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The Price: A Novel [Hardcover]

Joan Johnston
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 25 2003

New York Times bestselling author Joan Johnston has captivated millions of readers with her sprawling, sensuous novels about the two opposing dynasties of Bitter Creek, Texas -- the Blackthornes and the Creeds. Now in her highly anticipated hardcover debut, Johnston tells an impassioned story of love and danger, ambition and family, that features the popular character Luke Creed, a young man who has turned his back on his family's ranch to pursue his fortune as an attorney at Houston's most powerful law firm.

Even though the stress and the punishing hours of his job as a litigation associate at DeWitt & Blackthorne have cost him his marriage and quality time with his two young daughters, Luke Creed remains fiercely driven to succeed. When Luke takes on the defense of a pharmaceutical company in an explosive wrongful death suit that could make or break his career, he is surprised to find himself squared off against the woman he has always loved, Amy Hazeltine Nash, his high school sweetheart. A single mother recovering from a failed marriage, Amy is a passionate advocate for her bereaved client and is shocked that once-rebellious Luke is now a member of the Establishment, representing corporate interests. But Amy cannot deny the feelings that seeing Luke rekindles in her heart.

Concerned that his client may be lying, Luke investigates the case more closely, which means spending more time with Amy with whom a new romance begins to blossom. But when one of Luke's colleagues dies under suspicious circumstances, he finds he is in danger of losing not only the case but his life. With help from Amy and a trio of fearless colleagues, Luke delves into a dangerous web of corruption that involves his client and his firm. In doing so he has no choice but to question the price of his own ambitions.

