For the Roses (Clayborne Series #1)

For the Roses (Clayborne Series #1)

by Julie Garwood

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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No one ever knew what kind of strays, from animals to weary travelers, Mary Rose Clayborne would bring home next.

Sometimes her four brothers' runaway slave Adam, ax-pickpocket Douglas, gunslinger Cole, and con man Travis — wondered whether her boarding school education did a lick of good now that their beautiful, impulsive little sister was back in Blue Belle, Montana.

Of course, everyone in town knew better than to mess with the Claybornes. The brothers, four of the toughest hombres in the West, had once been a mismatched gang of street urchins. But they had found an abandoned baby girl in a New York City alley, named her Mary Rose, headed West, and raised her to be a lady. Through the years the Claybornes had become a family, held together by loyalty and love if not by blood — when they suddenly faced the crisis that could tear them apart.

That crisis came to town with Lord Harrison Stanford MacDonald. In his fine clothes, he looked every inch a dude. Mary Rose figured that if she didn't interfere, this handsome Englishman would get himself killed, so she took him home to the Clayborne ranch to ask her brothers to turn him into a cowboy. She didn't suspect MacDonald was a chameleon, not the greenhorn he appeared to be. He'd prove fast with a gun, quick with his fists, and capable of commanding the Claybornes's respect — if not their trust. He'd also soon be desperately in love with Mary Rose. She returned his affection blissfully and wholeheartedly...until MacDonald revealed a secret that challenged everything she believed about her love, herself, and her life.

Now Mary Rose's search for identity and meaning would begin, sending her to England, to the family she lost long ago. Her soul hungered for the freedom of the American West, but she was being drawn away from all she cared about by the need to know her past...and by her uncertain but still potent love for MacDonald. Torn between conflicting loyalties, Mary Rose wasn't sure who she really was, or where she belonged...questions that could only be answered if she listened to the truth within her heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780671870980
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 02/01/1996
Series: Clayborne Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 140,399
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Julie Garwood is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Fire and Ice, Shadow Music, Shadow Dance, Murder List, Killjoy, Mercy, Heartbreaker, Ransom, and Come the Spring. There are more than thirty-six million copies of her books in print.

Read an Excerpt

from the Prologue

New York City, 1860

They found her in the trash. Luck was on the boys' side; the rats hadn't gotten to her yet. Two of the vermin had already climbed onto the top of the covered picnic basket and were frantically clawing at the wicker, while three others were tearing at the sides with their razor-sharp teeth. The rats were in a frenzy, for they smelled milk and tender, sweet-scented flesh.

The alley was the gang's home. Three of the four boys were sound asleep in their make-do beds of converted wooden crates lined with old straw. They'd put in a full night's work of thieving and conning and fighting. They were simply too exhausted to hear the cries of the infant.

Douglas was to be her savior. The fourth member of the gang was taking his turn doing sentry duty at the narrow mouth of the alley. He'd been watching a dark-cloaked woman for quite some time now. When she came hurrying toward the opening with the basket in her arms, he warned the other gang members of possible trouble with a soft, low-pitched whistle, then retreated into his hiding place behind a stack of old warped whiskey barrels. The woman paused in the archway, gave a furtive glance back over her shoulder toward the street, then ran into the very center of the alley. She stopped so suddenly her skirts flew out around her ankles. Grabbing the basket by the handle, she swung her arm back as far as it would go to gain momentum and threw the basket into a pyramid of garbage piled high against the opposite wall. It landed on its side, near the top. The woman was muttering under her breath all the while. Douglas couldn't make out any of the words because the sound she made was muffled by another noise coming from inside the basket. It sounded like the mewing of a cat to him. He spared the basket only a glance, his attention firmly on the intruder.

The woman was obviously afraid. He noticed her hands shook when she pulled the hood of her cloak further down on her forehead. He thought she might be feeling guilty because she was getting rid of a family pet. The animal was probably old and ailing, and no one wanted it around any longer. People were like that, Douglas figured. They never wanted to be bothered by the old or the young. Too much trouble, he guessed. He found himself shaking his head and almost scoffed out loud over the sorry state of affairs in general, and this woman's cowardice in particular. If she didn't want the pet, why didn't she just give it away? He wasn't given time to mull over a possible answer, for the woman suddenly turned around and went running back to the street. She never looked back. When she was almost to the corner, Douglas gave another whistle. This one was loud, shrill. The oldest of the gang members, a runaway slave named Adam, leapt to his feet with the agility and speed of a predator. Douglas pointed to the basket, then took off in pursuit of the woman. He'd noticed the thick envelope sticking out of her coat pocket and thought it was time he took care of a little business. He was, after all, the best eleven-year-old pickpocket on Market Street.

