At Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory, as General Custer gets ready to make his Last Stand, Nona Willard struggles with her own problems. Once she believed love was a pure emotion, not involving erotic feelings, the kind of love she feels for her sister's army officer husband. Devil-may-care journalist Spencer Quinlan, however, waits at the fort with another journalist to accompany Custer, and Spencer's attentions soon threaten Nona's belief.
In his own way, Spencer is as dangerous to Nona as the Sioux warriors who take her and her pregnant sister captive. Though her sister doesn't survive, Nona is rescued by Spencer, yet they're forced to leave her newborn niece with the Sioux. Nona's emotions are in a turmoil as the troops leave the fort to search for Sitting Bull and his following, her sister's widowed husband and Spencer with them.
Will either man survive? And which one does Nona really love?
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Amber Quill Press, LLC
September 19, 2010
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Excerpt from Love's Last Stand by Jane Toombs
...Nona twirled across the floor in Spencer's arms, her heart racing and her mind in a giddy spin from the wild tumult within her. Why did this man have such a devastating effect on her? She wanted to pull away from him and flee, and, at the same time, longed to press closer to him while the band played on and on forever.
The whisper of his breath against her temple sent a tingle racing through her and there was nothing ladylike about the way her body pulsed and simmered from the touch of his. Everything faded from her awareness but Spencer.
He smelled of tobacco and soap, mixed with something unique, something she found increasingly exciting--his male scent. The warmth of his hand at her waist burned through her gown, until it almost seemed he was touching her bare skin, giving her sensations that took her breath away.
"Look at me, Nona," he murmured, his voice resonating through her very bones.
When she did, she saw a glow in the depths of his dark eyes that promised more to come. She couldn't deny she craved more. No man had ever made her feel this need before. When she was in his arms, she hovered on the edge of losing control of her own will.
"If we stay here," he said, "Captain Custer's sure to try to reclaim you--I see him glowering from the sidelines. I don't mean to let him."
Nona believed him. Heady though it was to think that two men might actually come to blows over her, she didn't intend to embarrass Kilby and Helen by becoming the cause of a fracas. Still in a partial daze, she allowed Spencer to fetch her evening cape and spirit her away from the dance. The cooler outside air brought back some of her sanity and she might have recovered completely if Spencer hadn't almost immediately led her off the walk. In the darkness he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her. He'd held her gently when they danced, but he didn't now, as she was crushed against the hard length of his body. Never had she felt so soft and fragile, never had a kiss so unsettled her.
Her dazzled mind had no words for the wonderful way he tasted, or for the springy feel of the hair on his nape under her fingers. She only knew she'd never forget this moment. "There's no privacy at an army post--I wish we were somewhere else," he whispered into her ear. "Anywhere else." His lips traveled past the velvet ribbon at her throat, trailing kisses where no man had ever touched her before, and it shocked her to realize she wished her gown wasn't there to bar him from her breasts.
What was the matter with her? She couldn't allow this to happen. She'd never in her life behaved like a wanton. Nona pulled free of Spencer's arms. "I must go to my sister's," she said. Her words sounded weak and breathless to her own ears, but at least she'd been able to speak...she hadn't been certain she could.
"Considering where we are, I suppose we haven't much choice." He placed her hand on his arm and led her through the night.
Was she to suffer this tingling every time she touched him? Nona started to draw her hand away but thought better of it. Between the darkness and her confused state of mind, she wasn't too sure where Helen's house was. Or of anything else, except it wouldn't be wise to be alone with Spencer Quinlan ever again...