His Housekeeper Bride

His Housekeeper Bride
О книге

Книга "His Housekeeper Bride", авторами которой являются Литагент HarperCollins EUR}, Melissa James, представляет собой захватывающую работу в жанре Современная зарубежная литература. В этом произведении автор рассказывает увлекательную историю, которая не оставит равнодушными читателей.

Автор мастерски воссоздает атмосферу напряженности и интриги, погружая читателя в мир загадок и тайн, который скрывается за хрупкой поверхностью обыденности. С прекрасным чувством языка и виртуозностью сюжетного развития, Литагент HarperCollins EUR позволяет читателю погрузиться в сложные эмоциональные переживания героев и проникнуться их судьбами. EUR настолько живо и точно передает неповторимые нюансы человеческой психологии, что каждая страница книги становится путешествием в глубины человеческой души.

"His Housekeeper Bride" - это не только захватывающая история, но и искусство, проникнутое глубокими мыслями и философскими размышлениями. Это произведение призвано вызвать у читателя эмоциональные отклики, задуматься о важных жизненных вопросах и открыть новые горизонты восприятия мира.

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His Housekeeper Bride

Melissa James


Dear Reader

This book has been very near to my heart since I wrote it—first draft in 1997. In the writing of this Cinderella story, Mark and Sylvie became very special characters.

In fact, for me, 2009 has been a year of releases for beloved characters: Jazmine, Charlie, Lia and Toby, and now Mark and Sylvie. I am so happy they finally found a home where I originally intended them to be all those years ago—at Mills & Boon Romance.

I hope as you read about them they become beloved to you, as well, and find a place on your keeper shelf.

Happy reading!


To the woman who inspired this book

with an extraordinary life: I am privileged to be your friend. You raised a family from the age of eight, survived the worst horror a young girl can imagine, and yet you’re constantly giving. You have no idea how special you are.

To Vicky, a woman of true giving, strength and

compassion: you don’t even know how you inspire others as you do what needs to be done.

To my beloved Mia: thank you for loving these

characters, and never giving up on this book. My friend, my sister, we’re always a continent apart, yet our friendship goes from strength to strength. Remember you are never as others define you; you are what your heart is, loving and giving.

My deepest thanks go to my dear friends

and CPs Robbie, Barb and Rachel, particularly Rachel, for showing me where and when I wandered off track, and Barb, for taking the time to read for me while on retreat. Special thanks to Nikki for reading at short notice. I thank you all.


St Agatha’s Hospice, Sydney, fifteen years ago

THERE she was again, standing just outside the window, giving him her sweet smile, her little encouraging wave. His friend with the sunny redgold curls, big brown eyes and brave, dimpled smile that made her look like Shirley Temple.

She was in the copse of trees and flowering shrubs in the middle of the hospice that she called the garden. The secret garden, she called it—named for her favourite book, which she read over and over to herself, as well as to her little brothers.

It was her escape from a reality and a future even grimmer than his.

She was his escape. They’d met only in the confines of this hospital during the times her mother’s and Chloe’s hospitalisations coincided, yet she saw, understood him, as his family no longer did. Sometimes he felt as if he was standing in a black and blinkered place, screaming for help, but surrounded by people who saw only Chloe’s needs, who were tuned only to Chloe’s voice.

Except for this thirteen-year-old girl who knew almost nothing about his life—a girl he never saw unless he was here. ‘Shirley Temple’ was his light and warmth in a dark, cold world, his colour and life. Everything had faded to black or white except for her.

Mark waved back at her, letting her know he’d join her soon. Their brief exchanges of maybe twenty minutes made her day bearable, just as they did his. They talked, or didn’t talk; it didn’t matter. It was the only time in the day when she wasn’t playing the adult, and when he actually felt like the kid he still was.

He glanced briefly back inside the room, but everything in there was a blur of white, a deathly shade of pale. The blankets, the walls, the gown Chloe wore, her face—even the blue oxygen tube going into Chloe’s nostrils—had somehow faded into the pale thinness of her. Beneath her knitted pink cap her hair was in a plait, roped over her shoulder, thin and dull. Even shining with lipgloss her mouth looked defeated, transparent. Her eyes were like a delicate cobweb on a winter morning, rimed with frost. Broken with a touch. She was sixteen, and she was dying….

He was seventeen, and he was watching his best friend die—just as he’d been watching it for five endless years. Chloe had turned from childhood pal to his lover and bride of four weeks, and, watching her, he wanted to scream, to punch holes in the walls, to bolt as far away from this place as he could.

Oh, help—that sounded so selfish when he’d loved her almost all his life! But part of him felt as if he’d begun to die too when she’d got cancer, or as if he was chained to a cage: he wasn’t in the cage but he couldn’t fly away, either—and the only person who understood how he felt was a thirteen-year-old kid.

Carrie and Jen would be here in five or ten minutes. Chloe’s best friends came every day after school, to tell them who was dating who, who’d broken up with who, and how ugly it had got. About the fight between Joe Morrow and Luke Martinez over who’d lost the opening game of the football season, and ‘—don’t choke—Principal Buckley is getting married—like, at forty. How gross is that? He’s so old.’

When Carrie and Jen came, Mark took off for a while. It was his time to breathe, to

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