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Jeffrey Archer

Best Kept Secret

Jeffrey Archer Best Kept Secret
$7.99 New
 
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Series:

The Clifton Chronicles

Biographical note:

Jeffrey Archer was educated at Oxford University. He has served five years in Britain’s House of Commons and nineteen years in the House of Lords. All of his novels and short story collections—including Sins of the Father, Only Time Will Tell, Kane and Abel, and False Impression—have been international bestselling books. Archer is married with two sons and lives in London and Cambridge.

Excerpt from book:

1
 
 
“THEREFORE IF ANY man can show any just cause why these two people may not lawfully be joined together in holy matrimony, let him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.”
Harry Clifton would never forget the first time he’d heard those words, and how moments later his whole life had been thrown into turmoil. Old Jack, who like George Washington could never tell a lie, had revealed in a hastily called meeting in the vestry that it was possible that Emma Barrington, the woman Harry adored, and who was about to become his wife, might be his half sister.
All hell had broken loose when Harry’s mother admitted that on one occasion, and only one, she had had sexual intercourse with Emma’s father, Hugo Barrington. Therefore, there was a possibility that he and Emma could be the offspring of the same father.
At the time of her dalliance with Hugo Barrington, Harry’s mother had been walking out with Arthur Clifton, a stevedore who worked at Barrington’s Shipyard. Despite the fact that Maisie had married Arthur soon afterward, the priest refused to proceed with Harry and Emma’s wedding while there was a possibility it might contravene the church’s ancient laws on consanguinity.
Moments later, Emma’s father Hugo had slipped out of the back of the church, like a coward leaving the battlefield. Emma and her mother had traveled up to Scotland, while Harry, a desolate soul, remained at his college in Oxford, not knowing what to do next. Adolf Hitler had made that decision for him.
Harry left the university a few days later and exchanged his academic gown for an ordinary seaman’s uniform. But he had been serving on the high seas for less than a fortnight when a German torpedo had scuppered his vessel, and the name of Harry Clifton appeared on the list of those reported lost at sea.
“Wilt thou take this woman to thy wedded wife, wilt thou keep thee only unto her, as long as you both shall live?”
“I will.”
It was not until after the end of hostilities, when Harry had returned from the battlefield scarred in glory, that he discovered Emma had given birth to their son, Sebastian Arthur Clifton. But Harry didn’t find out until he had fully recovered that Hugo Barrington had been killed in the most dreadful circumstances, and bequeathed the Barrington family another problem, every bit as devastating to Harry as not being allowed to marry the woman he loved.
Harry had never considered it at all significant that he was a few weeks older than Giles Barrington, Emma’s brother and his closest friend, until he learned that he could be first in line to inherit the family’s title, its vast estates, numerous possessions and, to quote the will, all that therein is. He quickly made it clear that he had no interest in the Barrington inheritance, and was only too willing to forfeit any birthright that might be considered his, in favor of Giles. The Garter King of Arms seemed willing to go along with this arrangement, and all might have progressed in good faith, had Lord Preston, a Labor backbencher in the Upper House, not taken it upon himself to champion Harry’s claim to the title, without even consulting him.
“It is a matter of

Praise for international bestselling author

JEFFREY ARCHER

 

“One of the top ten storytellers in the world.” —Los Angeles Times

 

“There isn’t a better storyteller alive.” —Larry King

 

“Archer plots with skill, and keeps you turning the pages.” —The Boston Globe

 

“Cunning plots, silken style…. Archer plays a cat-and-mouse game with the reader.” —The New York Times

 

“Archer is a master entertainer.” —Time

 

“A storyteller in the class of Alexandre Dumas…unsurpassed skill.” —Washington Post

 

 

And for the Clifton Chronicle series

 

 “Archer delivers another page-turning, heart-stopping saga, with delightful twists, and a surprise ending… readers will surely wait for the next with bated breath.”—Publishers Weekly on Sins of the Father

 

“You’ll risk back injury just from being kept on the edge of your seat…. I guarantee that anyone who takes this book from the shelves will not be able to put it down.”—The Spectator on Sins of the Father

 

“A master of fiction…[Jeffrey Archer] can tell a story, and he does so with such conviction, such appealing naïveté, that you suspend disbelief, and read happily on.”—The Scotsman on Sins of the Father

 

“General readers as well as Archer fans will enjoy this unforgettable tale, which abounds with cliff-hangers that propel its intriguing and intricate plot.”—Library Journal (starred review) on Only Time Will Tell

 

“The drama of Harry Clifton’s young life takes the reader to the edge of the cliff, where they must hang until the next Clifton Chronicle...” —Sunday Telegraph  

 

“What appears at the outset to be a straightforward coming-of-age tale becomes, by the end, a saga of power, betrayal, and bitter hatred. The novel ends on a deliberately dark note, setting the stage for the sequel…An outstanding effort from a reliable veteran.”—Booklist (starred review) on Only Time Will Tell

 

 

 


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