9781551666495

The Captain's Woman

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781551666495

  • ISBN10:

    1551666499

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-01-01
  • Publisher: Mira
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping Icon Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • eCampus.com Logo Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $6.50

Summary

Victoria Parker has loved Captain Sam Garrett for most of her life. So when the career soldier returns to Cheyenne after eight years in service to manage his family's business interests, Victoria sets out to win his heart -- even though she knows it belongs to another. But then hostilities erupt outside of U.S. borders and the country is soon at war. When Sam reenlists, joining Teddy Roosevelt's infamous Rough Riders, Victoria follows, determined not to lose the love she has just found. In the chaos of battle, Victoria will find her purpose, reporting on the heroic efforts of American nurses. And she will find the courage to fight for her country, her ideals and her heart as she stakes her claim as the captain's woman.

Excerpts

Cheyenne, Wyoming February 15, 1898

Whenever Victoria Parker looked back on the cold, snowy night that plunged her into a wrenching passage from girl to woman, her heart would ache at the absurd arrogance of youth.

She supposed more generous souls might excuse her conceit that blustery February night. After all, she'd celebrated her seventeenth birthday only a few months before. Not only did she stand poised and eager on the brink of womanhood, but she thrilled to the promise of the new century about to dawn.

The old world was rapidly giving way to the new. Electric lights now flickered in most major cities. All across the country, female suffragettes were demanding the same right to vote that the state of Wyoming had granted its women two decades before. Railroad tracks and telegraph lines now spanned the American continent, once so vast and seemingly limitless. And for just a few pennies, eager patrons could enjoy rousing concerts, touring vaudeville acts or that incredible new invention, the moving picture show. With the utter confidence of the young, Victoria quite honestly believed the coming century held only the promise of grand adventures and great passions.

Not that she was unaware of the dark clouds gathering on the horizon. After thirty-five years of peace following the War Between the States, a strident call to arms was once again sounding across the country. It had begun three years ago, when Cuban rebels mounted yet another insurrection to throw off the yoke of their hated Spanish masters. To deny the rebels their supply and support base, the Spanish military governor had moved hundreds of thousands of peasants off their farms into reconcentration camps. There they died, day after day, week after week, from sickness and starvation.

American businessmen with interests in Cuban sugar plantations had raised the initial alarm. With their profits threatened by the continuing turmoil, they'd become increasingly vocal in their demands for intervention by the United States. American reporters in Havana had added to the urgency by detailing in their dispatches the atrocities committed by Spain. Some of those stories, to be sure, contained as much fiction as fact. But moral outrage over the situation in Cuba ran high, and newspaper giants like Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst shrewdly continued to fan the flames with story after story. Victoria herself had contributed to the war fever by helping her papa draft indignant editorials about the abysmal situation.

Her thoughts that fateful February evening weren't centered on war or female suffrage, however, or even on the plight of the Cuban peasants forced into reconcentradas . Her most pressing concern as she sat before the dressing table in an upstairs bedroom at the Double-S ranch was her hair.

"Wherever is that maid?"

Grimacing at her reflection, Victoria struggled to tame her strawberry curls into the smooth, pouffy chignon made so popular by Charles Dana Gibson's sketches. At the same time, she kept an ear tuned to the faint sound of laughter and the chink of glasses drifting from the floor below. Elise Sloan's birthday party was already underway. If Victoria didn't hurry, she'd miss the festivities completely.

She and her parents had intended to arrive early, but a sudden fall of snow had made the eight-mile carriage ride to the Sloan ranch outside Cheyenne an exercise in sheer determination. Elise and her mother, Suzanne, had escorted the late arrivals upstairs to thaw out and change. Unfortunately, the maid who had delivered a pitcher of hot water and promised to help the young miss dress must have been diverted by other duties.

Eager to get downstairs, Victoria snatched hairpins from the dressing table and stabbed them into her scalp. The chignon slipped precariously to one side.

"Botheration!"

And here she'd so wanted to look her best tonight!

Ordinarily, Victoria didn't concern herself unduly with her appearance. She didn't have to. Her mother's inherited wealth and her father's prominence as owner of one of the city's leading newspapers assured her place in Cheyenne society.

Her parentage aside, Victoria could, quite without conceit, take satisfaction from her natural attributes. The nipped-in, hourglass fashions of the day perfectly suited her narrow waist and generous curve of bust and hip. Her sparkling, china-blue eyes and Cupid's-bow mouth had inspired some rather wretched, if enormously flattering, poetry. But it was her dancing smile, disguising as it did the hint of obstinacy in her nature, that enchanted every unattached male within two hundred miles.

Except one.

Elise's handsome young uncle, Samuel Garrett. The former cavalry officer who persisted in treating Victoria with careless, big-brotherly affection. The man she'd known most of her life but only decided to marry a year ago.

She remembered the date exactly. March 22. Sam had just resigned his cavalry commission and returned to Cheyenne to take over management of the Garrett family's business affairs.

Victoria had barely turned sixteen and was thoroughly enjoying the attentions of her many admirers. She'd also just begun scribbling quaint little stories for her father's paper and was quite puffed up with her own importance. Yet she'd taken one glimpse of the tall, broad-shouldered officer who stepped off the train and experienced the most ridiculous, most intense quivers in the pit of her stomach.

In the months since, the odd sensations had intensified every time her path happened to cross that of Elise's uncle. Since Sam and his parents, like Victoria and hers, lived in town, that occurred with satisfying frequency.

Not that Sam had any inkling of her tumultuous emotions, of course. Although spoiled outrageously by her doting mama and papa, Victoria was Wyoming-bred and range-smart beneath her sugar-spun beauty. She possessed far too much intelligence to let Sam Garrett know he set her pulse to pounding whenever he handed her into a carriage or took her in his arms for a waltz.

(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Captain's Woman by Merline Lovelace Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Rewards Program

Reviews for The Captain's Woman (9781551666495)