Yours Until Dawn

Yours Until Dawn

by Teresa Medeiros

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060513658
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/27/2004
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 414,389
Product dimensions: 6.72(w) x 4.34(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Teresa Medeiros wrote her first novel at the age of twenty-one and has since gone on to win the hearts of both readers and critics. A two-time recipient of the Waldenbooks Award for bestselling fiction, Teresa makes her home in Kentucky with her husband and two cats.

Read an Excerpt

Yours Until Dawn

Chapter One

England, 1806

My dear Miss March,

I pray you'll forgive me for being presumptuous enough to contact you in this rather unconventional manner ...

"So tell me, Miss Wickersham, have you any experience?"

From somewhere deep in the sprawling Jacobean mansion, a tremendous crash sounded.

Although the portly butler who was conducting the interview visibly flinched and the housekeeper standing at rigid attention beside the tea table let out an audible squeak, Samantha refused to so much as blink.

Instead, she drew a neat packet of papers from the side pocket of the battered leather portmanteau resting at her feet and held them out. "I'm sure you'll find my letters of reference are in order, Mr. Beckwith."

Although it was midday, the light in the modest breakfast parlor was abysmal. Shafts of sunlight bled through the cracks in the heavy velvet drapes, striping the rich ruby weave of the Turkish carpet. The wax candles scattered across the occasional tables filled the corners with flickering shadows. The room smelled musty and close, as if it had gone unaired for ages. If not for the absence of black swags over the windows and mirrors, Samantha would have sworn someone very dear to the household had recently died.

The butler took the papers from her whitegloved hand and unfolded them. As the housekeeper craned her long neck to peer over his shoulder, Samantha could only pray the dim light would work to her advantage, preventing them from studying the scrawled signatures too closely. Mrs. Philpot was a handsome woman of indeterminate age, as sleek andnarrow as the butler was round. Although her face was unlined, silver frosted the black chignon anchored at her nape.

"As you can see, I served two years as governess for Lord and Lady Carstairs," Samantha informed Mr. Beckwith as he gave the papers a cursory thumbing-through. "Once the war resumed, I joined several other governesses in volunteering to treat sailors and soldiers who returned from sea or the front with debilitating wounds."

The housekeeper could not quite hide the faint tightening of her lips. Samantha knew there were still those in society who believed women who nursed soldiers to be little more than glorified camp followers. Immodest creatures who wouldn't even blush to look upon a strange man's nakedness. Feeling heat rise to her own cheeks, Samantha lifted her chin another notch.

Mr. Beckwith examined her over the top of his wire-rimmed spectacles. "I must confess, Miss Wickersham, that you're a trifle bit ... younger than what we had in mind. Such strenuous duty might require a woman of more ...ma turity. Perhaps one of the other applicants ... " At Samantha's arch look, he trailed off.

"I don't see any other applicants, Mr.Beckwith," she pointed out, sliding her own ill-fitting spectacles up her nose with one finger. "Given the generous, even extravagant, wages you offered in your advertisement, I fully expected to find them lined up outside your gates."

Another crash came, this one even closer than the last. It sounded as if some sort of massive beast were lumbering toward its den.

Mrs. Philpot hastened around the chair, her starched petticoats rustling. "Would you care for some more tea, my dear?" As she poured from the porcelain pot, her hand trembled so violently that tea splashed over the rim of Samantha's saucer and into her lap.

"Thank you," Samantha murmured, surreptitiously dabbing at the spreading stain with her glove.

The floor beneath their feet visibly shuddered, as did Mrs. Philpot. The muffled roar that followed was peppered by a string of mercifully unintelligible oaths. There could no longer be any denying it. Someone -- or something -- was approaching.

Casting a panicked look at the gilded double door that led to the next chamber, Mr. Beckwith lurched to his feet, his prominent brow glistening with sweat. "Perhaps this isn't the most opportune time ... "

As he shoved the letters of reference back at Samantha, Mrs. Philpot whisked the cup and saucer out of her other hand and deposited them back on the tea cart with a noisy rattle. "Beckwith is right, my dear. You'll have to forgive us. We may have been entirely too hasty ... " The woman pulled Samantha to her feet and began to tug her away from the door and toward the heavily curtained French windows that led to the terrace.

"But my bag!" Samantha protested, casting the portmanteau a helpless glance over her shoulder.

"Don't worry, child," Mrs. Philpot assured her, gritting her teeth in a kindly smile. "We'll have one of the footmen bring it out to your hack." As the thunderous crashing and cursing swelled, the woman dug her nails into the sturdy brown wool of Samantha's sleeve and yanked her into motion. Mr. Beckwith dashed around them and whipped open one of the floor-toceiling windows, flooding the gloom with bright April sunshine. But before Mrs. Philpot could urge Samantha through it, the mysterious racket ceased.

The three of them turned as one to gaze at the gilded doors on the opposite side of the room.