From the towering skyscrapers of Houston to the majestic plains of south Texas ranch country, The Price sweeps readers into a powerfully engrossing, passionate novel that will keep them on the edge of their seats as it explores the questions of what is truly important in life and how high a price a person is willing to pay to achieve his or her ambitions.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Romance veteran Johnston makes her hardcover debut with another Bitter Creek novel (The Loner, etc.), in which Houston lawyer Luke Creed tracks down unethical businessmen in between joy rides on his Harley and attempts to woo his old high school sweetheart. Is the wonder drug D-Free a lifesaver for young diabetics or a dangerous cash cow for Hyland Pharmaceuticals? The mother of a child who died while using D-Free is suing Hyland, and Luke is part of the company's defense team. But he has an even greater stake in the case: one of his two daughters, eight-year-old Brynne, is diabetic and takes D-Free. To complicate matters further, his love interest, Amy, is representing the plaintiff. The hale Texan (who has a ranch and still calls his women "baby") is not afraid to face corporate bullies, even when they include his workaholic female boss. On the romantic front, Luke has his work cut out for him when the lonely yet stubbornly independent Amy rebuffs him. Johnston's characters brim with humanity as they navigate law firm politics and drug approval procedures, child-raising and custody battles. The recycled subplots and soap opera dramatics are predictable, but Luke's position as Hyland's defense attorney adds moral complexity. Readers will find themselves turning the pages, if only for more glimpses of a modern cowboy as captivating in the courtroom as he is on his hog.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Back after The Loner, obsessive lawyer Luke Creed is about to pay The Price for serving corporate interests.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
"Blackthornes and Creeds are like oil and water," Luke Creed told his brother Sam. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars What is too high a PRICE to pay! July 10 2003
This is my 1st book by JJ to read- the 1st of the Blackthornes and Creeds lasaga and I really enjoyed it. I am now in the process of looking for the other 3. I never was lost by not reading the other books first. The author did a great job of filling in what had taken place previously so I felt up on what was going on. There were several sub-characters and their stories but I didn't feel like they were taking away from the main characters. The story was great up to the end. I highly recommend it.
Now a little about the story itself... Luke Creed finds out during his first visit back at his mom's place that his old high school sweetheart, Amy Hazeltine Nash, is back in town. What a surprise since they have not seen each other since their break up 12 years ago. Both married others, had children, and are now back "licking wounds" from torn apart marriages. They are also both attorneys and are soon to find out that they are on opposing sides of a lawsuit. But Luke doesn't feel good about the pharmaceutical company's new drug that his firm is representing. There have been several deaths of children that have taken the drug (coincidental or cover-up?) and the fact that his oldest daughter is taking the drug complicates the matter even more. Just seeing Amy brings back all sorts of feelings and memories- Luke knows he has never gotten over his love for her and now that she is back and single during a stressful time of his life complicates things that much more but he is not going to throw-away a second chance for happiness. Now he just has to convince Amy of taking that second chance. Things get serious and even deadly for some as information is uncovered about the new drug for diabetes. A page turner for me... I hope you give it a try.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another winner for the Blackthorne-Creed clan March 28 2003
The saga of the Blackthornes and Creeds continues in this highly anticipated book in the Bitter Creek series. This story focuses on Luke Creed, who has turned away from his family to pursue his career as an attorney for the prestigious firm of DeWitt and Blackthorne. He's on a hot career path, likely to make partner in the firm within the next year, but along the way has sacrificed all other things in his life, including his marriage. The one remaining bright spot is his personal life are daughters, Brynne and Midge, whom he manages to make time for on the weekends.
Luke's current assignment is to settle a wrongful death suit brought against Hyland Pharmaceutical, whom his company represents. The case involves a new miracle drug, D-Free, for Type I Juvenile Diabetes, something close to Luke's heart since daughter Brynne has this disease. Attorney for the opposition is Amy Nash, Luke's old high school sweetheart, also a divorcee raising her daughter Honor. Amy's client lost her child while taking D-Free for her diabetes, and Amy is passionate in her arguments to get this dangerous drug off the market. Amy is having a hard time accepting the fact that the once rebellious Luke is representing the corporate bad guys, along with the feelings that come back to life after not seeing Luke for many years.
As the investigation in to D-Free proceeds, Luke realizes the dangers of the drug that someone has been covering up. Luke also needs to find out for his own peace of mind what the real issues are, since Brynne is taking this drug, against Luke's wishes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars fun Blackthorne-Creed novel March 26 2003
Outside his professional life, Luke Creed feels he is a failure. He despises his stepfather, a Blackthorne, whom everyone else in Luke's Creed family seems to respect and love. He is a divorcee who rarely sees his two children, ten year old Brynne and six year old Midge. On the bright side his hard successful work at DeWitt and Blackthorne, one of the country's biggest law firms, is paying off as he expects partnership next year.
Luke is assigned to settle a wrongful death suit that Mrs. Anastacio filed against his client, Hyland Pharmaceutical. Apparently four children have died from "misuse" of D-Free, a pill that replaces needles for sufferers of Type I Juvenile Diabetes, a disease that Luke knows first hand because his oldest daughter suffers from it. His opposing attorney is his high school sweetheart Amy Nash, who left him because his heart was overflowing with hatred towards the Blackthornes. As he learns more about the real danger from the drug first hand and a colleague dies under mysterious conditions, Luke realizes he is on the wrong side of the table. He knows he still loves Amy and agrees that the deadly D-Free must be removed before other children including his Brynne dies.
The latest Creed tale stars the one person still holding a deep grudge Luke. He is an interesting lead protagonist and Amy is a delightful idealistic counterpart. The story line is very exciting and showcases the dangers of Juvenile Diabetes though the thrilling conspiracy subplot starring the "Evil Empire" takes away from the prime theme. Still, fans will enjoy Joan Johnston's latest Blackthorne-Creed novel and simply want more.
Harriet Klausner
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not quite as much as the others.
I liked the secondary stories and am looking forward to the next book to see how they resolve. I have to agree with someone else who said the romance is lacking, but the drama was... Read more
Published on May 25 2004 by mahikahn
3.0 out of 5 stars No real surprises
This was my first Joan Johnston book, and while I didn't need to read the first 3 or 4 books in the series to understand the plot itself, I felt like I was coming in on an ongoing... Read more
Published on March 8 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth THE PRICE of the book
I forced myself to read the first 100 pages; I could not continue. The main character, Luke, comes across as a belligerent adolescent, with the articulation (read lack of) to... Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2004 by "mredding12"
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Good Read!
This is Luke's story. Not as much of a romance as some of the others, but it is still very good. Love that Ms. Johnston interacts with other characters that we have already met! Read more
Published on Sept. 17 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Luke Finally Grows Up!
This is basically the 4th in the Creed/Blackthorne family books. This is Luke's story and picks up 12 years after the last one (Summer's) story ends. Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2003 by Tanya L. Schaub
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best in the series
Although I am a big fan and avid reader of all Joan Johnston's books, this one seemed to lack the pizzaz of the previous three Blackthorne-Creed novels. Read more
Published on April 17 2003 by "booksrme2"
5.0 out of 5 stars This is worth "the Price"
This is the 4th Joan Johnston book that I have read--the present day creed/blackthorne stories--and once again i was not disappointed. Read more
Published on April 9 2003
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