The Tudor king issues Lady Catherine Milton a most unusual command: seduce Scottish loyalist Ross Dunbar. The son of an ornery borderland laird, Dunbar would make an advantageous match, but King Henry cannot force him to wed. So Cate must ensnare him...A rush of courtly parties and passionate nights in Dunbar's embrace leaves Cate breathless...and confused. She desires a proposal for the sake of propriety and politics, but she longs to be truly loved. Tortured loyalties are not hers alone-though Dunbar is enchanted by Cate, he cannot bind himself to England and abandon his people.But when a pretender to the throne ignites a rebellion, the choice is made for them: to solidify northern alliances, Dunbar and Cate must wed. Suddenly Dunbar's death appears certain-either by his bride's curse or by a war he did not choose...
The Three Graces of Graydon are well-born sisters bearing an ominous curse: any man betrothed to them without love is doomed to die.Much to her chagrin, Lady Isabel Milton has been given to Earl Rand Braesford-a reward from the Tudor king for his loyalty to the throne. The lusty nobleman quickly claims his husbandly rights, an experience Isabel scarcely hoped to enjoy so much. But youth and strength may not save Braesford from his bride's infamous curse...Accused of a heinous crime with implications that reach all the way to King Henry himself, Braesford is imprisoned in the Tower, and Isabel is offered her salvation-but for a price. She has the power to seal his fate, have him sent to the executioner and be freed from her marriage bonds. Yet the more Isabel learns of Rand, the less convinced she is of his guilt, and she commits to discover the truth about the enigmatic husband she never expected to love.
When her brother challenges New Orleans's most infamous swordsman to a duel, Celina Vallier boldly confronts his opponent, Rio de Silva, determined to thwart what would be her brother's certain death. The legendary maître d'armes agrees...for a price-Celina's innocence.Though Rio is captivated by Celina's beauty and courage, she is also the perfect pawn for his revenge. She is to be betrothed to his sworn enemy, the Count de Lérida. And what sweet vengeance it would be to take the bride before the wedding.But neither anticipates the tangled web of scandal and danger that will soon follow. Devious plots are afoot, and Celina is wary of trusting anyone, including the man whose brazen sensuality tempts her to think of nothing but her own desires....
How far will a mother go to save her child? What will a man do to protect the woman he loves?Janna Kerr's eight-year-old daughter is dangerously ill and she knows her last hope is an unscrupulous doctor who-for the right price-will help her child. Secluded in a small cabin in the Louisiana bayou, Janna and Lainey wait for the summons. But when Clay Benedict shows up, an already desperate woman is pushed to the edge.Clay, whose powerful Louisiana family owns this land, was just checking on the place. He didn't expect to be drugged and held captive by a beautiful woman whose secret is revealed the moment he looks into her young daughter's eyes-Benedict eyes.The last thing Janna needs is this powerful man affecting her in ways her heart cannot allow. Because nothing is more important than saving her daughter-and Clay is getting too close to understanding the terrible risk she's willing to take. But in Louisiana, a man fights for what he wants....
Lisette Moisant is a widow, courtesy of the swordsmanship of Caid O'Neill, one of the city's legendary maîtres d'armes. He bested her loathsome husband in a duel, but now she is a pawn of schemers who wish to steal her fortune and see her dead. It is Caid to whom she turns for protection, and guilt leaves him no recourse but to agree to Lisette's request.But soon a whispering campaign is being waged against them, suggesting the two plotted to kill Lisette's husband all along, that she is a woman of loose morals and he is nothing short of a murderer. In a society where reputation is everything, the scandal and accusations threaten Lisette and Caid with ruin, and the person responsible will stop at nothing until they have paid with their lives.
Beautiful Elise Laffont seems too young and alive to be a widow at the ageof twenty-five. But she is not grieving the loss of her husband. The manhad been a complete cad, abusing her delicate womanhood until she could not stand the thought of a man's desire. And so, despite her youth she isquite content to remain alone, managing her small Louisiana farm undisturbed. Just when Elise has begun to eke out a small bit of independence for herself, an uprising of the fierce Natchez Indians forcesher to flee the farm, which represents all the happiness she has ever known. In order to escape massacre, she must become the mistress of a frighteningly commanding half-blood... Reynaud Chavalier is the son of a French nobleman and a Natchez princess. His imposing stature and rugged masculine beauty prove irresistible to Elise. But with her history of abuse at the hands of her late husband, will she allow herself to be calmed by his reassuring caresses? All she wants is to be left alone...until she feels the power of true love.
