Catherine Coulter Mad Jack (Bride Series)

ISBN 13: 9781597378130

Mad Jack (Bride Series)

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9781597378130: Mad Jack (Bride Series)

Dear Reader: Mad Jack is lots of fun. You're going to meet two of the neatest people in 1811 London. In addition, you'll revisit the Sherbrookes - Douglas and Ryder, and see what's going on with them eight years after you first met them. As for Sinjun, she and Colin Kinross have been married for four years and Colin is in a real tizzy. Mad Jack is in reality Winifrede Levering Bascombe, who, happily, has her name changed very quickly in the story. She arrives in London with the aunts, Mathilda and Maude, to beg the assistance of Lord Cliffe, Grayson St. Cyre. He welcomes the aunts, briefly spots the valet, Jack, and proceeds very quickly after their arrival to fall down the rabbit hole. He catches the valet, Jack, stealing his horse, Durban, chases Jack down, and then all sorts of interesting things happen. Enter Sinjun with her frantic husband, Colin, on her trail. Amidst all the laughter, however, there lurks a deadly secret that's ready to leap out and crush both Jack and Gray. You'll hold your breath when a tough-brained Jack and a furious Gray get together and discover the truth of the accusation that could do them in before they can even get started with their lives. Do write to me at P.O. Box 17, Mill Valley, CA 94942, or email me at ReadMoi@gmail.com, and tell me what you think of Mad Jack, a novel I very much enjoyed writing. Catherine Coulter

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About the Author:

Catherine Coulter is the author of the New York Times-bestselling FBI thrillers The Cove, The Maze, The Target, The Edge, Riptide, Hemlock Bay, Eleventh Hour, Blindside, Blowout, Point Blank, Double Take, TailSpin, KnockOut, and Whiplash. She lives in northern California.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

St. Cyre Town House

London, 1811

March 25th GRAYSON ALBEMARLE ST.

Cyre, Baron Cliffe, read the single page one more time,

then slowly crumpled it in his hand. Some letter, he

thought, as he threw the ball of paper into the fireplace.

Not many words on the page, but most of the few there

were vicious and malevolent. He watched the paper slowly

crinkle around the edges, then burst into bright flame.

He walked out of the drawing room and down the long

corridor toward the back of his home. He opened the door

to the library—his room—all somber and warm and filled

with books and little else. The heavy, dark gold velvet draperies

were drawn tightly against the night, the fire low and

sluggish because none of the servants had known he would

be coming into this room at this time.

They all thought he’d left five minutes before to visit his

mistress.

He thought of the damned letter and cursed, but not as

fluently as his father had when he was so drunk he could

scarcely walk. He sat down at his desk and took a piece of

foolscap from the top drawer, dipped the quill into the ink

pot, and wrote: If I receive another threat from you, I will

treat you as you deserve. I will beat you senseless and leave

you in a ditch to die.

He signed his initials, GSC, slowly folded the paper, and

slid it into an envelope. He walked to the elegant Spanish

table that sat against the wall in the entrance hall and placed

the envelope onto the ancient silver salver that his butler,

Quincy, cleaned every other day, at one o’clock in the afternoon,

without fail.

He wondered as he walked in the cold, clear, early spring

night to the apartment of his sweet Jenny what would happen

now.

Probably nothing. Men of Clyde Barrister’s stamp were

cowards.

Carlisle Manor

Near Folkstone

March 29th

There was nothing more to say, damn her. He was panting

with rage at her, the ungrateful little bitch. He couldn’t help

himself. He raised his hand to strike her, then got hold of

himself. ‘‘If I hit you, Carlton will know it and perhaps not

want you.’’

She whimpered, her head down, her hair straggling long

and tangled and sweaty down the sides of her face.

‘‘Silent at last, are you? I never thought I’d see you mute

as a tree. It’s refreshing for once not having to listen to

your complaints and see those looks of yours. Silence and

submissiveness are very charming in women, in you especially,

though I’m just now seeing them for the first time.

Well, perhaps it’s over, eh? Yes, you’ve finally given up.

You won’t go against me anymore.’’

She said not a word. When he grabbed her chin in his

hand and forced her head up, there were tears in her eyes.

But still he frowned. He stared down at her hard, still

breathing hoarsely from his pacing and yelling. But his face

was no longer as flushed as it had been a minute before,

and his voice no longer trembled with rage when he spoke.

‘‘You will marry Sir Carlton Avery. He will return tomorrow

morning. You will smile shyly at him and tell him that

it is your honor to become his wife. I have given him my

blessing. The marriage settlements are agreed upon. Everything

is done. You will not disobey me, or when I next see

you, I will make you very sorry.’’

He grabbed her chin again, saw the tear streaking down

her cheeks, and smiled. ‘‘Good,’’ he said. ‘‘Tonight you

will bathe and wash your hair. You look like a slut from

Drury Lane.’’ He swiftly left her bedchamber, humming

with his victory. Still, because he didn’t want her to forget

that he was serious, he slammed the door behind him. She

heard his key grate in the lock. She heard his heavy-booted

footsteps receding down the long corridor. She drew in a

deep breath, looked upward, and said, ‘‘Thank you, God.

Thank you, God.’’

He’d forgotten to retie her hands.

She lifted her hands, looked at the ugly, raw bruises on

her wrists, and began to rub feeling back into them. She

bent over to untie her ankles, then rose slowly from the

chair where she’d been trussed up like a criminal for three

days. She relieved herself and quickly downed two glasses

of water from the carafe that sat on her bedside table. Her

breathing calmed. She was very hungry. He hadn’t allowed

her any food since the previous evening.

But he’d forgotten and left her hands untied. Perhaps he

hadn’t forgotten. Perhaps he believed he’d finally broken

her and tying her hands didn’t matter. Well, she’d tried to

make him believe that. To hold her tongue had cost her

dearly. To squeeze tears out of her eyes hadn’t proved so

difficult.

Would he come back? That got her into action more

quickly than having Farmer Mason’s bull Prixil racing toward

her across the south field would have. She had to

leave in the next three minutes, perhaps sooner.

She’d thought of this so often during the long hours of

the past three days, had meticulously planned it, modified

her plans, pictured everything she would be able to carry

in the small, light valise.

The next two minutes she spent tying the ends of her

two sheets together, slinging them out of the second-floor

window, and praying that she would fit through the tall,

narrow opening. No doubt she was thinner now than she

had been three days ago. She’d stared at that window off

and on during the past three days, knowing it was her only

way out. She would have to squeeze through it. She had

no choice at all.

She managed, barely. When she was dangling six feet

above the ground, she looked briefly back up at her bedchamber

window, then smiled. She let go and rolled when

she landed on the soft, sloping ground. When she stopped,

shook herself, and found that she’d gained only a few

bruises from her jump, she looked back at her home once

more, its lines soft and mellow beneath the brilliant light

of the half-moon. A lovely property, Carlisle Manor, one

that had belonged to her father, Thomas Levering Bascombe,

not this bastard, not this man who’d married her

mother after her father had died. And now Carlisle Manor

was his, all his, and there was nothing anyone could do

about it.

With luck she wouldn’t be missed until the morning. Unless

he remembered and came back to tie her hands. Then

things would be a bit more difficult.

At least Georgie was far away from here, all the way up

at York, and thus would be safe from their stepfather’s rage

when he discovered that his pigeon had escaped the cage.

His pigeon also knew where to go.

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Catherine Coulter
Published by Brilliance Audio (2006)
ISBN 10: 1597378135 ISBN 13: 9781597378130
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Book Description Brilliance Audio, 2006. MP3 CD. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1597378135

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