When Rylee McCourtland's sexy body isn't enough to make Alsandair Farrell give up his military life, Rylee runs off with gambler Kyle Striker. Taking a ship to Midworld, she hopes Sandair will come after her and do her bidding.
Alsandair is broken-hearted when Rylee leaves him. He decides to see the world -- soothe his aching heart. But fate deals Alsandair an unexpected card for the ship upon which he sails is the same ship Rylee and her supposed new man are also taking. And things are about to get even more complicated for the lovers.
Dashing pirate Andre Corsair attacks the ship and claims Rylee for his own! He abandons Alsandair and the crew on a deserted island and sets off for his pirate stronghold. Rylee is being forced into marriage with Corsair.
The card drawn from the deck of Rylee's life will surprise her too when she discovers she is falling in love with the swashbuckling pirate. Torn between love for both men, she can only wait for the last card to be laid on the table.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Journey of the Wind by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
"Where's your lady this morn?" the captain inquired.
"She's up but you know how women are," Kyle said. "It takes them longer to get dressed than it does us."
The men snickered at the remark and Kyle shook his head at the offer of food. "I've yet to get my sea legs but that coffee smells wonderful."
"It is," Alsandair agreed.
"Go ahead and eat, gentlemen," Kyle said. "There's no telling when she'll grace us with her beautiful presence. It may be half an hour yet, if I know her."
Digging into the fare, the men discussed the good weather they were experiencing and the fair wind that was pushing them gently toward the Sinisters.
"I've never seen them," Alsandair said. "Are they as dangerous as I've heard?"
"They're a trick to navigate through," Bonny admitted. "But a good sailor won't have any problems with the Sinisters unless he let's his mind wander."
"I've been through there many times before," Kyle admitted. "The going through is a lot less nerve-racking than the coming back out."
"That's because coming back out you're sailing against the wind. We sometimes run into fierce rain storms near the Sinisters," Andelton observed. "Bad lightning and the like."
Kyle paused as he was about to take a sip of his coffee. "My lady hates storms," he said. "Fears them something awful."
"We should luck out this trip and not encounter any, but should that happen, just keep her in her cabin and soothe her," the captain advised.
"She'll be practically hiding under me if the past is any indication," Kyle joked.
Alsandair looked up at Kyle. "I knew a woman like that," he said, and unease shifted down his spine.
"Don't let the fog horn scare her," Andelton told Kyle. "That's where the notion of there being a sea beastie comes from. That horn--if'n you don't know its there--can be a frightening sound."
"Like the bellow of some giant, dangerous beast," Kyle said. "I warned Rylee about it already. She's not one for surprises."
Alsandair choked on the eggs he'd been about to swallow. Tears filled his eyes from the pain of the lodged food and he pushed back from the table as Bonny shot up to pound him on the back.
"Here, lad," Bonny said, slapping the palm of his hand between Alsandair's shoulders. "None of that now."
The hard thumping on his back managed to dislodge the egg from his gullet and Alsandair spat it out into his napkin, coughing and dragging in harsh breaths until Kyle leaned over with a tumbler of water.
"Drink this," Kyle said. "It'll help."
"Let him choke," came a heated command. "It will save me from having to strangle him later!"
All the men save Alsandair looked up to see the only female passenger on board standing in the doorway with her hands on a pair of very shapely hips. Lovely green eyes were flashing fire and a pert little mouth was pressed into a taut, prim line as she glowered at Alsandair. One foot was tapping out a dangerous rhythm on the floor.
Coming to his feet along with the other men, Alsandair wiped his mouth on the napkin and finally turned his head to look at the woman he had thought he was escaping. Their eyes met and he let out a long, tired breath. He should have known fate wouldn't let him get away that easily.
"What the hell are you doing here, Sandair?" Rylee McCourtland snarled. "I thought I told you I never wanted to see you again. How dare you follow me!"
Kyle looked from Rylee to Alsandair. He set the tumbler of water down on the table. "This is him?"
"I wasn't following you," Alsandair managed to say, his voice husky from the choking. He reached for the tumbler of water.
"Liar," she snapped.
Kyle came around the table and held a chair out for her. "Let's discuss this later, shall we?" he said, casting her a stern look.
"He followed me!" Rylee accused.
"No, I did not," Alsandair said, and sat back down, a harsh frown on his face. "If I'd known you were on board, I've have given this ship a wide berth, believe me." He couldn't look at her anymore for his heart was starting to ache all over again. "I've no wish to be savaged again."
"Sit down, Rylee," Kyle said sternly, cutting her off.
Alsandair looked up at the other man and was surprised to see Rylee doing as she was told. She threw him a hateful look but took her seat, her lips pursed tightly together.
"Ruck, would you bring the lady her breakfast?" Kyle asked.
"Aye, sir!" Ruck was quick to reply.
There was an awkward silence into which the diners were cast. The captain and his first mate exchanged an uncomfortable look but set about finishing their meal.
Rylee sat there glaring at Alsandair as her ex-lover ate, ignoring her own meal.
"It's a long time to the noon meal, Rylee," Kyle said reasonably. "Eat."
Grumbling beneath her breath, Rylee unfolded her napkin, laid it in her lap and set about doing as her traveling companion dictated.
Amazed his ex-lover was obeying Striker's orders, Alsandair glanced at Kyle. Whatever hold the man had over Rylee was firm and he couldn't help but admire Kyle for it. He himself had spent years trying to get the hellion to do as he asked only to have her balk at every turn. Begrudgingly admitting the other man could handle Rylee far better than he ever could. He heaved a long, heartfelt sigh.
"No one is making you stay at this table, Farrell," Rylee told him. "Please feel free to leave if you find the company so unbearable."
"That's enough, Rylee," Kyle said, and this time his voice was filled with a warning. "Commander Farrell is attempting to make the best of this situation. I suggest you do the same."
Alsandair raised his eyes to look at Rylee and watched as embarrassment crept into her cheeks at the reprimand. Her eyes became overly bright and he recognized a bout of crying coming on. Rather than exacerbate the situation, he said nothing but rather pushed back from the table and got up.
"Please finish you meal, Farrell," Kyle said. "We've a long journey ahead of us and there is no reason to spend it being uncomfortable."
Further admiration for the man nudged Alsandair and he looked to Kyle. "I thank you for your concern, Striker, but I have finished." He bowed to the captain, nodded at the first mate and Kyle, muttered a soft "milady" to Rylee and then left the common room.
Once out on the deck, Alsandair cursed a blue streak beneath his breath. He was humiliated at the treatment Rylee had handed him and further annoyed that her new lover had come to his defense. He had no animosity toward Striker--though he realized he should have--and knew it was indeed going to be a long journey.