A woman burdened by war... A doctor torn between passion and duty... A sweeping tale of love in the face of dishonor from the incomparable storyteller -- Kathleen Woodiwiss.
Alaina MacGaren is forced to flee the devastation of her homeland in the guise of a young boy, only to find sanctuary in the arms of an enemy. Cole Latimer is a dashing Yankee surgeon who has served the Union faithfully, and his tender heart compels him to help a ragged, innocent "lad" in need -- never suspecting the rags conceal a bewitching belle suspected of being a rebel spy.
But Alaina's masquerade does not fool Cole for long. And the strength, courage, and breathtaking sensuality of this woman whom it would be treasonous to love sets duty and desire at war within him. Yet Destiny has joined them for good or ill -- and they both must follow where their hearts would lead them, if they are to build a glorious new life together out of the ashes of the old.
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April 01, 1981
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Excerpt from Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
Intrepid young Alaina already knows the handsome Yankee captain, but in her disguise as a boy, she cannot allow her womanly reaction to the virile army surgeon to betray her. But one tempestuous night Cole finds himself in a Southern plantation, with a beautiful woman he does not recognize, and Alaina's defenses are bombarded in ways she had never thought possible.
Bright moonlight streamed in through the parted curtains, lightening the room until all was visible. Though the lingering essence of intoxicants still clouded his brain, Cole became aware of the woman who leaned against the door. His mind felt slow and listless, and he could find no reason for what he saw, nor could he explain his presence in a strange bedroom. His situation struck him as extremely precarious. For all he knew he might momentarily find himself confronted by an outraged husband or an irate father bent on restoring his daughter's honor.
"Ma'am," he began, sorely chafed at the thickness of his tongue. "I fear I have intruded."
Alaina realized escape was impossible, and knew she would have to brazen it out.
Her soft laughter broke the silence of the room. "Surely you haven't decided to leave us after you vowed to stay the night, Captain. Can it be that you have forgotten so soon?" She mimicked the relaxed familiarity of the most successful courtesan and her voice was as honey, smooth and cultured. The deception seemed simple enough; she could play this part as successfully as that of ragged urchin. Yet she was thankful for the shadow that shrouded Cole's nakedness, for the game might have dissolved in her own embarrassment and flight.
Alaina remembered her uncle had kept a decanter of brandy hidden away in the guest room, and she went to search the bureau for it. This was no time for the captain to sober up. If he would just drink enough and go back to bed, she was sure he would sleep the night through.