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Jeffrey Belding arrives home one night in anticipation of what would be waiting for him, but was unexpectedly met by his stepdaughter, Angelique, instead of the slave girl, Megan. Angelique has her own plans for the man she had called Father, ever since she could remember. No one dare say anything. After three years, where they openly conducted their affair, Angelique needs to seek medical attention in New Orleans after suffering a late term miscarriage. Belding, deprived of her, returns to the inconsiderate tyrant he had been. His younger daughter, Elizabeth, now grown, sets herself against him, but is now faced with an entirely unacceptable situation. There is only one way she can solve it. Whether she fails or succeeds it is certain that one of two men will be dead before another day goes by. She knows what she must do, and which man is more important to her. She writes a will for her father. The next few years are a difficult nightmare for Elizabeth as Civil war rages on around them, getting ever closer. Then suddenly it is all over. Life might return to normal, whatever that might be like, as the South tries to pick up the pieces. She watches, uneasily, as seven heavily armed and ragged Confederate soldiers ride down out of the woods and onto her property, intending . . . what? What follows is truly a baptism by fire for her, but it is only the beginning. It sets her and her future on a new course. Others see the Belding estate as a plum worth picking and its young owner as vulnerable. They are not to know that she now has a close protector who is very capable of upsetting everyone’s carefully laid plans for her. And he’s a Yankee! How is she to encourage him to stay, or to trap him so that he could not leave? She is a woman, isn’t she?
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