Adam watched Douglas leave, then turned to get the basket. It wasn't an easy task.

The rats didn't want to give up their bounty. Adam hit one squarely on the head with a jagged-edged stone. The vile creature let out a squeal before scurrying back to the street. Adam lit his torch next and waved it back and forth above the basket to frighten the other vermin away. When he was certain they were all gone, he lifted the basket out of the garbage and carried it back to the bed of crates where the other gang members still slept.

He almost dropped the thing when he heard the faint sounds coming from inside.

"Travis, Cole, wake up. Douglas found something."

Adam continued on past the beds and went to the dead end of the alley. He sat down, folded his long, skinny legs in front of him, and put the basket on the ground. He leaned back against the brick wall and waited for the other two boys to join him.

Cole sat down on Adam's right side, and Travis, yawning loudly, hunkered down on his other side.

"What'd you find, boss?" Travis asked, his voice thick with sleep.

He'd asked Adam the question. The other three gang members had elevated the runaway slave to the position of leader one month ago. They'd used both reason and emotion to come to their decision. Adam was the oldest of the boys, almost fourteen now, and logic suggested he, therefore, lead the others. Also, he was the most intelligent of the four. While those were two sound reasons, there was yet another more compelling one. Adam had risked his own life to save each one of them from certain death. In the back alleys of New York City, where survival of the fittest was the only commandment anyone ever paid any attention to, there simply wasn't room for prejudice. Hunger and violence were masters of the night, and they were both color-blind.

"Boss?" Travis whispered, prodding him to answer.

"I don't know what it is," Adam answered.

He was about to add that he hadn't looked inside yet, but Cole interrupted him. "It's a basket, that's what it is," he muttered. "The latch holding the top closed looks like it could be real gold. Think it is?"

Adam shrugged. Travis, the youngest of the boys, imitated the action. He accepted the torch Adam handed him and held it high enough for all of them to see.

"Shouldn't we wait for Douglas before we open the thing?" Travis asked. He glanced over his shoulder toward the entrance of the alley. "Where'd he go?"

Adam reached for the latch. "He'll be along."

"Wait, boss," Cole cautioned. "There's a noise coming from inside." He reached for his knife. "You hear it, Travis?"

"I hear it," Travis answered. "Could be something inside's gonna bite us. Think it could be a snake?"

"Of course it couldn't be a snake," Cole answered, his exasperation evident in his tone of voice. "You got piss for brains, boy. Snakes don't whimper like . . . like maybe kittens."

Stung by the retort, Travis lowered his gaze. "We ain't never gonna find out lessun we open the thing," he muttered.

Adam nodded agreement. He flipped the latch to the side and lifted the lid an inch. Nothing jumped out at them. He let out the breath he'd been holding, then pushed the lid all the way up. The hinge squeaked, and the lid swung down to rest against the back side of the basket.

All three boys had pressed their shoulders tight against the wall. They leaned forward now to look inside.

"Probably nothing," Travis replied. "Least ways, not yet. Maybe though, when he gets bigger..."

"Yeah?" Douglas asked, curious over the sudden excitement that came into Travis's voice.

"I'm thinking we could all teach him a thing or two."

"Like what?" Douglas asked. He reached out and gently touched the baby's forehead with his index finger. "His skin feels like satin."

Travis was warming to the possibility of educating the baby. It made him feel important . . . and needed. "Douglas, you could teach him all about picking pockets. You're real good at it. And you, Cole, you could teach him how to be mean. I seen the look that comes into your eyes when you think someone's wronged you. You could teach the little fella to look like that too. It's real scary."

Cole smiled. He appreciated hearing the compliment. "I stole me a gun," he whispered.

"When?" Douglas asked.

"Yesterday," Cole answered.

"I seen it already," Travis boasted.

"I'm going to get good shooting it as soon as I steal me some bullets. I'm gonna be the fastest gun on Market Street. I might be persuaded to make the little fella second best."

