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The Bargain
Finding Home Series Book 1

Catherine Stang
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In the midst of war, two enemies will make a bargain that will change their lives forever.

Major Joel Bradshaw is the Chief Medical Officer in charge of setting up a new front line hospital for the Union Army. Unfortunately, his first task is to evict the women who live in the big plantation house he must commandeer.

Strong-willed Cassandra Beaumont is determined not to allow the Yankees take her home. But when her sister-in-law develops complications during labor, Cassie is forced to swallow her pride and ask the Yankee doctor she just threatened for his help. All she has to barter with are her nursing skills and so she proposes a trade that will bring her loyalties into question.

Joel, however, soon finds himself wanting much more than a business arrangement. Torn between his orders as an officer and his desire to protect Cassie, Joel finds a way to ensure the safety of all the Beaumont women – if only Cassie will say yes!

Tagline for the Finding Home series: Sometimes home is where you least expect it.

Petersburg, Virginia
March, 1865

Her worst nightmare had come true. Cassandra Beaumont paced around the porch, squeezing the polished gun butt tight as she watched a group of Union soldiers ride brazenly through her yard. The roar of distant cannon fire set her already raw nerves on edge.

Please let me remember Tyler’s lessons on using the gun.

She jumped, almost shooting herself in the foot when the door creaked open behind her and her younger sister Rachel poked her head out. “Are you sure you don’t need my help?”

“Positive. Your job is to take care of the others.”

“But…” she protested.

“I’m finished arguing.” Cassandra grabbed the doorknob, pulling it shut to emphasize her point.

Unable to resist getting in the last word, Rachel cracked the door open again. “Just remember it was my idea to get Father’s revolver, and I’m a better shot than you.”

Cassie didn’t have to be reminded Rachel was a hoyden who loved to ride and shoot with their older brothers. But that was all the more reason for Rachel to stay inside, away from the temptation to do something impulsive. Besides, Cassie was the oldest of the ones left at home. It was her responsibility to protect them.

“I mean it,” she snapped, hoping this time Rachel would listen to her.

There was long, dramatic sigh. “I’m going.” She jerked the door shut, making Cassandra jump in spite of herself.

She held her breath, listening for the sounds of Rachel’s retreating footsteps. Good. Her sister was gone. Cassie exhaled slowly, steeling her rattled nerves as the soldiers brought their horses to a stop in front of the porch.

She regretted now she hadn’t practiced shooting a gun when she’d had the chance, instead of making excuses not to try. She’d always hated shooting. Just the thought of doing so made her quiver. The smell of gunpowder would burn her nose and the kickback would leave her wrist numb and shoulder aching for days. Being courageous alone in her father’s office was easy, but facing down Union soldiers was another story. Yet what else could she do? Somehow she had to protect her younger sister, her little niece and her very pregnant sister-in-law.

With her head held high, Cassandra willed herself not to let her fear show. If she got lucky, maybe they’d believe she was a crack shot. When pigs fly. She fumbled with the revolver. Was one bullet going to be enough? That was all she could find. Dear heavens, how had she ever convinced herself this was a good plan?

A tall man in an officer’s uniform started toward the porch. He had a powerful build, with a ruggedly handsome face. Thick, tawny-gold hair curled slightly around the collar of his blue coat. Sweet mercy, did he have to be so handsome? What the devil was wrong with her that she could even think about that?

Her mouth dried as he strode purposefully up the four brick steps to the top of the porch. With shaky hands, she raised the revolver, aiming it at his heart. Yet he didn’t seem worried as he slowly lifted his arms in the air, moving toward her with his unreadable amber eyes locked with hers. Their calmness terrified her. Why wasn’t he threatened by the gun in her hand? The pulse pounded in her ears as each step brought their inevitable confrontation closer.

When he stood just a few steps away, his stony expression gradually changed. His amber eyes lowered, perusing the weapon she held in her trembling hands. She had to act nonchalant. Heaven help her.

“You get back or I’ll blow you off this porch.” She waved the gun at him in a “move away” gesture.

He didn’t retreat as she’d hoped. Instead, he kept inching toward her, watching her with cool, assessing eyes. “I mean you no harm.” His voice had a deep, resonate, velvet quality that sent a shiver through her. “I just want to talk, angel. That’s all.”

That wasn’t all, and she damn well knew it. Cassandra’s hands shook more from fear than the cold. Chin up. Remember others are counting on you.

“The Bargain is book one of Catherine Strang's Finding Home series and if the others are anything like the first one, then you are in for a wonderful array of emotions, laughter and love. The first few paragraphs of this story had me giggling like a school girl with the relationship between Cassie and Rachel and Cassie's first meeting with the good doctor. Ms. Strang has taken an era that was known for its conflict and inject it into a romance story that is poignant and real. The men of this story, Joel especially leaves you wanting to smack them for being so protective but kiss them for being true men. The women of this tale makes you laugh, cry and get angry only to moan and fall in love all over again. I for one will be looking forward the the other books in Ms. Strang's Finding Home series. Rating: Eclipse Moon - This rating is rarely given. This is for a story that we think is PERFECT/have everything.” Reviewed by Blue Moon- Moon Over Water Reviews


4 ½ Books! “The Bargain shows how personal lives evolve in wartime and how political ideology has little to do with whom one falls in love with. The humor and indomitable spirits of the characters make this a wonderful story of humanity and its ability to overcome awful adversity. Ms. Stang does a remarkable job of leaving the reader with positive, upbeat hopes for the many war-scarred characters – characters who, I’m sure, will appear again as the series continues. I’ll be looking for the next book in this series.” Camellia, The Long And Short Of It Reviews


4 Stars! “War is never easy. Major Joel Bradshaw’s mission was to procure a large plantation to use as a hospital. Cassandra Beaumont was determined to protect her home until her sister in law has trouble giving birth. Cassie will do anything to save her, even ask a Yankee enemy for help.
The Bargain is an entertaining historical romance. The Bargain is romance set on the backdrop of a southern plantation in midst of war. The characters are flawless. The plot is interesting. Fans of romance will enjoy The Bargain.” Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for ReviewYourBook.com


“THE BARGAIN is a fairy tale with compelling characters that find they must thwart mischief at every turn. Catherine Stang pens a tale that warms the heart with laughter and love. The vivid imagery is weaved into an intriguing plot. I laughed out loud at the antics and cried in all the right places. I adored all the characters.

Cassandra is a strong-willed woman who always puts her family ahead of herself. She is determined to keep her family together and in the only home they have ever known. She is smart, sassy and loves with all of her heart. She is determined not to fall in love with Joel, but her heart will not be denied.

Joel Bradshaw is a sexy doctor that captured my heart. I love his sense of honor and duty. Although he is quite stubborn, he is a gentleman at the very core of his heart. Joel does not want to walk away from Cassandra, but he is determined to live up to his end of the bargain. THE BARGAIN by Catherine Stang is another award-winning tale that will capture the hearts of many readers.” By Romance Junkies Reviewer Billie Jo


Fiction Books :: Romance Books :: General Books

ISBN: 1603135252
ISBN(13-digit): 9781603135252
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 314
Paper Weight (lb): 13.0

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