Lady Pippa Leclaire had to find Philip, her twin, even posing as a boy to search the battlefield of Waterloo for the wounded. Given the task of nursing Deverell St Simon, she couldn't reveal her true self to him, more so when Dev was told by the Iron Duke to find Philip, believed by them all to be a traitor.
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1 . Worth Reading, but not one of my favorites.
Posted December 26, 2010 by jfglambert , OrlandoThe story was okay, but I after I had read it I was not sure if the time I spent reading it was worth it. The idea was great, but it was not taken to its full potential. As I was reading it the book became very predictable. It was a good try.
September 30, 1999
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Excerpt from Betrayal by Georgina Devon
'That leg will have to come off,' the surgeon said in a gruff voice.
Pippa had not heard him approach. Starting, she twisted around in her squatting position and looked up at him. 'I think I can save it.'
The surgeon shook his head. 'If we were in a small town or he was the only patient, I might agree. But 'tis not so, lad. If the leg stays, it will fester and kill him. Better he lose a limb than lose his life.'
Pippa frowned. She had heard the surgeon at home say similar words, but...
Perhaps the surgeon was right.
The man's broad shoulders shook and the leg beneath Pippa's fingers twitched. His eyelids fluttered, their thick sandy eyelashes creating a sharp shadow against his pale skin. His eyes caught and held her attention, commanding her.
'Don't let him take my leg,' the man whispered, his voice coming hoarse through cracked lips. His hand gripped her wrist and squeezed to emphasize his order. 'I would rather die.'
Even as he said the words, his eyes closed and Pippa realized he was trusting her to do as he ordered. He did not have the energy to fight the surgeon. It was up to her to save his limb.
Her twin came instantly to mind. Philip would not want to lose his leg. He would call himself half a man. This man would do the same. She knew it with a certainty she did not want to question for fear that she would find herself gone insane; that she would find herself more involved with this man than she had any reason to be.
Chewing her bottom lip, Pippa stood and faced the surgeon. 'You heard him. He would rather die.'
'You would risk his life on a whim?' The surgeon's bushy brown eyebrows formed a bar across his wide face. 'I was right not to entrust anyone's care to you.'
Pippa flushed, half-embarrassed at her statement and half angry at the surgeon for doubting her skills. 'The way a man feels about his life is as important as whether he has one.'
The surgeon's scowl deepened, his attention going to the patient. 'You did a thorough job of cleaning the flesh. Can you set the bone?'
Pippa nodded, sensing that she had won.
'You,' the surgeon bellowed to a nearby soldier, 'bring an eighteen-tail bandage and splint.' Turning his frown back on Pippa, he said, 'If this man dies, you will have to live with your conscience. Now, show me what you can do.'
Pippa bit her bottom lip and studied the surgeon. He met her gaze squarely. He was laying a heavy burden on her, but one doctors and healers faced every day of their lives.
She could and would accept that burden.
Reaching into her herbal pouch, she withdrew some garlic oil and mixed it with fresh water. She poured the mixture over the wound to protect against putrefaction. Her patient flinched, and when she looked at his face she saw he had bitten his bottom lip until it bled. But his eyes were open and watching her.
Conscious of his gaze on her, she flexed the leg to straighten the bone for setting. Without a sound the man flinched and then went limp. He had finally passed out. She breathed a sigh of relief for his sake. Quickly and competently, she set the bone, put on soft lint to absorb the drainage and crossed the eighteen tails of the bandage so that the leg was completely wrapped. Lastly, she applied the splint.
By the time she was done, her hands shook and sweat ran in rivers down her spine. It was a hot, muggy day, but she knew it was the fear of failure that had worn her down. She did not want this man to have his leg amputated. She wanted him to awaken a whole person, wanted to see the fierce determination and fire in his hazel eyes once more.
'You know he will limp--if he survives.' The surgeon's gruff voice intruded on her thoughts.
'And it will pain him most in damp, cold weather,' she added, standing and taking a deep breath to steady her nerves.
'Perhaps we can use you after all. I could not have done a better job of cleaning and setting the leg.'
It was a concession she had begun to think would never come. Pippa released the breath she had been unconsciously holding and broke into a radiant smile. 'You won't regret it.'
He looked at her from the corner of his eye and shook his head. 'You are as pretty as a maid. See that you watch yourself. Some of these men are none too particular.'
Pippa turned red. 'Yes, sir.'
Her attention flitted to the unconscious man. What would he think of her as a woman? It was a question she was fearful of having answered.
'I'd be doing you no favors if I didn't warn you, lad.'
'Thank you,' Pippa muttered, trying to deepen her voice.
The surgeon looked at the patient. 'This one is your special case. See that you let me know when gangrene sets in and the limb must be removed. You have until then to try and save the leg.'
Pippa's gaze travelled over the patient. He was tall and well-formed, with broad shoulders and narrow hips. He was a spectacular man. She didn't want him going to the filth and squalor of the hospital.
He is your patient, she told herself. Patient and nothing more. He might not even live.
With difficulty, she forced her concentration to his medical problem. Because of the bands of muscles in his legs, it had been difficult for her to relax his calf enough to open the wounds so she could clean them.
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