Despite her disguise as Silver Jones, tavern maid, Lady Selena Hardwich-Jones was captured by bounty hunters combing the Georgia cost for the runaway with hair pale as spun silver and eyes like soft brown velvet. Forced onto a ship headed for her home in the West Indies, Silver vowed to make her break for freedom. But in the vessel's brash owner she found a will to match her own. Major Morgan Trask was determined to deliver his lovely human cargo safely to the aristocrat he had long admired.
Was the ship's dashing captain Silver's stern captor--or her gallant protector? Tormented by doubts, tantalized by desire, Silver's emotions were in turmoil. For a secret shame kept her from telling Morgan. Trask the real reason for her flight, all the while fearing--and yearning --to trust him.
As they sailed into treacherous waters, their very lives in peril, Silver and Morgan could no longer deny their hunger for each other ... as they surrendered to a passion that burned hotter than the Savannah heat.
From the Paperback edition.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Currently living in Missoula, Montana, Kat is the bestselling author of thirty Historical and Contemporary Romance novels. Before she started writing in 1985, Kat was a real estate broker. During that time, she met her husband, Larry Jay Martin, also an author. Kat is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she majored in Anthropology and History.
From the Paperback edition.
Escape! It was all she could think of, all she could dream. The word possessed her, crowding her thoughts and blotting her senses until it formed a prison all its own.Silver Jones sank down on the low wooden cot in the corner of the rat-infested storeroom. Her blood still pumped from her latest unsuccessful effort: stacking heavy wooden crates and boxes one atop the other; then climbing the unstable pyramid to the small dirty window a dozen feet above her head.
This morning she had finally succeeded in prying open a side door, and though she hadn't found an avenue of escape and only succeeded in tearing her nails and bloodying her fingers, she did find enough boxes in the adjoining room to build her shaky ladder.
Damn it to hell! Silver slammed her slender fist against the cot, then cursed again for her self-inflicted pain. She'd been so sure that once she reached the window she'd be able to squeeze through the opening and make her escape. Instead she'd discovered, even as slenderly built as she was, the opening was just too small. Hours of shouting for help had only made her hoarse.
Silver released a weary sigh and glanced at her dismal surroundings. Along with the heavy boxes and her narrow wooden cot, a chipped pink porcelain water pitcher sat in a basin on an upturned crate next to a partly burned candle. The place smelled moldy and abandoned. Flies buzzed above a tray laden with a half-eaten crust of bread and an empty bowl of mutton stew.From the corner of her eye, Silver spotted the gray-brown fur of a rat as it skittered behind a hogs-head barrel in the corner, and clenched her teeth to stifle a scream. God, she hated the dirty little creatures. Bugs and spiders she could stand; there were lots of them where she came from. And lots of them here in the hot and humid climate of Savannah.
But rats--even tiny little field mice--were another matter altogether.
Silver shivered as the race raced by just a few feet away and eventually disappeared. Ignoring thoughts of when it might return, she ran her fingers through her hair, tugging at a snarl here and there, and worked to comb out some of the tangles. The long, usually glistening silver strands that had inspired her nickname hung in grayish ropes around her face. Her low-cut white cotton peasant blouse and simple brown skirt, the uniform of the tavern maid at the White Horse Inn, where she had been working, were stained from the grime that covered the walls and floors and torn in several places.
At least they hadn't mistreated her. Just spotted her in the tavern, then waited in the alley until she finished her duties and left for her small attic bedchamber above the carriage house in the rear.
"It's her all right," the tallest man had whispered, just before his hand clamped over her mouth. Using the heavy weight of his body, he had forced her up against the building. "Hair as pale as spun silver, eyes like soft brown velvet, skin so fair and smooth makes a man itch to touch it."
"Don't get any ideas," Ferdinand Pinkard warned. "You know the deal--the girl goes back in good condition. There'll be no reward if she's been harmed."
"Bloody hell!" Silver cursed behind the man's foul-smelling fingers. Struggling wildly, she lashed out with her slender hands and feet. One solid blow connected with a heavy calf, eliciting a yelp of pain and a string of oaths, and her free hand clawed the side of the tall man's face. With vicious determination, she sank her teeth into his palm.
"You damned hellion!" He shook her so hard she feared her neck might break.
"You'd better behave yourself, Miss Jones," Pinkard warned. The chill in his voice sent a tremor of fear down her spine. "It's a long way back--plenty of time for a few minor bruises to heal."
Wiping at the blood on his cheek, the tall man tightened his hold. "You damnable she-devil." Lacing his hand through her hair, he jerked her head back until tears stung her eyes.
"Careful, Julian." Pinkard's voice rang with a note of sarcasm. "We wouldn't want His Lordship to be displeased." There were four of them: two burly sailors, the tall, spidery man with the rancid breath who held her, and Ferdinand Pinkard.
"How did you find me?" Silver asked through clenched teeth, fighting the pain in her arm that the man called Julian twisted up behind her back. "How--how did you know where to look?"