"I could teach him how to get things," Travis announced. "I'm good at finding what we need, ain't I, boss?"

"Yes," Adam agreed. "You're very good."

"We could be the best gang in New York City. We could make everyone afraid of us," Travis whispered. He was so enthralled over the possibility, his eyes shone bright. His voice took on a dreamy quality. "Even Lowell and his bastard friends," he added, referring to the rival gang members they all secretly feared.

The boys all took a moment to look at the pretty picture Travis had just painted for them. Cole rubbed his jaw again. He liked what he was imagining. He had to force the eagerness out of his voice when he spoke again. "Boss, you could teach him all about them books your mama taught you about. You could maybe make him as smart as you are."

"You could teach him how to read, and he wouldn't get whiplashes across his back for learning the way you did," Travis interjected.

"If we keep him, the first thing we got to do is take that sissy dress off him," Douglas announced. He glared at the long white gown and shook his head. "No one's ever gonna laugh at him. We'll see to it."

"I'll kill anyone who even snickers," Cole promised.

Copyright © 1995 by Julie Garwood

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For the Roses 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 125 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a very quick book to read, and I mean that in a good way. Very loving, sexy, heart warming, and exciting. I read For the Roses and the other books in the series a few years ago and I have re-read them because they are that good. Although I do like romance this is not just a romantic story it much more than that. It about family and love and respect, I loved it. The reason why I have taken the time to write this review is I have just seen the movie ROSEHILL that was adapted by Hallmark (WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT THAT WAS). Avoid at all cost, the essence and heart of the story has being destroyed the humour was taken out of the story, you would not recognise Mary Rose who was made out to be a jealous person who disregarded the men who raise her.The men did not appear to really bond together like in the book, what happen to Harrison he did not exist in the movie and the most unforgivable act was that they KILL OFF COLE For the Roses surely proved that a family can be strongly bonded through the years of love and taking care of each other. Family can be create not only formed by blood. Aside from the family values, the romantic story of Rose & Harrison added spice to the whole book. Mary Rose's discovery of her real father and their initial meeting was a tear jerker. I was once again in tears when I read the part of Mary Rose adjusting to her new family. J.G. described each scenes and emotions so perfectly that I feel like I am part of the book itself. I have many favorite scenes in this book but I have to hold back telling it, otherwise, I will give it away and ruined it for those who haven't read the book just yet. 
Guest More than 1 year ago
There were lots of laughs in this book as well as lots of moments that nearly made me cry. But the story starts wandering about halfway through, especially when they get to England, and I found myself skimming a bit. I love Julie Garwood's style. She always has a great blend of humor and poignancy. This book had both, and I loved all the characters 'except for Eleanor and the bunch in England', but it didn't keep my interest throughout. When the final chapters came and there was yet another new plotline, I just sighed. But then the ending felt rushed, with several things left out. Why didn't we get to experience Harrison's joy at Mary Rose's good news? Why didn't we see the reunion with Mama Rose? A lot to love, but I have to give it only three.
CodygirlDG More than 1 year ago
Follow the story of Mary Rose -- from when she was found abandoned by her four adopted brothers, to her all grown up. This story has it ALL and I can not recommend it highly enough to those like me who absolutely ADORE western romance. 200 stars, 200 A+'s -- this is the one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. A little twist on family and romance intertwined. It took a look at the 19th century in both high society of London England, as well as the US when it was still a little wild.
denverbroncosgirl More than 1 year ago
In the beginning, I really didn't like it much. The main female character was just plain annoying. I really had to push myself to continue reading. The only reason I did is because it is one of my best friend's favorite books & I promised her I'd read it. Many things that were said & done were contradictory. I will have to say that it did get better about 1/2 to 2/3 into the book. This was a really long read for me because I disliked the beginning so much. The end of the book went by much quicker. If I could break it down, I'd give the first half of the book 1 star, and the second half 3 1/2 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this book! It's a thick book, but I found myself breezing through it. I loved all of the characters and especially the name of the town haha Not only did I fall in love with Harrison and Mary Rose, but I fell in love with all the brothers as well, especially Cole! Eleanor cracked me up! Go out and buy this!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I laughed out loud reading this book, was suprised, sad, and amazed. It was a wonderful book to read. I only read alittle each day, because I didn't want it to end. I also have the sequels to this book and can't wait to get started reading them. This book had be thinking about each part I read the next day on my ride to work.
