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Some promises are made to be broken.
Caught in a web of political intrigue, graft and threats to a beloved child, Meg Warren and Drew Larkin hunt the men threatening the downfall of President Cleveland and the economic fabric of America. From a poor farm to the ostentatious world of New Yorkâ€™s elite, they sift lies, discover trust and an attraction they cannot resist. The last thing they expect to find is a love worth more than gold.
"Ma, Ma," a high-pitched voice yelled. "He looks dead."
Andrew Larkin cursed as agony knifed up his thigh and threatened to split his skull, but he struggled onto his elbows. He squinted as an assortment of human shapes floated and danced before his blurred vision. Bright New England sunlight shattered into a rainbow of colors around a skinny young girl in a dark brown frock and wrinkled white pinafore. Her grimy fingers dug in the furry neck of the huge mongrel panting into Drewâ€™s face. He inhaled the acrid odor of fresh manure from the nearby fields.
"Iâ€™m. Not. Dead." He said as a slender coverall-clad figure crouched in the road next to him. Urgency set his nerves to thrumming. President Cleveland couldnâ€™t wait. He had to get moving. "Why donâ€™t you help me back onto my horse, son? If your Ma gets here, Iâ€™ll let her take a look."
"I am Ma," she snapped impatiently as she jerked free the battered straw hat shading her face and settled back onto her bare heels. Shockingly thick auburn hair, fastened with a leather thong, tumbled down her back. Her face clearly showed her resentment at the way his gaze moved over the way her baggy overalls snugged her flared hips, clearly outlining her shapely derriere. A flush burned red flags on her cheeks. "Your leg is bleeding, mister, andâ€¦"
To his amazement, her fingers brushed like butterfly wings over his face and through his tumbled hair. He flinched when she probed a tender spot behind his ear.
"You took quite a wallop on the head. Hold still."
She wiped her perspiring brow with a sun-browned forearm, then pulled a worn jackknife from her hip pocket, flipped the blade open and calmly proceeded to cut away his bloodstained pant leg. The little girl whimpered.
"Donâ€™t be afraid, Martha. Heâ€™ll be fine," Her cultured voice flowed over him like warm honey, soothing as a motherâ€™s lullaby.
The child frowned, but her whimpers ceased.
"Look, I need to be on my way. I have important business..." Drew heard his words slur, but he couldnâ€™t wait, couldnâ€™t take the chance that Margaret Warren would escape. He winced when the cold blade slid along his flesh and lifted his whirling head. "Take it easy with that thing. Itâ€™s not my fault your child spooked my horse."
Her cool hands stilled when her head jerked up. "My child what?"
Fighting nausea, as well as his wavering vision Drew answered. "You heard me. Your little girl ran under Lancerâ€™s hooves."
"Martha?" she questioned, then returned her gaze to the knife blade slicing closer to his groin.
He glanced at the girl in time to see her give a guilty nod. Tiny fingers knit into the wrinkled material of her pinafore and she toed the ground before she dropped her eyes. Two round tears rolled down her cheeks. The big dog slumped at her feet with a long-suffering sigh.
"Oh, dear. Iâ€™m truly sorry. Martha knows better," the mother added sternly, directing her words at the weeping girl. She rubbed her fingers over her denim-covered thigh, drawing his gaze. He shouldnâ€™t notice her innocently sensuous gesture, but he did.
She flipped aside the cut fabric. Cool air hit his thigh and the woman sucked in a shocked breath. Drew glanced down, already knowing what he would see. The barely healed incision where the doctors had removed a shattered bullet gaped nastily, seeping blood. Her fingers trembled. He slumped back with another curse.
Multi-published author Barbara Edwards grew up in New England, giving birth to her interest in history. She has traveled extensively across the United States and uses every opportunity to explore the research resources available. A member of RWA since 1989, she is currently the Chapter President of Charter Oak Romance Writers. She teaches a class on romance writing at Manchester Community College and speaks at various local organizations on writing.
Barbara and her husband lived in Florida for ten years where they became Civil War re-enactors. She has a dog that thinks its more fun to take a walk than watch her write and enjoys raising roses.
"Quote." â€“ Pat Potter, Award winning author calls Another loveâ€¦"A real page turner with wonderful characters and a unique plot. You canâ€™t miss with this one.â€
Reviews from Romantic Times Magazine **** 1/2 (four and one-half stars)
Drew Larkin has fallen into the hands of his prey. When Meg Warren rescues him from the tumble he takes from his horse, she unwittingly provides the opportunity he needs to prove she is involved in the kidnapping of his nephew. The pretty Meg vows she knows of no plot to hold the boy ransom in exchange for a political favor, one that would force Drew's father to betray President Cleveland.
But she does have a secret. Never having the love of a family, she means to keep hers together. It is the only way to protect the brood of orphans she has adopted. She must resist the powerful feelings this stranger evokes at all costs. Drew is torn between his growing desire for Meg and loyalty to his family. How can they trust one another, despite their growing attraction?
ANOTHER LOVE is a story that is hard to put down. The characters are well-developed and the setting is vivid amidst a solid, balanced plot.
ANOTHER LOVE, Reviewed by Debbie Pollart
Meg Warren has more than her hands full with her adoptive brood of five and making a living off of her upstate New York farm. When Meg saw that some of the orphaned children she knew became little more than unpaid servants under the stern care of their adoptive families, Meg took it upon herself to remove those most affected, or least likely to be adopted, and headed back to her home after the death of her abusive father. Unfortunately, the children didn't always come to Meg by legal means. She knows that one day someone will find her out, and she fears that that day has come. Her few years living in New York City have left her alert to strangers, and when Drew Larkin shows up wounded and bleeding on her doorstep, she knows taking him in may jeopardize those closest to her.
Drew knows he is close to finding his nephew Jimmy, recently abducted from his grandparents' home. Jimmy has become a political pawn because of his grandfather's close ties to President Grover Cleveland. With talk of switching from the silver standard to the gold, huge fortunes are at stake and pressure is being put on those with presidential influence, including Drew's own father. Drew has been sent on a secret mission to find out who has been threatening his family. While Drew is convinced that Meg is somehow involved with the plot to take Jimmy, he can't seem to keep his hands or his lips from betraying his mission or his resolve. Relieved that Jimmy has been found by his relatives, Meg reluctantly agrees to help Drew ferret out the people responsible for his kidnapping.
Unfortunately, their cover story has them married and returning to the high-society and politics of Drew's world. Meg has agreed to the sham marriage because she intends to get an annulment and return home once the mystery is solved. Unfortunately for her, Drew has his own ideas about an annulment and his growing feelings for Meg override his continuing suspicions. Distrust on both sides must be overcome before true love makes the day. Throw in some political intrigue and whodunit and enjoy this afternoon read.
ANOTHER LOVE, REVIEWED BY: Leann "Buzzy" Arndt
The horse of a different color? Perhaps something of the sort. Another Love is painted with a kaleidoscope of perception. A historical that at times feels like a James Bond film. A true paint box..
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 312
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