Together

Together

by Linda L Miller

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Overview

For the first time in over ten years comes New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller’s breathtaking stories filled with the promise of love.

Five unforgettable tales, Together in one volume...

Together…for a second chance at life and love—THAT OTHER KATHERINE

Together…when misdirected desire unexpectedly leads to lasting happiness—STORE-BOUGHT WOMAN

Together…as mistrust turns into steadfast devotion—THE SCENT OF SNOW

Together...a couple once torn apart by greed is now reunited by a vow of eternal love—IN ALL SEASONS

Together…a cat in the family way helps ignite love in two sparring neighbors—FAMILY AFFAIR

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062005908
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/25/2017
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 620,973
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

New York Times-bestselling author, Linda Lael Miller was born and raised in Northport, Washington. The author of over 50 novels and the daughter of a U.S. marshal, Linda has bid farewell to her home in Scottsdale, Arizona, and returned to her rural, Western roots. On the horse property in the arid Arizona desert, Linda now enjoys riding her horse Skye in the early morning sun. She has finally come home to the lifestyle that has inspired numerous award-winning historical novels including those set in the Old West.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Five years later
Cornwall, 1508

By some mercy — or some cruelty — of Fate, it fell to Melissande Bradgate (who had decided to be called Sister Pieta, should she ever be allowed to take her final vows) to find Christian Lithwell lying broken, bleeding and bruised, just outside a postern gate on the seaward side of St. Bede's Abbey. It was a chilly night, and rainy, though the month of June was well along and, in keeping with the Abbess's wishes, Melissande had been sent with bread and cheese for any beggars or wayfarers who might be in want of succor.

There were none waiting, but for the shadowy form on the cobblestones, wet with rain and blood, as dirty as if he'd already been buried once, like Lazarus, and then brought out of the tomb again. Melissande recognized him instantly, though whether by the faculties of her mind or her heart, she could not guess, and with a little cry dropped the basket and knelt at his side.

She took his hand gently in her own, and willed him to open his eyes.

He was deeply unconscious, barely, alive, in fact, and did not awaken or even stir.

Seized by panic, Melissande nearly broke her solemn vow of silence — she was desperate to convince the Abbess she would make a fine nun — and cried out. Instead, she smoothed the fair, shaggy hair back from the beloved face, willed Christian to hold on to life, and bolted back inside the abbey walls. In the center of the main courtyard, Melissande grasped the thick, frayed rope of the alarm bell and pulled it hard — once,twice, a third time.

The sisters of St. Bede's Abbey, an elite group because of their exquisite educations, scurried out of the chapel, the infirmary, the dining hall, and the large chamber where many of them spent long and diligent hours copying and illustrating not only the Holy Writ, but secular volumes as well. The Abbess herself, Mother Erylis, was first to arrive.

"What is it, child?" she demanded, firmly but with kindness.

Melissande, her habit and wimple sodden now, let go of the bell rope, from which she'd been quite literally hanging by both hands, and gestured toward the appropriate gate, before bolting in that direction. Mother Erylis and all the sisters followed.

A chorus of exclamations was raised when they reached the scene, and the Abbess knelt beside the long, inert frame on the ground to touch the base of his throat. "He is yet alive," she said, meeting Melissande's imploring gaze after a few moments, "but only barely." Mother Erylis went into action, clapping her hands once and then spouting orders. "Bring a litter, immediately. Someone must heat water and find clean linens and set a chicken on to boil for broth."

Sister Elizabeth, who could ride quite well, was dispatched to put a bridle on the Abbey's one means of transportation, a small brown donkey named Butterpat, and ride the five miles to the parish of St. Paul's, there to fetch Brother Nodger. The monk was an expert with herbs and medicines, but he was being summoned to St. Bede's at such an hour, on such a night, because he was male, and therefore more suited to discern the needs of an injured man.

Melissande followed, both hands clasped to her mouth to keep from screaming, as the visitor was maneuvered onto a litter and carried into the infirmary by a contingent of four nuns.

Christian, she cried in silence, as she stumbled alongside the litter. Oh, Christian! They said you'd perished, all of them, Queech and Lord James and my father and stepmother, and I believed them. Heaven help me, I believed them.

Inside the infirmary, lamps were lighted, and the fires were built up to ease the dank chill inherent to an ancient stone structure. Christian was hoisted onto a cot — he was a large and unwieldy man, though slender — and Melissande, shivering now, was hauled gently out of the way so that he could be ministered to, at least superficially.

Those of his wounds that were visible, and they were many, so ragged was his once-fine linen shirt, so torn his breeches, were cleaned with warm water, and he was covered in the roughly woven blankets that were all the Abbey had to offer.

Melissande dragged a stool close to the head of the cot and sat there, one hand resting on Christian's shoulder as she tried to will strength into him. Tears trickled down her cheeks, arid she was trembling with cold, but she could not be persuaded to leave him.

Memories of an earlier time flooded her mind and filled her bruised heart. She and Christian had fallen in love as children, and sworn to cherish each other forever, but only weeks before they would have been duly wedded, Christian had been lost at sea whilst carrying a message to Eire for his elder brother, James, Lord Wellingsley.

Or so Melissande had believed.

"You know this young man," Mother Erylis interjected softly, after she had dismissed the other sisters. She and Melissande sat keeping their vigil alone now, waiting for Brother Nodger, who was old and had some distance to travel to reach the Abbey.

Melissande nodded. There was no point in breaking her promise never to speak, though her heart was so full she could hardly contain all that she needed to say. Giving voice to her feelings would not help Christian.

Oh, yes, Mother, was her inward reply. I knew him once. His soul was mine, and mine his. And now, even if my beloved survives, he is surely still lost to me, for I see he has suffered wounds I cannot mend or even soothe.

She crossed herself and offered a silent prayer, her lips moving with the comforting rhythm of the familiar words.

Mother Erylis sighed heavily. It was no secret to...

Together. Copyright © by Linda Miller. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Together 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
judiOH More than 1 year ago
this a wonderful way to spend an evening. five romances that will warm your heart. a little mystery, a little suspense, and lots of love.