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Spain is in turmoil. In the 17th century, Inquisitor Sarmiento is zealously continuing the Inquisition, ridding Spain of those he considers infidels and also increasing his own land holdings at othersâ€™ expense. A victim of the Inquisition Isabela and her mother are incarcerated in one of Sarmientoâ€™s dungeons. Her father has been killed. She is rescued when Don Carlos, Duque de MalagÃ³n, breaks into the castle to rescue his brother. He is too late to help his brother but Don Carlos takes Isabela and her mother to safety. Since he, too, must now flee the Inquisitorâ€™s long arm, he and his retinue leave Spain and sail for the New World to face a stark yet lovely land that brings the promise of new beginnings if they can survive the many challenges ahead.
Isabela returned to her room. Feeling at loose ends she picked up one item, then discarded it for another. If they were leaving at dawn, she should pack, but she had no experience with such things. Was she to take everything? There were but few things in the room that were truly hers. The frock she had worn in the dungeon was ruined and burned, leaving only her undergarments. With a great sigh, she sat down and looked about her. Gravely she considered her future. She had no money, no father, her mother walked around in a daze praying, and her own life was not one of her choice. She must marry a man she barely knew, a man who married her only out of some misguided sense of duty, but who would never love her. She always knew she would have nothing to say about whom she would spend the rest of her life, but she had hoped she might wed someone who would cherish her. Don Carlos Rodrigo Fresquez, Duque de MalagÃ³n, was all that most young women could desire, handsome, debonair, and rich with many land holdings. Alas no, his lands now confiscated, his title stripped from him. Somehow, he had arranged passage to Mexico for his household, and now that household included her and her mother as well as for Pablo and Luisa who must be persuaded to leave Spain to attend her.
Isabela sank down onto a chair near her bed. Try as she may, she could not get the memory of Carlosâ€™ lips on hers out of her mind, and for some reason, her heart flipped whenever she thought of him. She spoke his name aloud, softly. "Carlos. Carlos, my husband.â€ Yes, the strange sensation swept through her. The tingling sensation receded lower in her body, making her giddy. What would Mama say of such feelings? Or Luisa? Dare she ask them? Was it fitting for a girl to yearn for the touch of a manâ€™s lips against hers?
FAR-Award-winning author, Jeannine Van Eperen, currently lives in Wisconsin, the state of her birth, but she lived for many years in New Mexico and sets many of her novels in New Mexico and Albuquerque, the place she calls home. You Can Bank on It is a fictionalized version of her early years working in the Albuquerque National Bank and also the Bank of New Mexico. She is a people-watcher and "what-ifsâ€ often become the basis for stories. Some incidents happened but most are made up, just as the characters are.
Jeannine attended schools in Chicago and Albuquerque, attended the University of New Mexico, College of St. Joseph on the Rio Grande and Western States University College of Law in Anaheim, California.
Besides the banking industry, Jeannine worked in the insurance industry as an office manager, in the travel industry as a motel manager, and was the director of publicity at the University of Albuquerque. She and husband Lou love travel and have been to all fifty of the United States and Puerto Rico, most Canadian Provinces and thirty countries. She is particularly fond of New Zealand and England. She is a private pilot, enjoys reading, euchre, downhill skiing and needlework.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 328
Paper Weight (lb): 13.8
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