One of the sailors, a big, red-haired, mustached man, chuckled softly. "Pinkard could find the last rat on a sinkin' ship. That pale hair o'yours--and a face just as perty--you weren't hardly no trouble a'tall."
Silver felt a wave of despair. She had come so far, been so sure this time she would succeed. She wasn't really afraid; she knew exactly what these men wanted. Though she'd done her best to throw them off her trail, she should have known someone would find her.
She should have known he would never let her go.Arms bound behind her, an oily rag stuffed into her mouth and tied so tight she could barely breathe, Silver had little choice but to let Pinkard and his henchmen drag her into the darkness of a waiting carriage. Stay calm, she told herself over and over. Keep your wits about you. You've come too far to fail now.
Working to control her pounding heart, she leaned against the padded wall of the sleek black carriage, listening to the clatter of the wheels against the cobblestone streets, then to the whir of wooden spokes as the road became a dusty lane. She should have kept running, should have gone inland.
She thought of the misery she had left behind and could almost taste the blood in her mouth, feel the heavy blows of his fists. How many times had she suffered his abuse? How many times had she quietly submitted, believing she somehow deserved it, sure each time would be the last? How many times had she rebelled and fought him and in the end endured far worse?
Silver watched the passing blur of darkness outside the carriage window. God in heaven, would this nightmare never end?
It hadn't taken long to reach their destination--an old abandoned warehouse somewhere distant from the docks. Pinkard had locked her in, leaving her bound and gagged all night just to make his authority clear. Her arms and mouth felt numb by morning, her tongue dry and swollen. She wished she could cry, but she didn't dare. There wasn't room for weakness, wasn't room for tears.
In the early hours of the morning, Pinkard returned with one of his men, bringing water and something to eat, and releasing her from her bonds. They had come each day since, always careful, never sending a man alone, never allowing her to get too near them. They'd been schooled well--the man who would pay for her return had told them in no uncertain terms exactly how desperate she was.
Major Morgan Trask strode the long wooden dock toward the ship Savannah, just arrived from Charleston. As always, he admired her low, sleek lines, her graceful bowsprit arching out over the water, the two tall masts of stout spruce that soared upward into the dark night sky. Above them, clouds covered the moon, and a heavy drizzle hinted at a mild spring storm.
Morgan had owned the 145-foot topsail schooner for the past six month, but he rarely captained her. He'd given up that wandering existence last year since the profits he'd long saved and invested had made him a wealthy man.
As he strode the dock, Morgan caught his reflection on the surface of the water, his tall, broad-shouldered image rippling with the incoming tide, his dark blond hair mussed by the wind. Over the years he'd grown used to the jagged scar that marked his cheek, but he found the military uniform he now wore, with its garish gold bars and shiny brass buttons, far too pretentious. He much preferred the dark brown breeches he usually wore at sea, often without even a shirt.
But the Texians--as the newspapers sometimes called them and they often called themselves--had insisted on the formality of his rank. "It just wouldn't do," Stephen Pearson, President Lamar's representative, had said during his most persuasive visit, "for a civilian--a man not even a citizen of the republic--to be involved in a weapons negotiation with the British."
They'd decided on the temporary commission of major in the Texas Marines. A man with enough rank to command respect, but not so much that the British liaison might feel intimidated.
The offer the Texians made had intrigued him from the start. It was a chance to sail the seas again, a chance for a little more adventure. But the real motivation for Morgan's acceptance of the Texians' proposal was his worry for his brother.Always brash and impetuous, Brendan Trask had been intrigued by the vast landscape and the limitless possibilities the young Republic of Texas had to offer. He had left Georgia two years ago and promptly enlisted in the Texas Marines. Now he was on assignment in Mexico, where his countrymen had gone to assist the Federalist rebels in an attempt to overthrow the Mexican government, a constant source of harassment for the fledgling Texas Republic. Brendan was bound to be in the thick of it. This trip would give Morgan a chance to check on him, assure himself that Brendan was safe.
Morgan climbed over the port taffrail onto the deck of the Savannah, nearly empty of crew since most had gone ashore. He had bought the vessel on a whim--not that it wasn't a damned good investment. Owning the schooner had been a way of keeping in touch with the sea that had so long been his home. Now he was glad he had.
Morgan strode the deck toward the wheelhouse, looking for Solomon Speight, the man who usually captained the ship on her trading voyages along the coast. Morgan spoke to Sol only briefly, while the lanky gray-haired man collected his gear and left to go ashore.
"It'll be good to have a little time off,"...
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Book Description Dell. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: Very Good. 0440509203. Bookseller Inventory # FV-0390389
Book Description Dell. Paperback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Bookseller Inventory # 2747918416
Book Description Dell. Paperback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Bookseller Inventory # 2816881614
Book Description Dell. Paperback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Bookseller Inventory # 2817835203
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