Jude Deveraux Days of Gold (Edilean)

ISBN 13: 9781439165836

Days of Gold (Edilean)

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9781439165836: Days of Gold (Edilean)
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New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux returns to her roots in this sweeping historical romance with a dazzling story that spans two continents and unites two people who are separated by class, wealth, and education.

In 1766 Scotland, the laird of the clan, Angus McTern, has everything he wants in life. Although his grandfather lost the family's land and castle in a card game when Angus was just a boy, Angus takes his duties seriously and is respected by all the men and adored by the women. That is, until Edilean Talbot shows up.

Breathtakingly beautiful and born of privilege, Edilean represents everything Angus despises. Still he is as dazzled by her as everyone else is, and he can keep his feelings hidden from her for only so long. When she rejects him he is deeply wounded and, worse, humiliated before his clan. But then the day comes when Edilean needs Angus's help, to reclaim the gold she inherited from her father, which is on its way to America. At first Angus refuses, but her beauty -- and her tears -- so haunt him that he puts aside his pride and decides to aid the heiress. However, when Angus tries to intervene, he's accused of kidnapping and theft. To avoid being prosecuted, he's forced to leave behind all that he knows and loves and escape with Edilean to America. There they will overcome almost insurmountable obstacles as they are pursued endlessly by the man who claims the gold for his own. Despite all that tries to keep them apart, Angus and Edilean also find a love as wild and free as the land itself.

The second book in the multigenerational Edilean Series that began with Lavender Morning, Days of Gold is filled with passion, humor, exquisite detail, and pulse-pounding adventure. Stirring and masterfully rendered, this is Jude Deveraux at her best.

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About the Author:

Jude Deveraux is the author of more than forty New York Times bestsellers, including Moonlight in the Morning, The Scent of Jasmine, Scarlet Nights, Days of Gold, Lavender Morning, Return to Summerhouse, and Secrets. To date, there are more than sixty million copies of her books in print worldwide. To learn more, visit JudeDeveraux.com.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1

HAVE YOU SEEN her yet?”

“Nay, I have not,” Angus McTern said for what seemed like the hundredth time. He had just come in from the hills, and he was wet, tired, hungry, and cold, but all anyone could talk about was Neville Lawler’s fancy English niece, come to the old castle to look down her nose at the poor Scots.

“You should see her,” young Tam said as he tried to keep pace with his cousin’s long stride. Angus was usually glad to see Tam, but not if all he could talk about was Lawler’s niece. “She has hair like gold,” the boy said, his voice cracking. He was just coming into manhood, and what the girls said, did, and looked like was everything to him. “She has eyes as blue as a loch, and her clothes! Never did I see such clothes as she has. They’re spun by the angels and trimmed by honeybees. She—”

“But then you’ve never been anywhere to see much to compare her to, now have you, lad?” Angus said—and everyone stopped to look at him in astonishment. They were in the big stone courtyard that had once belonged to the McTern family. Angus and Tam’s grandfather had been the laird, but he was a lazy old reprobate who’d gambled and lost everything to a young Englishman, Neville Lawler. Angus had been just nine at the time, living with his widowed mother, and it had been Angus who the clan turned to. In the sixteen years since, he’d done his best to look out for the few remaining McTerns.

But sometimes, like today, it seemed like a losing battle to try to make people remember that they were part of the once-great McTerns. For the last weeks, all they’d wanted to talk about was the Englishwoman. Her hair, her clothes, each word she spoke, the way she said it.

“‘Fraid she won’t like you?” old Duncan asked as he looked up at Angus from the scythe he was sharpening. “‘Fraid that great, hairy face of yours will scare her?”

The tension that had been caused by Angus snapping at his young cousin was broken and he gave the boy a rough shove on his shoulder to apologize. It wasn’t Tam’s fault that he’d never been anywhere or done anything. All he knew were the hills of Scotland, the sheep and the cattle, and the raids where he sometimes had to fight for his life.

