. Not recommended.
I found the characters unrealistic, boring and in the case of the heroine unlikable. I had no emotional attachment to any of them so much so that I more happy that the book ended then if the main love interests ended up together
Amazing as always. Every time I read one of these books I want to go back and read the entire series.