MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Excerpt from Engaged to Die by Carolyn Hart, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Engaged to Die

by Carolyn Hart

Engaged to Die by Carolyn Hart X
Engaged to Die by Carolyn Hart
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2003, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2004, 352 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Chapter One

"We always go to Saint Thomas in January." Irene lifted a thin dark eyebrow. "If it weren't for Virginia, we'd be there now."

Carl stared into her amber eyes, looked quickly away. Those eyes -- they reminded him uncomfortably of a cat watching a bird, remorseless, predatory, unfathomable. He focused on the coffeepot, a fine china one with pink roses twining around the spout. He watched the clear black stream of coffee, strong, hot, nerve-stretching, pour into his cup. Because of his diabetes he permitted himself only a half cup every morning, no cream, no sugar. He wished with a quick bitterness that he could as easily control his appetites in every sphere. Including Irene. But no matter how little she cared -- and sometimes it seemed to him that she made her disdain for him more apparent every day -- he knew he would never leave her, that he would do what she wished, when she wished. What was her fascination? It wasn't her beauty, though her dark hair had the sheen of midnight and her almond-shaped eyes and smooth creamy skin and sultry mouth inflamed him. Right this moment he wanted her with a hunger that was painful. But her attraction was more than beauty and passion. There was an aura of recklessness about her that held infinite allure. Funny, he'd always been such a cautious man ... He took a sip of coffee. The hot liquid burned his tongue.

"Wouldn't we?" It was a taunt. She held out one perfectly manicured hand, glanced at the shining red nails, turning her hand this way and that.

"Irene" -- his tone was harsh -- "I can't swing it this year."

Her gaze lifted from her hand. Cold eyes stared at him. "It's that bad?"

"You know what's been happening. The money's gone." He looked through the shining glass of their private upstairs sitting room at the magnificent sweep of the courtyard. Water bubbled cheerfully in both fountains. Winter-bare rosebushes filled the formal beds in the terrace. When Dad was alive and footing the bill, there'd been a full-time gardener. If no one trimmed and spruced, they'd have a burgeoning wilderness by summer. God, everything cost so much. Now he worried whether he could afford the taxes. He'd been pleased several years ago when his father decided to deed the house to him, on the proviso, of course, that Susan and Rusty would always have their own wing. Now, the huge Italian-style villa was as burdensome as trying to heft an elephant. Maybe Virginia ... He didn't want to ask Virginia. Not if he could help it. The house was his, the only property actually in his name. Everything else, including the gallery, belonged to her. But the taxes ... Beyond the terrace was the point, much of it screened by pines and palmettos. He couldn't see the ruins of the old fort from the window, but he knew that once conquering Union troops had bustled about, stood by their guns, ready to engage the Confederate forces trying to regain the island. So long ago. The island families that had created fortunes from sea cotton lost everything then. Their world changed. But the world was always changing. Battle, pestilence, and sudden death. Good Lord deliver us ...

"You aren't listening to me!" The words were flung toward him, sharp as barbs catching a bull's flank.

Carl felt the beginnings of a headache. He'd had a lot of headaches lately. Who wanted to buy paintings now? If he didn't come up with at least twenty thousand in a couple of weeks, the gallery would have to go into bankruptcy. It would have broken Dad's heart. Would Virginia help? Surely she would. But to Virginia twenty thousand dollars sounded like a fortune. She still had a substantial amount of cash. Dad had believed in cash. If she were fearful -- and so many were fearful now -- would she see it as throwing good money after bad? If she didn't help ... Who would ever have believed that the Neville Gallery could go down? It was a solid business, catering to rich vacationers and to the well-heeled retirees who'd settled on the South Carolina sea island of Broward's Rock to escape harsh northern winters. They still had money, but the days of free spending for luxuries were gone. If only he'd been more cautious when times were good. He'd put all he earned from the gallery into stocks. He'd bought more on margin. Dad always warned against buying on margin.

  • 1
  • 2

The foregoing is excerpted from Engaged to Die by Carolyn Hart. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
    Ya Ta, the main character in Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's novel, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, ...
  • Book Jacket: Run Me to Earth
    Run Me to Earth
    by Paul Yoon
    Suspenseful and elegant storytelling in Run Me to Earth kept me turning pages even through traumatic...
  • Book Jacket: Beheld
    Beheld
    by TaraShea Nesbit
    Much like her debut novel The Wives of Los Alamos, TaraShea Nesbit's Beheld imagines a familiar ...
  • Book Jacket: My Dark Vanessa
    My Dark Vanessa
    by Kate Russell
    The plot of Kate Elizabeth Russell's My Dark Vanessa follows the life of Vanessa Wye, who at the age...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    And They Called It Camelot
    by Stephanie Marie Thornton

    An unforgettable portrait of American legend Jackie O.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Yellow Bird Sings
    by Jennifer Rosner

    A breathtaking debut inspired by the true stories of Jewish children hidden during WWII.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Resistance Women
by Jennifer Chiaverini

An enthralling saga, inspired by real events, that recreates the danger and sacrifice of the Weimar Republic.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Firsts

The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress

"An intimately told story, with detailed and thought-provoking portraits..."
--New York Times

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T Die I C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.