The Pretender (The Men of Pride County, #4)
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In the heat of the Civil War, blue-uniformed Deacon Sinclair was nursed to health by beautiful Garnet Davis. First he captured her heart and then he stole her innocence. But he was a spy, and though he took away valuable information to his graycoat comrades, he left something behind: a baby he never knew was his. Years later, Deacon has returned to Pride County, but can Garnet trust the man who once shattered her world?
smile? He was tired. That was all. After he turned in his report, he would go home for a while to refresh his spirit and renew his dedication. Viewing the vast fields at Sinclair Manor never failed to instill him with pride and purpose. Then he would forget this one brave girl whose life he would inexorably change under the guise of duty. But not today. Today he wallowed in the murky swamp of ethics that made him question the right and wrongs of what should not be questioned. And the sooner
easing it from the back of the wagon, then pushing it up the planks laid down to make a ramp up the front stairs. And as she dealt with the laborers, her fancy husband lingered in the dormant flower garden, studying the bare branches of Hannah’s ornamental bushes with more interest than he showed his property. Such an attitude provoked contempt from a man who’d spent his entire life devoted to an estate rather than its frivolous decorations. Garnet, however, quickened in him nothing as safe as
no trouble,” she answered automatically, her voice strained because she was absorbing the warmth and strength of his grip, wondering what had happened in the last five years to build such callused roughness on his palms. And she was wondering how that burred friction would feel against her skin. Deacon jerked back abruptly, denying the contact, denying the hurrying of his heartbeats even as he wished for the freedom to indulge them both. He lifted the lid of one of the nearby barrels and stuck
living? And then there was that face. That heavenly beauty with the tempting mouth and dark, soulful eyes. How could he let her go without exploring the sweet mystery of those lips? As if in answer, he felt the moist touch of that kiss upon his cheek, cool against his fevered skin, an irresistible invitation. Opening his eyes to catch a glimpse of his angel, he turned toward the kiss and was met by a wet black nose and flaring nostrils. “What the—?” The music stopped. “Boone, get away from
yesterday.” She gasped as the floor about her feet grew wet with birthing water … and blood. Staring at it, her features tightened with a new source of dismay. “The baby …” Alarmed, Garnet fought for calm as she called for one of the house servants, then spoke reassuringly to the pregnant woman. “Don’t worry. I’m sure everything’s fine.” But abrupt wrenching pangs added to Patrice’s anxiety. She gripped Garnet’s hands frantically to plead, “Where’s my mama?” One of the maids peeked in at