Moon of the Falling Leaves
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by Diane Davis White
Category: Historical Fiction/Romance Night Owl Romance Reviewer Top Pick
Description: Alone in the Wilderness. Jessica Maxwell finds out just how uncertain life can be when she and her children are stranded on the side of a mountain with winter looming. The Lakota Warrior. Swift Eagle has discovered his destiny in the flames of a vision that leads him to help this white family. Compassion Becomes Passion. Duty becomes desire when Jessica and Swift Eagle are forced to fight for their love, their survival in the old West.
eBook Publisher: Highland Press/Americana, 2008 2008
eBookwise Release Date: September 2009
5 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [346 KB]
Reading time: 224-313 min.
"Ms. White brings this magnificent tale of love together with just the right touches of warmth, spirit and characterization. Moon of the Falling Leaves is a beautiful romance between a man and woman from different cultures, realizing that love does conquer all things. It's cleverly written and well-researched. I adored the multi-dimensional depth of Swift Eagle and found him to be sensual, kind and masterful. Jessica is equally engaging as she realizes all the things she's heard about the Indian race aren't true. It's intriguing to watch her intensity and commitment to what she believes in and how she copes with her own physical discomfort while traveling in the brutally cold weather, being ill and later during another tragic situation. The plot flows smoothly as this story explores so many emotions, and literally found that I simply couldn't put it down. For those who may be afraid to take a chance on love, this book will absolutely convince you to never give up. Moon of the Falling Leaves is classically exquisite and I'll treasure it forever."--Priscilla Petty, Night Owl Romance
Swift Eagle came back to the sight of the two females, both sobbing and rocking in each other's arms. Alarm and wariness etched his features.
"Experience has taught me women are not always rational when they cry. Should I go away?" He hesitated, but Jessica motioned him over with a wave of her hand.
"You're right ... we really do need to talk." She looked pale and shaken, but she set Grace on her feet, telling her in a gentle voice, "Go help your brothers. Supper may be a few minutes late, so take your time." She then dried her eyes on her apron and without looking at the man who stood to one side of the door, she stepped into the cabin, saying, "We'll talk now."
They sat on either side of the small table, wary and silent, neither wanting to speak first. Finally Swift Eagle sighed in a dramatic manner and slapped his thighs, making as though to rise, saying impatiently, "I thought you said we would talk. Why are you silent?"
"You are the one who wished to talk. You said so when you got here." Her voice held defensiveness and a wealth of anger. "Why should I begin to talk when you are the one who suggested--"
"Silence, woman!" Swift Eagle--who hadn't raised his voice to any of them before--shouted in frustration, his eyes going dark with fury. "You do not know when to be silent and when to speak. How is it that your man never beat you for this?"
"How dare you!" She rose from her chair so quickly that it toppled backward, but she took no notice as she came around the table, her fists balled and her arms raised as though to strike him. She stopped just a foot away and glared at him, her words grinding through her teeth.
"You come into my home and insult me and suggest that my husband should have beaten me? Maybe in your village people are barbarian enough for such behavior, but in my world only drunks and ... and lowlifes do such things."
"I should not have said that." Swift Eagle knew he was unreasonable, that he wasn't making sense. His anger wasn't at her, but the situation. Frustrated and sad, lonely though he'd not parted from them yet, pain tugged at his spirit. He wanted to be away from the hurting. He'd come to talk to her about her situation, make sure she would be all right once she reached the town. He wanted to make her understand that he would leave them outside of the town. It would not do her reputation good were it known that she'd spent the winter with him. Some part of him didn't really care about her reputation. That part of him that wanted to keep her here with him. The warring factors took hold of his normally precise mind driving him deeper into anger and confusion.
It would be a long trip and the trail could bring them into close contact--a contact he knew would be dangerous for them both. He wanted to hurt her, and yet he didn't. He tried to speak, but his mouth worked silently as he saw the tears falling from her angry eyes. Stepping up to her, he took her fisted hands in his own, and drew her arms around his neck, pulling her unresisting body into his embrace. He put a gentle hand on her head and pulled her against his shoulder, murmuring love words in his native tongue.
After what seemed an eternity, but was in fact only a matter of moments, he set her away from himself, his gaze going over her head to the door. "This is not good."
"Yes." She stepped back, smoothing her hair.
Quiet stretched between them, until finally Jessica asked in a shaky voice, "Did you have something to talk to me about ... before ... I mean ... when you came in, you said..." Her voice faded and stopped as his eyes sought hers. For once he didn't hide his feelings and she seemed to tremble beneath the desire he allowed to show in his gaze.
"Silence woman." His voice soft now, he teased her. "I did have in mind to talk to you about the journey and other things. But I think it best if you call the children to supper. The wind is coming strong again."
"I will do that now," she answered in a subdued tone. "Dinner will be ready soon. Don't go far."
He nodded his understanding and hurried out the door, overcome with sorrow.