When Harriet Came Home

When Harriet Came Home

by Coleen Kwan

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After ten years of exile, Harriet Brown is back in town. Things have definitely changed, but so has she. Now the confident owner of a catering business, she's no longer the shy, overweight girl everyone—including her hot teenage crush—used to ignore. In fact, she's determined to make peace with Adam Blackstone for her part in exposing his father's secret affairs and corrupt behavior as mayor.

But Adam has changed as well. No longer a pampered, rich pinup boy, he just wants to reestablish his family's good name. He reluctantly agrees to a truce with Harriet, and is surprised by how changed she is. He doesn't want to be drawn to her, but he can't seem to resist her allure.

As Harriet struggles to come to terms with her past, her adolescent infatuation with Adam morphs into something more serious... Will she ever be accepted again? Or will ancient history ruin the chance of a future full of possibilities?

52,000 words

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426892479
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 10/24/2011
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 438,026
File size: 913 KB

About the Author

Coleen Kwan has been a bookworm all her life. English was her favorite school subject, but for some reason she decided on a career in IT. After many years of programming, she wondered what else there was in life—and discovered writing. She loves writing contemporary romance whether it's sweet or sensual.

Coleen lives in Sydney, Australia, with her partner and two children. When she isn't writing she enjoys avoiding housework, eating chocolate and watching The Office.

Read an Excerpt

Fathers are supposed to be invincible. When Harriet Brown was seven, her father rescued her from a burning house. To her he had seemed ten feet tall. But now lying unconscious in the hospital bed after a car accident, his fractured leg encased in plaster and bandages wrapped around his head, he looked frighteningly frail and vulnerable.

Harriet choked back a sob. She had driven three hours from Sydney to Wilmot gnawed with mounting anxiety, only to find him comatose.

"He's going to be fine. It's just the morphine," the nurse told Harriet, giving her a curious look. Harriet hadn't been back in Wilmot for ten years, and she didn't recognise the nurse, but the curiosity wasn't wholly unexpected. "So you're Ken Brown's younger daughter?" added the nurse. "I must say you don't look anything like your sister."

Harriet had heard that comment countless times when she was growing up. It didn't have the power to vex her anymore—well, maybe not much.

"I thought Cindy and my mother would be here." Harriet looked around the ward.

"They were here earlier, but they've gone for the day."

Harriet sat with her dad for half an hour, hoping he would wake up and see that she was here, but he didn't stir. She smoothed the grey tufts of hair springing from his forehead. Her dad had never let her down. He used to tell her she was the prettiest fairy in town when she knew she was too short and dumpy to be any kind of fairy. He had stood behind her through everything, the only one who had never openly blamed her for what had happened. Now he lay bruised and broken, his skin raw, his eyelids like crepe paper, the air rattling through his throat with every breath he heaved.

Harriet wiped away a stray tear and left. Outside, she drew in a lungful of brisk air and shivered in her thin sweater. Here in the upper Hunter Valley the evening temperatures dropped a lot further than in Sydney. Long autumn shadows stretched across the parking lot as she hurried back to her car. The ten-year-old hatchback looked slightly drunk, listing to one side, and she let out a groan when she saw the flat tire.

She bent down to examine it, and saw the nail embedded in the rubber. Great. Just what she needed. She glanced over her shoulder. The parking lot was deserted. Could someone have done this on purpose? As payback? No. She shook her head. She was just paranoid. No one would vandalise her car because of what she'd done all those years ago. Get a grip, she told herself, standing up and taking a deep breath. It's just a flat tire. No big deal.

A dark blue pickup truck loaded with ladders and toolboxes pulled into the spot next to her. The man who got out looked familiar.

"Got a problem with your tire there?"

Her stomach went into freefall. She recognized that voice. She gulped hard. It couldn't be. It was.

Adam Blackstone. Almost unrecognisable. Ten years ago he'd had smooth, boyish good looks, designer clothes, and a sports coupé—but now! Now his dark hair was close-cropped, he drove a truck, wore work boots, jeans and a plaid shirt, and he looked rugged and gritty as sandpaper. The prince had turned into a woodcutter. Even his eyes seemed different—still grey, but with tiny creases at the edges and a dark sombreness lying in their smoky depths. The only thing unchanged was the way his mere presence sucked all the oxygen and words from her mouth.

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When Harriet Came Home 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed By~JoAnne Review Copy Provided By~Author This book was a quick and easy read and was so engrossing I didn't want to put it down so I ended up reading it from start to finish in one night. It was set in a small town in Australia and had the feel and flavor of a small town that could have been anywhere. There was laughter, romance and misunderstandings along with scores of family dynamics woven in. The main characters of Harriet and Adam had a past from high school that they needed to work through in order to move forward. Add in Harriet's years of insecurities and it seemed impossible that the two of them would ever feel comfortable enough with each other to ever admit their feelings. Watching the give and take of their attraction and all the roadblocks Harriet threw in their path was enjoyable and at other times frustrating. There was the requisite happily ever after but a few more chapters to give the author's take on it would have been nice. I have not read other books by Kwan but look forward to doing so. Favorite Quote: Adam stood up and reached for her, his serious face lightened with a hint of a smile at the corner of his mouth. "Don't go. This isn't complicated." He ran his fingers up the length of her arms and his breath fanned her cheeks. "This is very, very simple."