"Sara! You must come out! You're wanted downstairs right away," Lucie hissed through the keyhole on the locked bedroom door. "Stepmama is furious and Father has sent word that he's coming home early from the Exchange. She says he's in a rage over what you've done!" "I haven't done anything! It's not my fault if those two hotheads decide to fight a duel!" came her sister's indignant voice from the other side of the door. "Oh, Sara, please!" Lucie pleaded. "Father will be here any minute. You must do as you're told!" She shook her head and sighed ruefully, "You're stubborn, Sara." "No," denied Sara. "I am strong." Thus begins the bittersweet story of beautiful Sara Leighton, the headstrong heroine of Folly's Bride, the fourth in the Brides of Montclair series. As with her predecessors, happiness does not come painlessly to this newest bride of Montclair. Her unusual beauty and her independent spirit places her on a collision course with romance, frustration, disappointment, and finally, true love.
About the Author
Jane Peart was a best-selling novelist in both the secular and Christian markets. Her beloved Brides of Montclair Series is one of the longest continuous series on the market. She also published the American Quilts Series, and the Orphan Train Trilogy.
Read an Excerpt
Folly's BrideBook 4
By Jane Peart
ZondervanCopyright © 1990 Zondervan
All right reserved.
Chapter One"Sara! You must come out! You're wanted downstairs right away," Lucie hissed through the keyhole of the locked bedroom door. "Stepmama is furious and Father has sent word that he's coming home early from the Exchange. She says he's in a rage over what you've done!"
"I haven't done anything! It's not my fault if those two hotheads decide to fight a duel!" came her sister's indignant voice from the other side of the door.
"Oh, Sara, please!" Lucie pleaded. "Father will be here any minute. You must do as you're told!"
"I will not come down just because she is in a frenzy."
Lucie shifted her crouched position on the hall floor and tried again. "Well, at least let me come in," she whispered desperately.
There was a moment's silence from the room beyond, then the sound of the lock sliding back. The door inched open. With a glance over her shoulder, Lucie slipped inside. Immediately the door was shut behind her and locked again. At Lucie's entrance, Ruffy, Sara's spaniel, who was sharing his mistress's refuge, lifted his head and fixed a mournful gaze on her.
Lucie shook her head sighing, "Sara, you're so stubborn."
"No," denied Sara. "I am strong."
Sara moved restlessly over to the window seat, picked up the mustard-striped cat sleeping on the cushioned sill and, nestling her in her arms, said defiantly, "No matter what she says, I am not going to take the blame for something I had nothing to do with-"
"She says you are the cause!" Lucie climbed up on Sara's high canopy bed and leaned over the footrail. "She says you flirted with both of them, tried to make them jealous, and laughed when Landon called Harrison out!"
"I did no such thing!"
"I don't give a fig for what she says. She wasn't there, was she? She always suspects the worst about me," Sara said, tossing her head, her dark curls tumbling about her shoulders. "Anyway, Father will believe me."
Sara wished she could be as sure of that fact as she tried to sound. She used to be able to count on her father's constant, if sometimes reluctant, leniency. That is, until two years ago, when he had married Georgina Nugent and brought her home to Savannah from Charleston. Now, he was more inclined to avoid conflict by accepting his new wife's version of any dispute.
Lucie was silent. There was no use arguing with Sara, no use trying to reason with her. She would always think and do exactly as she pleased. "Headstrong," their father called her. "Obstinate," Stepmama said. "Mule-headed," Mammy June, the girls' old nurse, put it less delicately.
Lucie gazed at her sister, half-admiringly, half-enviously. Even though she adored her only sister, she could not help envying her a little. She often wished her own nutmeg-brown hair were the same color as Sara's lustrous curls, that her eyelashes were as long and thick, that she had those same enchanting dimples.
There was nothing more to be said, Lucie decided. Sara would just have to get out of this predicament on her own. Not for a minute did Lucie doubt that she would.
In the meantime Sara sat staring out the window, her rebellious thoughts in sharp contrast to the serenity of the scene below. The soft breeze of the early summer afternoon stirred the purple clusters on the wisteria vine clinging to the wrought-iron balcony. And beyond, she could see the peaceful symmetry of the rows of fine houses that lined the square on which the Leightons' own handsome house faced.
Sara pursed her rosy lips in a pout. How stupid to be closeted up on a day like this when she could have been out riding or visiting or enjoying any number of pleasant pastimes. It was only to escape the incessant scolding of that impossible Georgina that Sara had barricaded herself in her room.
Just then there was the sound of carriage wheels on the street below, followed by the deep voice of their father speaking to Trent, the butler, at the front door.
The two sisters exchanged glances-Lucie's eyes, wide with apprehension; Sara's, with determination. At almost the same time footsteps tapped along the hall, accompanied by the swish of taffeta skirts, stopping outside Sara's room. Next came a rapping at the door.
"Sara Leighton, come out at once! Your father is home and waiting downstairs to speak with you." Georgina's strident tone was unmistakable.
The sisters exchanged another glance. Lucie looked anxious and Sara, resigned. She could not disobey her father's summons.
Sara rose, spilling the cat out of her lap. Moving with deliberate slowness, she went over to her dressing table and picked up her silver-backed brush. She caught a handful of dark hair and gave it a few leisurely strokes.
The impatient knock came again.
"Sara, did you hear me?" "Yes. I'm coming."
Lucie slipped off the bed and hurried to Sara, taking both her hands. Sara's hands felt cold and suddenly clammy. She did not look forward to this encounter with her father, but she was determined not to betray her dread in front of her stepmother. Besides, she had to show Lucie not to let Georgina intimidate her.
"It will be all right, Lucie, don't worry," Sara assured her and swept out the door, head held high.
At the top of the curved stairway, she paused momentarily. From this vantage point she could see the imposing figure of her father standing at the white marble fireplace in the parlor. By his stance she could tell that he was very angry. When she reached the bottom step, she halted and took a deep breath before entering the room.
Georgina was seated in one of the wing chairs, flushed and frustrated, her eyes accusing as Sara came in. Ignoring her, Sara addressed her father directly.
"You wanted to see me, Papa?"
Excerpted from Folly's Bride by Jane Peart Copyright © 1990 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
this is a wonderful book it keeps you up until you finish reading it.
Although I wasn't to fond of her attitude in the beginning , I loved the outcome of this book! I am enjoying the history as much as the romance. This is a series for Christian readers. I have enjoyed reading about the struggles and faith of these women. Even as we all now grow and change.. you will see changes throughout the lives of these families! Must read!