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by Jane Toombs
Category: Romance/Historical Fiction
Description: In the early 1800s, Jurissa Campbell Winterton, pressured into marriage to a man she scarcely knows, sails with him from Boston toward New Orleans. Since her husband, Philip, double her age and fond of alcohol, is ill and can't tolerate her presence, Jurissa spends much of her time alone on deck. There, she meets a dashing Creole gentleman, Leon du Motier, who's entranced by her beauty and pays romantic court to her. The result is they both fall madly in love. One fateful night, Philip Winterton falls overboard under mysterious circumstances, but due to his heavy drinking, no one is blamed and he's presumed dead. Believing she's a widow, Jurissa enters New Orleans nearly penniless, and with Philip's two slaves, a brother and sister, in tow. Meanwhile, in order to save his family's plantation when his father dies, Leon must go through with an arranged marriage of his own. But deeply in love with Jurissa, he continues to see her in secret until she learns of his impending nuptials. Grief-striken of living without Leon, Jurissa also faces potential scandal when she realizes she's pregnant with his child, and makes desperate plans of her own. Will Jurissa ever be able to forgive Leon for his betrayal? And will she ever be able to forgive herself for keeping the knowledge of his child from him? And what will happen to her when Philip Winterborn suddenly resurfaces, very much alive and desperate to reclaim his wife? Genres: Romance / Historical Romance
eBook Publisher: Amber Quill Press, 2008
eBookwise Release Date: September 2009
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [534 KB]
Reading time: 325-455 min.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I won't bother you now--"
He took her hand and drew her inside, closing the door behind her.
"You're never a bother." His voice tingled pleasurably along her nerves.
There were so many questions to ask. Why had he told the captain Yubah had fallen? Had he seen Philip again before the fall overboard? What on earth was she to do when the ship docked in New Orleans? To her utter amazement, she asked none of these. She took one look at the warmth in his brown eyes and burst into tears.
Leon's arms closed around her, holding her while he stroked her back, murmuring soothing words. After a time, she pulled back and retrieved a handkerchief that was tucked into the wrist of her glove. He plucked the black lace-edged square from her fingers, then untied her bonnet, lifted it from her head and set it aside.
"Allow me," he said. As he began gently to wipe her wet cheeks with the handkerchief, she shut her eyes. He dabbed at her closed lids and, before she could open her eyes, she felt his warm lips caress one, then the other.
His lips trailed feather light down her cheek, finally settling over her mouth in a tender kiss that left her breathless. How velvet soft his mouth was; how wonderfully well it fit over hers. He smelled male, his own scent, one that beguiled her senses. His arms urged her closer, and she came willingly, remembering and needing the comforting feel of his body.
His lips parted against hers and the tip of his tongue touched her caressingly. She opened her lips to taste him, and his tongue slipped inside her mouth. At its touch, the pleasing warmth he'd kindled inside her flared into sudden flame. She clung to him, obeying the urgent summons of her body to press against the hard length of his.
"You are so lovely, the most beautiful woman I've ever met," he murmured against her lips in French, in the language of love. "I have never before felt such desire as I feel for you."
She wasn't certain what she felt. She only knew nothing even remotely approaching this had ever happened to her and she wanted the wonderful sensations to go on and on. To never end.