Kerr Wallace has spent years studying swordplay, preparing to challenge his sworn enemy and avenge his brother's death. The scoundrel Rouillard, now living in Mexico as a profiteer, has decided to take a wife, and the lady requires an escort to Veracruz. Kerr seizes his chance--he will deliver the bride...and dispatch the groom.If only it were so easy. Headstrong Sonia Bonneval will do anything to escape this doomed marriage to Rouillard. Coquettish ploys cannot melt the iron resolve of her damnable escort, however, and the voyage with Kerr becomes an exhilarating battle of wills. But a very real declaration of war forces them into even closer quarters--and greater temptation--in a fight for survival. Before the end, both must choose between duty and freedom--vengeance and passion.
Laurel Bancroft has lived for years as a recluse, isolating herself from a town that has branded her a murderer. But now, convinced people have finally forgotten, she is ready to resume her life.Then Laurel meets Alec Stanton. Hired to help redesign her garden, Alec is a stranger with a mysterious past. Though more than ten years younger, Alec is exactly what Laurel needs: intelligent, talented, passionate.But as their relationship grows, so does a dangerous threat against them. Someone wants Laurel to return to her seclusion and give up her younger lover-someone who hasn't forgotten that night so many years ago.
The New Year begins with a lady's intriguing proposition for Gavin Blackford--though not the sort he's accustomed to. Alluring widow Ariadne Faucher requests private lessons from the rakish sword master in order to challenge her sworn enemy to a duel.Though disinclined at first to teach a woman, Gavin is fascinated by this statuesque beauty, cloaked as she is in grief and mystery. Ariadne proves a quick study with a blade, her resolve fueled by a vendetta that is all she has left in the world. Their lessons crackle with undeniable electricity...but the secret of her all-consuming vengeance may have rendered her heart impervious even to such a virtuoso as Gavin.
Luke Benedict figures he's the only one in Turn-Coupe, Louisiana, who can save novelist Aril Halstead from someone intent on revenge. If only he could get April to cooperate.Years ago, Luke had let April down-in the worst possible way. She's never been able to forgive him and she still doesn't want anything to do with the man she once loved.But that's not about to stop Luke. He'd never turn his back on a friend-especially one whose life is in danger. And if he's got to kidnap a woman who despises him to keep her safe, he will. 'Cause down in Louisiana, this man will do whatever it takes....
A condemned outlaw's faith is revived by the strength and love of a woman with a tainted past. To redeem himself, an adventurer must face the wrath of the woman he betrayed. A guilt-ridden scoundrel seeks salvation in the heart of an innocent young woman. These inspiring tales of romance and redemption are guaranteed to thrill and stir your heart! Bundle includesOutlaw Brideby Jenna Kernan,The Questby Lindsay McKenna andThe Rogue's Redemptionby Ruth Axtell Morren.
Sheriff Roan Benedict comes from a family of hardheaded men who have a habit of rescuing and falling for equally hardheaded women. And sure enough, he's falling for a woman he just shot....This mysterious stranger just helped rob a convenience store. But that doesn't explain the bruises on her jaw and rope burns on her wrist. Though intrigued, Roan is suspicious of her claim that she doesn't remember what happened. Two things are clear to Roan. One: she's lying. Two: someone is trying to kill her.There's only one place safe enough for a lady in danger. Right by his side. Because in Louisiana, a man holds on to what he wants....
At ease making life-and-death decisions between breaths, maître d'armes Nicholas Pasquale proposes marriage to a beautiful and desperate stranger, a woman who offers comfort to his irascible young charge and calmly tells him the boy needs a mother. It is a challenge he can't resist.Nor can Juliette Armant. Though pledged to the church since infancy, she's been summoned to save her family in the only way possible...by marriage. Once she is wed, she will claim an ancestral marriage chest-and protect its secret contents from the dubious intent of her twin sister, who wants the treasure all to herself.Juliette never dreamed such a practical arrangement would explode with heady desire when a rogue's kiss unleashes the sensual woman within. But someone is determined to stop the wedding, willing to go to desperate lengths to claim the chest, plunging Juliette into a fight to claim a legacy and a love worth any price.