For a moment there was no sound at all except for the delicate ticking of the French gilt clock on the mantel. Then came a most curious noise, as if something were fumbling, or perhaps even scratching, at the doors. Something large. And angry. Samantha took an involuntary step backward; the housekeeper and butler exchanged an apprehensive glance.

The doors came flying open, striking the opposite walls with a mighty crash. Framed by their wings was not a beast, but a man -- or what was left of one after all the genteel veneer of society had been stripped away. His tawny hair, shaggy from neglect, hung well past his shoulders. Shoulders that came close to filling the breadth of the doorway. A pair of buckskin pantaloons clung to his lean hips and hugged every curve of his muscular calves and thighs. Several days' growth of beard shadowed his jaw, lending his visage a piratical aspect.

Yours Until Dawn. Copyright © by Teresa Medeiros. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Yours Until Dawn 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 206 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel held tremendous potential. The reader falls in love with both the scarred emotions of Gabriel and the wittiness of Samantha. Everything occurred just as it should in the making of a great romance novel. Gabriel making love to Samantha was sweet, his love for her real, and yet, after she left it seemed he gave up too early. I guess, what bothered me most is how he could go from loving Samantha to making love to Cecily. It felt like a betrayal, infidelity, everything negative that could probably evoke from that. Though the twist was...a major twist in the story... I believed it could've worked in other ways. Having Gabriel think he loved two women (albeit they were the same person) was too...much like cheating for my tastes. Having him realize that they were one in the same LATER didn't do much to change what had registered in my mind as infidelity. The writer tries hard for the reader to fall in love with Cecily, but fails miserably. Perhaps a stronger plot, a longer transition might have accomplished that. But as it is, Cecily felt like an intrusion, and it killed the story to have killed his love for Samantha's love so readily.
mom2lnb on LibraryThing 4 days ago
Yours Until Dawn kind of reminded me of the story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan. Gabriel, the blind hero, is stubbornly independent, bumbling his way around the house, because he can't stand to be coddled, yet at the same time he can get worked up into childish piques of temper that have him deliberately destroying things in frustration. Samantha is an admirable heroine who is equally stubborn and determined to prove to Gabriel that his life isn't over just because he's lost his sight, and that with some work, he can lead a fulfilling and relatively normal existence. The banter between Gabriel and Samantha could be quite amusing, especially when he is trying everything in his power to make her resign her position as his nurse, but she persevered with long-suffering dignity, doing everything he asked of her even though he was making a complete pest of himself. I thought that it was very sweet how Samantha was able to bring little joys back into Gabriel's life. The game of blind man's bluff with the servants was hilarious, and the little puppy she brought home for him was just too cute. It was funny how Gabriel's griped and grumbled about the dog, but then was a total pushover for the little beast. While not exactly a seeing eye dog, Sam certainly earned his keep. Best of all, I liked how Samantha stood up to Gabriel's family when they tried to treat him like an invalid. It's no wonder he didn't want them around.Yours Until Dawn was a likable and entertaining story, but during the first half or so of the book, I found my mind wandering a bit. I think part of the reason for this is that the character development seemed to be somewhat lacking. The author hints at past heartbreak for both Gabriel and Samantha but never takes it much further than that. I just kept finding myself eager to know more about them, but not discovering much. Then there were the snippets of correspondence that act as epigraphs for each chapter. I have to admit that initially I was completely baffled as to their purpose. As the story progressed, Ms. Medeiros revealed enough information for me to realize that they were excerpts from love letters that Gabriel had written to Cecily, the woman he had loved and who had abandoned him after learning of his blindness. Even still, I was a little confused about their meaning, but decided that they were there to demonstrate the confident, charming man that Gabriel had been before his battle injuries had robbed him of his sight. As it turns out, I wasn't entirely correct, because a little over halfway into the novel, the author threw me a major curve ball that I didn't see coming until I was right on top of it, at which point, everything came together to make perfect sense. Then the ambiguous character development which I had initially viewed as a weakness wasn't quite as big of an issue anymore. Even though I still wanted somewhat deeper characterizations, I 'm not sure how the author could have accomplished that and still told the same story.Although it didn't quite reach the heights of perfections for me, Yours Until Dawn was still an enjoyable read. I think it was generally a little lighter and more cheerful than I was expecting given the subject matter. Gabriel was tortured by his affliction, but perhaps not to the extreme of some other romance heroes I've read. Samantha is a little tortured by her past actions too, but again not in an extreme way. I think this just left me with the feeling that there wasn't as much depth of emotion as there should have been. I also wasn't entirely sensing the love connection. At first, it just seemed like they were only falling in love because Gabriel felt challenged by Samantha and she felt empathy for his situation. However, once it got to the plot twist, the story took a very touching turn. After that, I was very much on board with this couple finding their HEA. I do wish that Samantha hadn't kept running from Gabriel quite so much and had just stood h
Jenson_AKA_DL on LibraryThing 4 days ago