“A fancy lady like her would be scared to death of a real Scotsman,” Angus said, then raised his hands like claws and made a face at his young cousin.

Everyone in the courtyard relaxed and returned to his or her work. What Angus thought was important to them.

He strode past the old stone keep that had once been his family home and went to the stables. Since Neville Lawler thought more of his horses than he did of humans, they were clean, well kept, and the building was warmer than the house.

Without asking, Angus’s uncle, Malcolm McTern, handed Angus a round of rough, thick bread and a mug of ale. “Did we lose many, lad?” he asked as he went back to brushing down one of Lawler’s hunting horses.

“Three,” Angus said as he sat down on a stool that was against the wall. “I followed them but I couldn’t catch them.” Saving the sheep and the cattle from the raids took most of Angus’s time. As he ate, he leaned back against the stone wall of the stables and for a moment closed his eyes. He hadn’t slept in two days and all he wanted to do was wrap his plaid about him and sleep until the sun came up.

When one of the horses kicked the wall, Angus had his dirk out before his eyes were open.

Malcolm gave a snort of laughter. “Never safe, are you, boy?”

“Nor are any of us,” he said good-humoredly. As he ate, the warmth crept into him. He was the only one of the clan who still wore the plaid in the old way. It was two long pieces of handwoven cloth, draped about his body, held at the waist with a thick leather belt, and leaving the lower half of his legs bare. His white shirt had big sleeves and was gathered at the neck. The kilt had been outlawed by the English many years before, and those who wore it risked prison time and whippings, but old Lawler turned a blind eye to what Angus did. For all that the man was lazy, and greedy beyond all reckoning, he understood about a man’s pride.

“Let him wear the blasted thing,” he said when an English visitor said Angus should be beaten.

“Wearing their own clothes makes them think they have their own country. He’ll cause you trouble if you don’t take him down a notch or two now.”

“If I take away his pride, I take away his desire to look after the place,” Neville said and smiled at Angus behind the man’s back.

If Neville Lawler had nothing else good about him, he knew a lot about self-preservation. He knew that Angus McTern took care of the castle, the grounds, and the people, so Lawler wasn’t about to anger the tall young man.

“Go home, lad,” Malcolm said. “I’ll look after the horses. Get some sleep.”

“At my house?” Angus said. “And how can I do that? I lie down there and I have brats crawling all over me. That oldest one ought to have a hand put to his backside. Last time I slept there, he wove sticks into my beard. He said the chickens could use it for a nest.”

Malcolm had to cough to cover his laugh. Angus lived with his sister and her husband and their ever-growing family. By rights, it was Angus’s house, but he couldn’t throw his sister out.

“Go, then,” Malcolm said, “and have a rest in my bed. I won’t need it for hours yet.”

Angus gave him such a look of thanks that Malcolm almost blushed. Since Angus’s father had died when he was just a boy, Malcolm had been the closest he’d had to one. Malcolm was the youngest son of the laird who’d lost the lands to the English Lawler, and Angus and Tam were the sons of Malcolm’s older brothers. He’d never married, saying he had too much to do in taking care of his deceased brothers’ boys to make any of his own.

“Shall I wake you when she goes out for her ride?” Malcolm asked.

“Who?”

“Come now, boy,” Malcolm said, “surely you’ve heard of the niece.”

“I’ve heard about nothing else but her! Last night I almost expected the raiders to turn back and return the cattle they’d stolen just to have word of her. I thought they’d ask me if she wore a blue dress or a pink one.”

“You laugh, but that’s because you haven’t seen her.”

Angus gave a jaw-cracking yawn. “Nor do I want to. I’m sure she’s a bonnie lass, but what does that matter to me? She’ll soon go back south and live in a splendid house in London. I don’t know why she wanted to come up here to this great pile of stone anyway. To have a laugh at us?”

“Maybe,” Malcolm said, “but she’s done nothing but smile at people so far.”

