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In 1856 New York, Heather Fitzpatrick, a bashful abolitionist, falls for young Army lieutenant David Whitman, who is tracking a runaway slave - the very slave she and her parents rescued from the hands of the slavemongers a few nights earlier.Despite their divergent views on slavery, romance ensues when David dances with Heather at the Cotillion Ball and later that night, walks her home. An engagement quickly follows. When he receives word that his father is ailing, David wants her to accompany him home to Savannah to meet his family.Heather wants to make the trip with him, especially since his father's death seems imminent. With her maid as chaperone, they board the train heading South. After his father passes, his mother insists any marriage will have to wait the requisite year, which is proper for mourning. She hopes to send Heather home for the year, and to use the time to dissuade David from his foolish choice, especially since his mother has already handpicked his potential bride from a neighboring plantation.Heather longs to stay to wait out the year, and to begin teaching the slaves how to read and write, since she knows those accomplishments will be needed when slavery comes to an end.But she knows the South is no place for an abolitionist.Sensuality Level: Sensual
Basil Fitzpatrick was born into a life of privilege. In 1856, at 23 years of age, he is the owner of the St. Louis branch of the family banking business. He has his pick of the ladies and life by the horns.Temperance Jones and her family are far from privileged. Her father is a circuit-riding preacher from Pennsylvania. But the rumblings of a war between the North and the South force the preacher to move his family to Oregon rather than to take up arms against his fellow man. However, hardship and sickness slowed their pace, and they are forced to spend the winter in St. Louis, waiting for the next wagon trains to leave in the spring.Basil is drawn to the family the moment they roll into town, partly because they remind him of his own big family in New York. But also because of the eldest daughter, Temperance. She is a tiny, no-nonsense spitfire bent on fulfilling her father's wish to get the family safely to Oregon. Basil knows if he allows Temperance into his heart, he is accepting the obligation of her entire family. He wants Temperance like he has wanted no other, but is the burden of her family too much?Sensuality Level: Sensual
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