It’s November in Southern California, which means warm to hot sunny days and blue skies, a far cry from what we think of as Fall Color. I grew up in Pittsburgh, which always had a spectacular display of fall leaves. My dad would pile everyone in the car on a weekend and we’d drive out on the Pennsylvania Turnpike to gawk at the lovely colors.
My memories of autumn in Western Pennsylvania, the setting for my Historical Romance, Rogue’s Hostage, inspired the scene this snippet comes from in today’s edition of MFRW BookHooks! The scene takes place at Fort Duquesne, where Mara has been taken by her captor Jacques. (Emile was her husband.)
Sighing, she moved to stand next to one of Jacques’s precious cannon. The view from the ramparts was magnificent. Under a leaden sky, the green of bushes and grasses seemed more intense than ever. The turbulent waters of the river tumbled past the fort, frothing over the rocks along the shore.
She glanced toward the hills on the other side of the Monongahela. The heavily forested slopes were dappled by drifts of gossamer mist, but not thickly enough to obscure the colors of autumn. Among the green shone clusters of gold and orange. Occasional patches of red were visible, as if stained by the blood of the men who had died trying to possess this cursed spot.
In 1758 the Pennsylvania frontier is wild, primitive and dangerous, where safety often lies at the end of a gun. Mara Dupré’s life crumbles when a French and Indian war party attacks her cabin, kills her husband, and takes her captive. Marching through the wilderness strengthens her resolve to flee, but she doesn’t count on her captor teaching her the meaning of courage and the tempting call of desire.
French lieutenant Jacques Corbeau’s desire for his captive threatens what little honor he has left. But when Mara desperately offers herself to him in exchange for her freedom, he finds the strength to refuse and reclaims his lost self-respect. As the shadows of his past catch up to him, Jacques realizes that Mara, despite the odds, is the one true key to reclaiming his soul and banishing his past misdeeds forever.
Nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Small Press Romance, 2003
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