Amid the carnage of war, he commandeers far more than just her home.
Widowed plantation owner Emaline McDaniels has struggled to hold on to her late husband’s dreams. Despite the responsibilities resting on her slender shoulders, she’ll not let anyone wrest away what’s left of her way of life—particularly a Yankee officer who wants to set up winter camp on her land.
With a defiance born of desperation, she defends her home as though it were the child she never had…and no mother gives up her child without a fight.
Despite the brazen wisp of a woman pointing a gun at his head, Colonel Reece Cutteridge has his orders. Requisition Shapinsay—and its valuable livestock—for his regiment’s use, and pay her with Union vouchers. He never expected her fierce determination, then her concern for his wounded, to upend his heart—and possibly his career.
As the armies go dormant for the winter, battle lines are drawn inside the mansion. Yet just as their clash of wills shifts to forbidden passion, the tides of war sweep Reece away. And now their most desperate battle is to survive the war with their lives—and their love—intact.
This book may contain explicit intimate scenes, so if you are not 18+ then I probably wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers.
I really enjoyed reading this as it was my first Civil War historical romance read an it didn’t disappoint. I liked all characters especially Emaline and Reece.
“The next time you aim a damn weapon at anyone, woman, I’d suggest you make sure it’s properly loaded.”
I spent the years since my wife’s death running from my miserable life. That’s the damnable truth of it all. My ranch, my stock, everything I owned meant nothing. I went through the motions of living. And then this war came along and I buried my pain under the mantle of command. Giving orders gave me the outlet I needed to ignore the detestable void. And it worked perfectly until that little hellion in there pointed her rifle at me and pulled the goddamned trigger.
Reece narrowed his eyes, then leaned from the saddle toward her. “I’ve decided to return the horses I confiscated from you. You remember that day, don’t you?” He rubbed an imaginary spot on his cheek where she’d slapped him that long-ago morning. Emaline blushed. “Oh yes, Colonel Cutteridge. I remember that day very well. In fact, you thought to kiss me in broad daylight in my own study, much to my chagrin.” Tears flooded her eyes. Couldn’t he see she needed to touch him, needed to tell him in a million different ways how much she loved him? He straightened, instead. “Yes, that I did, and don’t regret doing so for one moment.”
“Three days had passed since he’d last spoken to Emaline. Irritation clawed a hole through his patience. “Where the hell is she?” he growled. “She’s busy,” the woman retorted. “She’s not that busy.” He ground out the words, harsh and low, and threw them toward Euley. “Tell me where she is right now.” “I was told to bring up da food an’ if’n you eat everythin’, den I’s to get you up to walk dis evenin’.” “I don’t want to eat or walk. I want to see her.” “Yes, Colonel, I know what you’s wantin’, only I don’t know what else to say.” She shifted the tray closer and reached behind his head to plump his pillows. “I was told to bring up da supper an’ dat’s all I’m doin’. Now if’n you don’t want to eat, then I’ll just be taking it back down stairs wif me.” Euley leveled her head and stared into his eyes. Hers narrowed into determined slits. “You get to make da choice, Colonel. Now pick.” “I haven’t seen her for three days. Is she ill?” The disturbing thought banished his selfish disappointment. “No, she’s just busy.” […] “You’ve avoided me for days.” His voice scraped across the room. “Now I want to know why.”
I had many favorite scenes from them such as – when they first met at her doorstep with her pointing a gun in his face which he shortly realizes she didn’t have it primed right so therefore she can’t shoot him, when she slapped him and he forcefully kisses her for punishment, Emaline dancing with the injured Yankee soldiers, Reece getting grumpy and cross when Emaline refuses to see or tend to him when he’s injured so he takes matters into his own hands seeking her out, when Emaline was almost raped and Reece came in to save her hearing her assailant tell her “Now you’ll know what it’s like to have a real man” and Reece appears behind him with his gun saying “She has one. ME” then he pulls the trigger and states “Told you you’d be a deadman”, then my last favorite scene is when they’re reunited.
“You stupid wench. You’ll move when I say so.” Eager fingers fumbled at the buttons on his pants. “You’re gonna like this ’cause you ain’t never had a real man—” A cocking revolver resonated through the hazy stable. Blue sliced his gaze toward the entrance. Sunlight poured around a tall form silhouetted in the doorway. “As a matter of fact, she has. Me.”
“You’ve given me a reason to live again, to love again…and I do love you, Emmy. I’m begging you to give me a reason to return.”
“I’m more than a handful, aren’t I?” she muttered, her mouth thinning. “A handful?” The corner of his mouth lifted. “No. You’re more like a damn bucketful of trouble.”
“You’re my world now.” He shook her to drive home his words. “Never forget this, Emmy. When the war’s over, I’ll come back to you. I promise this with my life.” her mouth thinning. “A handful?” The corner of his mouth lifted. “No. You’re more like a damn bucketful of trouble.”
And now, in her grief-stricken state, she realized she’d at last lost her mind. Then a familiar grin tipped the corner of his mouth upward. The richness of his voice crashed over her, filling every crevice of Emaline’s parched and lonely soul. “I promised you I’d come back.” A split-second later, amid a whoosh of brocade, she crumpled to the floor in a dead faint.
It doesn’t have too much Civil War history or fighting in it to overwhelm the non history lovers which I am a lover of history so that part never bothers me. Well done Cindy!