A lovely historical romance about an earl who joined the Royal Navy only to lose his sight and all hope, and a nurse who harbors a guilty secret and is determined to do all she can to bring him back into the light.I really enjoyed this super sweet romance about Lord Gabriel and his nurse, Samantha. They both had prickly personalities with enough softness in them to make them endearing. I was totally surprised by part of the story which was most likely obvious to many, but I was oblivious, and it was a wonderful moment for me as so little in reading romance surprises me after reading so many of them.All in all an endearing story with a very lovely HEA...I would recommend to any lover of historical romance.
lux_aeterna on LibraryThing 4 days ago
An excellent historical romance!'Yours Until Dawn' is about an earl, Gabriel Fairchild, who is blinded in a naval battle, disgraced and abandoned by his family and fiancee, and Samantha Wickersham, a prim but spirited young woman who accepts the position of his nurse.This combines two great characters and a well-written story. I was laughing at the first chapter at the banter between the two leads; banter is something that is so rarely done well and without being cliché, but here it was great. Their development had just the right amount of depth, and the writing was superb. Just when I thought it was getting soppy and I was feeling guilty for reading a fluffy paperback, there came such a twist that I actually gasped out loud and attracted some very strange looks. This is the danger of assuming that the plot will be totally formulaic! There was some repetition and a few Americanisms and I felt that after the twist, the ending ran about in circles - it was obviously the author's attempt not to rush the end after such a revelation, but it didn't quite match up to the build-up: that said, it was a practically impossible task! There were obvious influences as well - 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Jane Eyre' - but they're both stories I love. This isn't the thing to read if you want something world-changing, just something that will stay with you for a while and that you can look back upon fondly.I read this entire book with a smile and I recommend it to anyone who is secretly longing to read a romance novel to get all the warmth and cuteness, but wants one that has as well the depth, narrative skill and plot of 'literature'.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing 4 days ago
Gabriel Fairchild was a hero, but this cost him his sight. He lurks in his mansion living in the dark. Nurse Samantha Wickersham arrives at the house and is determined to bring him out of the dark into the light. She has to try her best to change his life, but can their relationship survive all of the light.It's pretty predictable but I found it enjoyable.
aznstarlette on LibraryThing 4 days ago
A different story than most other regency historicals. Tender story between an injured war hero and his nurse. I found this book really appealing because, being a sucker for love letters, this one featured bits and pieces of correspondence between the hero and his former fiancee. These letters also set up a great ending!
MissMac on LibraryThing 4 days ago
Much fun with these characters in the regular period romance formulaic plot. Good light reading, a sexy hero and a likeable heroine with a (pretty obvious) secret.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I loved this book! I’m a sucker for the story of future lovers meeting first as nurse and patient. This book had twists I didn’t expect and that made the story so much more enjoyable. I promise you’ll fall for, and pull for, these two characters. You’ll love the heart shown by the characters as they are revealed even to themselves. You’ll love the household servant characters, too! All are drawn perfectly! You’ll love this book!
Anonymous 10 months ago
How long has it been since I found an author whose words dance and sing across the pages? As soon as I finished the first page I was excited to curl up and delve into the characters and the story . The author...now rated WAY up my list of favorites, kept me enraptured all the way to the last word. AND THEN I NEARLY CRIED BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT THE BOOK TO END! Truly I say to you, reader, that you will not regret purchasing one of her magnificent novels. Trust me when I say that I am planning to load her books on my B&N account and put them on my top shelf with my Outlander books! Yes, that's right! It is rare to find a writer with such prose and talent. Five stars for sure! M.Cunningham in WV
Anonymous 10 months ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I loved the authors sense of humor. I laughed out loud reading this story. The characters were lovable and the storyline believable. I will definitely be reading more of this authors books!
Anonymous 10 months ago
The hero has been blinded in battle. The heroine comes to teach him how to like a life with no site. He doesn't want any help, while she is giving it whether he likes it or not. This is a wonderfully written book with characters you grow to love. A MUST read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read in one sitting! Loved it! Tortured blind hero is disappointed in love , rejected in his disability, but saved by a cantanerous mysterious nurse! Ending couldn't be better ! Loved the whole book beginning to end ! Also loved 'after midnight' but not ' in love with a vampire' couldn't finish , was bad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters were witty, entertaining, and relatable. The plot had quite a few twists and turns to keep you interested. And the ending was everything you needed and more. One of my favorite reads from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At "ahad" all res
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book. Although I own all of her books, this is my favorite. It even has a good twist that you won't see comingg
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the banter between Samantha and Gabriel. I loved how it was a slow development instead of an instant love. It made the attraction and love lore believable. Writing and editing was awesome. So why the four star? The "plot twist" at the end made it cliche. If she had carried through with the storyline of the first 150 pages I would have LOVED this book. The way it ended left me disappointed.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A sweet, engrossing story. I enjoyed getting to know Samantha and Gabriel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this story and especially the twist that comes near the end.