“Oh, that’s good of her,” Angus said as he stood, stretching. “And do her smiles get everyone to do her bidding? ‘Yes, my lady. No, my lady’ they all say to her. ‘Let me carry your fan for you, my lady.’ ‘Please let me empty your chamber pot.’ ”

Malcolm smiled at Angus’s impersonation, but he didn’t give up. “I feel sorry for the girl. There’s a sadness in her eyes that you can’t help but see. Morag said the girl has no family left except for old Neville.”

“But she has money, does she not? That’ll buy her a rich husband who’ll give her a passel of brats and she’ll be happy enough. No! I want to hear no more of her. I’ll see her soon enough—or mayhap I’ll be lucky and she’ll go back to London before I have to see her angelic...” He waved his hand in dismissal. “Too much of the angels for me. I’m going to sleep. If I’m not awake by this time tomorrow, check if I’m dead or not.”

Malcolm snorted. Angus would no doubt be up in a few hours and wanting something to do. He wasn’t one for lying about.

As Angus went into the room at the end of the stables, he glanced at the riding horse the niece had brought with her from London. It was gray, with great dapples of a darker gray, and now it raised its legs impatiently, wanting to get out and go. He’d been told that the niece took a long ride every day, always accompanied by an escort, a man who rode far behind her. Over and over, Angus had been told what a fine horsewoman the girl was.

Malcolm’s bed with its rough sheets and big tartan was a welcome sight, and as Angus lay down, he thought that he’d like to see the girl ride as he’d had to these last two nights. The poor pony was tearing across rocks and shrubs as Angus pursued the raiders stealing the cattle. But the thieves had had too much of a head start, and their mounts were fresh so he’d lost them in the hills.

As he fell asleep, he smiled at the thought of the delicate little English girl holding on for her life.

When he awoke, every nerve in his body was alert. An unusual sound had awakened him, and he didn’t know what it was. He’d spent half his life in the stables and he knew every sound, but this one didn’t belong. The rustlers wouldn’t have dared come this close to the house, would they?

Angus lay still, not moving, not even opening his eyes in case there was someone standing at the open door, and listened hard. It was coming from the stall next to Malcolm’s room, the stall the niece’s beautiful mare was in. Was this animal that he didn’t know doing something? No. He heard breathing, then there was a little intake of breath that made Angus shake his head. Shamus. Whatever the sound was, Shamus wa...

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Book Description Atria Books, United States, 2010. Hardback. Condition: New. Large type / large print edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux returns to her roots in this sweeping historical romance with a dazzling story that spans two continents and unites two people who are separated by class, wealth, and education. In 1766 Scotland, the laird of the clan, Angus McTern, has everything he wants in life. Although his grandfather lost the family s land and castle in a card game when Angus was just a boy, Angus takes his duties seriously and is respected by all the men and adored by the women. That is, until Edilean Talbot shows up. Breathtakingly beautiful and born of privilege, Edilean represents everything Angus despises. Still he is as dazzled by her as everyone else is, and he can keep his feelings hidden from her for only so long. When she rejects him he is deeply wounded and, worse, humiliated before his clan. But then the day comes when Edilean needs Angus s help, to reclaim the gold she inherited from her father, which is on its way to America. At first Angus refuses, but her beauty -- and her tears -- so haunt him that he puts aside his pride and decides to aid the heiress. However, when Angus tries to intervene, he s accused of kidnapping and theft. To avoid being prosecuted, he s forced to leave behind all that he knows and loves and escape with Edilean to America. There they will overcome almost insurmountable obstacles as they are pursued endlessly by the man who claims the gold for his own. Despite all that tries to keep them apart, Angus and Edilean also find a love as wild and free as the land itself. The second book in the multigenerational Edilean Series that began with Lavender Morning, Days of Gold is filled with passion, humor, exquisite detail, and pulse-pounding adventure. Stirring and masterfully rendered, this is Jude Deveraux at her best. Seller Inventory # FLT9781439165836

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