A BEAUTY IN BUCKSKINS.
When her father decide to send her to a finishing school back East, Angela Chamberlain refused to be confined to stuffy drawing rooms. Instead, the daring spitfire who could shoot like a man and ride like the wind longed for a life of adventure and romance--and she knew exactly who could give it to her. Devil Blackmoor was a hired gun with a dangerous reputation. But angela was willing to go to the ends of the earth to capture the handsome devil's heart.
A DEVIL IN DISGUISE.
He'd come to America looking for excitement, but Devil Blackmoor got more than he bargained for when he encountered a beautiful rebel who answered his kisses with a wild innocence that touched his very soul. Yet standing between them were more obstacles than either ever dreamed. For Devil had strapped on a gun for the wrong man, and that made Angela his enemy. Now, he'll have to choose between his duty and the woman he loves more than life.
Devil Blackmoor was his name in America, but in his country in the Crimea, he was royalty and he was known as Alexander Popov.
Alexi welcomed the tempest that sent salt spray licking the deck and wind pummeling the sails. Gale-force winds challenged his ship and the captain. The Mystic slumped into a deep trough and then rode the next swell. Waves rushed across the deck, sweeping everything that wasn't tied down into the ocean's murky depths.
Two long weeks had passed since the ship had sailed out of New York harbor, and he'd gained no ground with the recalcitrant lady below in his cabin. Angela refused to understand or even listen to his vows of good faith and the privileges of becoming his beloved and protected paramour. She refused to listen to the reasons he gave her as to why she could never become his wife.
He meant to protect and cherish her. He meant to lavish her with gifts.
Wasn't that enough?
She turned a cold shoulder to him each time he walked into his chambers. Lately he'd taken to sleeping on deck, just to ease the ache inside that looking at her caused him. He knew she hurt, too.
Allah, but a hard, furious fight would do him a world of good. He wondered if Misha would oblige him.
"Hit the deck." Misha's loud call jolted him out of his brooding.
The crack of a mast far overhead, which meant rigging hurtling downward, filled him with fear for his men and, strangely enough, renewed energy. Even with the sails trimmed to fight the furious winds, the masts had taken a beating. Another crack echoed loudly, and one mast toppled forward. The men looked for shelter from the bombardment.
Waves washed over the deck, and the ship tilted precariously. The captain eased back on the rudder, barking orders, and the ship righted. By all that was holy, he should go downstairs and see how Angela fared. He dared not. He could withstand the icy tempest more easily than he could fight the frigid glares she cursed him with. She was the most stubborn woman he'd ever run across.
Suddenly he caught a brief glance of billowing skirts, a familiar and well-turned ankle; then recognition slaughtered his self-control. Without thought he started forward, unable, for a few lengthy minutes, to utter a sound or a warning. She had no idea what she was up against.
"Angela, no ..."
Her face shadowed and pale, she appeared on deck, clinging to the railing. What did she think she was about? Surely she would be washed overboard if she didn't go below, and soon. A huge wave washed across the deck. He watched, his heart lodging in his throat as the water swept her feet out from under her.
He'd never known such fear. "Angela," he cried out.
Racing toward her, hanging on to whatever was secured, he felt as though his feet had lead weights tied to them. The rope knotted around his waist to keep him tied to the ship caught on debris. He yanked it loose. Little fool. He would not lose her now.
"Angela, hang on!"
He watched her grope for a handhold, her fingers closing around anything that swept by. She fought valiantly, yet each surge of water pushed her closer to the side of the ship and an icy grave.
"Damn you. You little fool!"
He gave voice to his thoughts; then he swept her from the deck and in one swift movement hauled her against his chest, his hands roaming everywhere, making sure she was all right. He set her aside, studying her beautiful, pale face. Her hair streamed in dripping silken threads down her back and along her cheeks. He brushed them back.
"Why?" He wanted to shake sense into her, and perhaps a little respect for Mother Nature. He meant to hold on to her forever and keep her from harm. If she would only allow him to protect her. "Why did you leave the safety of the cabin?"
Another wave swept by, but he pulled her below deck, closing the door behind them. He felt the shuddering of her body and heard her teeth chattering. Against him her body felt like ice.
"Answer me.'' His fear knew no bounds and rapidly changed to fury. Allah, but he would never forget the sight of her lying on the deck, ocean water swirling around her. He would never forget his fear.
She tried to answer. Her lips moved.
He could not live without her. He swept her into his arms and carried her to his cabin.