Anonymous 7 months ago
I've read this book several times and I never get enough! Love the author and all her books
sara.edens on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For the Roses by Julie Garwood is a paperback that is well-worn in my personal library. Garwood¿s talent for making her heroines spunky, daring, and innocent, while allowing them to be strong, is a plus for her books. Mary Rose is no exception. Mary Rose interacts with her family and friends with caring. She allows her interactions to be realistic and fun. It is easy to visualize this spunky heroine. She is allowed a temper, even at times that women are angry for no reason, but has that temper in such a fun way that one cannot be angry back at her. Garwood¿s pen allows endearment, not anger. Mary Rose realizes her complaining makes her brothers uncomfortable, so she complains when she wants them to quit bothering her because they change the subject or find another place to go. She gives caring to Corrie, a woman living away from civilization because she was treated horribly by indigents and is disfigured. She protects Corrie from trouble-makers in town when they attempt to burn Corrie out. Although this is an older book, it is worth a read, even if you are not a lover of historical romance. Her characters are individual, not dull, and bring a good time to the reader. This is the kind of book that is enjoyable, relaxing, and fun. NOTE: I purchased this book with my own funds.
bhryk0 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story, though it may have had a bit too much description at times. I did find in the first half of the book at least that I could skip a couple of chapters and not miss too much.The Clayborne's were a family drawn together when 4 urchin boys who were living roughly on the streets of New York City in 1860 found a baby girl (Mary Rose) in a dumpster. At the time Adam was 14, Cole and Douglas were 12 and Travis was 10 - a bit young to do what they did (in these days anyway) but I guess in 1860 children of that age were more adult. Because Adam was on run they decided to move to the country to bring up the baby, they chose Montana. The boys wanted Mary Rose to be a lady so they sent her to boarding school in St Louis to finish her education.When she returned home in 1879 after, she had finished schoo ,a stranger came to town and started working on their ranch, his name was Harrison Stanford MacDonald and he was going to change their lives forever.I did love the closeness of this misfit family, they certainly looked after each other. You get to know each person very well. Adam is the scholar and the quiet one, Douglas in the healer, Cole is mean (most of the time) and Travis is the thinker. Mary Rose thinks everyone deserves a chance.
jonahfied on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I read from Garwood and put me in a frenzy to read the rest of her books. The story in FOR THE ROSES is driven by love and loyalty. While a bit hoaky, the twists and turns, and the reality of slavery (and how it tore families apart) was heartwrenching. Garwood captured the essence of love and family. A truly magical book.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A long and involved story about a group of boys who find a girl child thrown on a rubbish heap. They decided that they should become a family and bring her up. They're held together by loyalty and love and the girl that they've called Mary Rose has just returned from school.Lord Harrison Stanford MacDonald has arrived at their town and Mary Rose has taken pity on him as it looks like he's lost in their town. However he has a secret that could break the family apart.I liked the story and enjoyed the characters, I would like to read more in this series and meet more of them again.
Camethyste on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. I don't often care for historical romances, but I really enjoyed this one. The characters are interesting and well-developed. The story had me riveted.
madamemeow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first in a series of books by Julie Garwood about the Claybourne family, and I think the most thorough. Sadly, I read it last, but each book holds its own as a novel. This one simply explains the characters and their background a bit more. One character, after reading all the other four books, I'd never realized was African American until I'd read this book! But it's an amazing book, a wonderful read, and a definite page turner!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite stories. I have it in paperback and also bought it for my NOOK so I could have it with me everywhere as well as the CD for listening in the car. The whole series is great. I have the others as well. Well worth buying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think I read this book at least 5 or 6 times!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the claibornes!!!! This story is sooo precious and sooo sweet and sooo unforgettable!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a series I have reread numerous times over the years
RSMH More than 1 year ago
The best of Julie Garwood's novels and that is saying a lot!
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Momof4IN More than 1 year ago
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!!! The story of four orphans coming together to form a family and raise a baby girl in the wilds of Montana, For the Roses is a fantastic story about life, friendship, family and love! The letters from Rose to Mama Rose were adorable, the family aspect was so real you could feel the love, the romance between Rose and Harrison was hot and steamy, just an all around wonderful book! Highly recommend! 10 stars at least!