Love's Savage Sister
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by Jane Toombs
Category: Romance/Historical Fiction
Description: Two sisters must decipher the difference between lust and true love... When Rosalind travels from New York to the Michigan wilderness to find her father, she encounters a hated Rebel and struggles against her instant attraction to him. And once she arrives at her destination, she's shocked to discover she also has a half sister named Cosy, not only the same age, but part Chippewa--"a savage", in Rosalind's opinion. To make matters worse, when the Rebel, using an entirely different name and hired by Rosalind's father, also shows up in the wilderness, she finds she can no longer denounce him. Cosy, struggling with her own identity--is she white or Chippewa--believes herself in love with a Chippewa man. But when she meets a dashing undercover Union officer appointed to capture the notorious Rebel, she realizes she's unwillingly attracted to him as well, setting the stage for grave disaster. When it comes to falling in love with the wrong man, which young woman really is the savage sister? [Genres: Romance / Historical Romance]
eBook Publisher: Amber Quill Press, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: July 2008
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [475 KB]
Reading time: 302-423 min.
"You're a Confederate officer, aren't you?" she asked. His eyes, gone hard and cold, raked her. She swallowed nervously, but refused to flinch when he caught her arm and hurried her along with the other two women until they were at the opposite rail.
"Watch them," he ordered the armed man on this side of the deck.
Rosalind tingled with apprehension mixed with a dollop of pride at her own temerity. How had she dared ask him such a question? He'd been so furious he might have shot her and thrown her overboard then and there.
Still, she'd hit the mark, she told herself. Reaching up to pull down her veil, she discovered a hole torn in the mesh from his rough handling and scowled. What insolence--having the nerve to say he wanted to look at her.
Reginald's face came into her mind and she recalled his gentle kiss before he left to die on the battlefield. Killed by the Rebs, by men like these on the boat. Like Blackbeard. She straightened her shoulders and lifted her chin. I'll avenge Reginald. Somehow I will.
The two other women were not close enough to ask if they had any idea where the boat might be bound. Rosalind's gaze searched the water--where was the island Mrs. Donal had pointed out to her before the sloop appeared? She saw land ahead, but in the dimming light of early evening she found it impossible to decide whether it was an island she looked at or part of the mainland.
The lights of other boats twinkled in the dusk, the nearest quite large. What were those protrusions she saw--could it be cannon jutting from the decks? Was that the USS Michigan?
Of course it was. The Rebs had turned the Phoenix about and were headed for Johnson Island, planning to free the prisoners. But what about the gunboat? With her cannons she could shoot the Phoenix and all aboard her to kingdom come.
Rosalind's skin prickled and the hair rose on the nape of her neck as understanding came to her. That's why Blackbeard had women standing along the rail.
He knew the Michigan wouldn't fire on a steamer carrying women passengers, no matter how close the boat came to them. She clung to the rail, briefly closing her eyes.
What can I do? How can I foil Blackbeard's plan?
"Enjoying the view?"
Rosalind whirled to confront Blackbeard in person.
"They won't be fooled," she cried. "They'll sink you anyway; you won't get away with your foul plot."
His eyebrows raised. "You have an annoying habit of talking too much."
Annoying? She'd show him!
"I don't care if you shoot me like you did Reginald," she said haughtily. "I intend to warn the men on the Michigan. You can't stop me from screaming."
"Oh, no?" he asked softly
She spread her arms, back to the rail. "Shoot me, then," she cried hysterically. "Kill me!"
Instead, he tipped back her bonnet and pulled her against him. Before she could struggle, his lips were on hers. He held her so closely she couldn't breathe, and though she tried to pull away, it was impossible.
His beard was soft against her face instead of the harshness she expected, and the pressure of his mouth forced her lips apart. She gasped in surprise, shivering when she felt his tongue caress the inside of her mouth.
Fire burned upward from deep inside her, spreading hotly through her, slowing her struggles, urging her to answer his kiss. No, I won't. Never.
But she had no more control over what was happening inside her than she had control over him. Despite her vow, she felt herself begin to melt into his embrace.