When Lady Marguerite Milton is abducted by the enigmatic-and famously insatiable-Golden Knight, it is the stuff of fantasy. Or would be, if Marguerite weren't pining for her David, who pledged his devotion ten years before...and disappeared. But the only thing more heartbreaking than a man that does not keep his word is one bound by it....David is the Golden Knight, reaffirming his oath to protect Marguerite and, maddeningly, to love her, but chastely. More infuriatingly, Marguerite has been a pawn-bait to lure David into King Henry VII's latest intrigue. To divide Yorkist insurrectionists, David is groomed as a rival to their latest pretender to the throne.Marguerite is desperate. If David fails, the rebels will destroy him; if he succeeds, Henry will not scruple to execute the would-be king he himself created. Suddenly, love and life seem far beyond the reach of any mere curse....
When Reid Sayers inherits a paper mill, he returns to his hometown after spending years with an elite military unit. He soon stumbles onto a scene in which Camilla Greenley scares off her husband, Keith, with a .357 magnum. Camilla was days away from receiving a divorce; her soon-to-be ex-husband decided to win her back, by force if necessary. Reid offers to protect Camilla, whom he knew before he left town, and long-suppressed feelings between them explode into passion.
In some small Southern towns the old ways still exist. Breeding counts and the old boys hold court. Everyone has a place and no one's supposed to cross the line. But rules are made to be broken...In Southern Gentlemen, authors Jennifer Blake and Emilie Richards deliver two contemporary stories of family, love and betrayal, all set against the colorful backdrop of the Deep South. This is their South-filled with old families, old money and old grudges. A place where the finest women are ladies and the best men are gentlemen. And where men from the wrong side of town have more honor than all the blue bloods combined.
Once a starveling bootblack, Christien Lenoir has risen to become the sword master known as Faucon, the Falcon. When a desperate gambler stakes his plantation in a late-night card game, sharp-eyed Christien antes up. For he wants River's Edge--and the tempestuous widow whose birthright it is. And he will stop at nothing to have both.Reine Cassard Pingre feels trapped: the only way to keep her beloved home--and her inheritance--is to accept Christien's bold proposal of marriage. Though she instantly mistrusts his purpose, and despite rumors that she had a hand in her husband's mysterious death, Reine cannot dissuade him from wedding...and bedding...her. Their union is electrifying, but the honeymoon may be cut short by the lurid secrets at the heart of River's Edge.
On a warm spring night in a New Orleans Garden District mansion, the pick of society are gathering. Masquerading as Legendary Lovers, they have come to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Duchaise masquerade ball. Charles and Millicent Duchaise have spared no expense-everything is perfect. Everything, that is, except their guests.Amidst the glitter and the beauty, the music and the revelry, some of the world's most legendary lovers are in trouble. Napoleon is doubting his Josephine, who in turn suspects him of deception. Violetta, Lady of the Camellias, has found her Afredo; only, she's not sure she can trust him with her heart. Petruchio is attempting to seduce his Kate, who is reluctant to be tamed. And Juliet has discovered that her long-lost Romeo is not who he seems.
Wade Benedict has a job to do: infiltrate a treacherous land and rescue Chloe Madison. It was her father's dying wish-and Wade is taking it personally. The problem is, this stubborn, angry and courageous woman doesn't want to be saved.Her rage at the oppressive treatment of women has pulled Chloe into the dangerous world of an underground rebellion. She can't desert the women with whom she forged a daring alliance, and this self-appointed rescuer can't force her to abandon her friends or her commitments-even though her own life is at stake.But Chloe has met her match in Wade, a man as honorable and determined as she. As they make their escape through the treacherous mountains, unspoken passion wears away at the sharp edges that guard their hearts. And when deadly danger stalks them in Turn-Coupe, Louisiana, together they must face a battle that can only be won by the indomitable will of family...and of love.
Jennifer Blake, Heather Graham and Diana Palmer, well-loved voices of romance fiction, bring you three new stories of sultry Southern romance. With a Southern Touch will renew your faith in the power of love.An eighth-generation Louisianian, Jennifer Blake says "few things have stopped the women in my family from doing what we think is important. `Steel Magnolia' grit and determination are in our blood." Married at fifteen, Jennifer and her husband recently celebrated more than four decades of happily-ever-after."My mom and dad are Irish and Scottish respectively, so I'm a first-generation Floridian," says Heather Graham. "South Florida has always been my home, and I love it-the sun, the water and the beach. My husband and I were high school sweethearts and we've raised (and are still raising!) five children here in the sunshine state.""The women in our family are traditionally strong and independent, thanks to our Scottish-Irish heritage," Diana Palmer says. "And the characters in this story share this same heritage." A die-hard romantic, Diana Palmer married her husband five days after they met, and they have lived in northern Georgia ever since, raising a son and a menagerie of animals.Three remarkable women with their own remarkable stories.
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