The Raging Hearts: The Coltrane Saga, Book 2 (57 page)

BOOK: The Raging Hearts: The Coltrane Saga, Book 2
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Her eyes squeezed shut. If he slipped, she did not want to see it. She could not bear to see the slime close over those smoky eyes that had haunted her day and night for so long. Could it end like this? It would have been better had she died on the battlefield. This hour would haunt her forever.

Suddenly there was a tug so strong that Kitty felt her bloodied hand slipping from its grip on the shirt. “I can’t hold on!” she cried, feeling herself tumbling forward.

Her eyes flashed open. She was falling straight into Travis’s outstretched arms. Folding her against his chest, he gasped, “It’s all right, Kitty. It’s over. You got me out.”

They clung together in silence for long moments, hearts pounding, and then he was tilting her face upward to meet his probing gaze. “Why did you do it? You could have let me die. You would never have had me to worry about ever again.”

“I couldn’t leave you,” she said quietly, clinging to him. “Not again. Travis, you won’t believe me when I tell you I never stopped loving you. Everything I did was for John, so he wouldn’t suffer. But you won’t believe that. And I can’t make you.

“But that doesn’t mean I want you dead. I’ll fight you till I die for my baby, but I don’t want you dead.” Her voice broke, and she tried to pull back, but he held her tightly.

With her golden-red hair nestled beneath his chin, Travis moved his hands up and down her back. Her closeness was all he had wanted. It was time he understood that. “We’ve been through hell, girl. You know that? And it’s over, all of it. We’ve got a lifetime before us, and by God, we’re going to make up for all the hell.”

She pulled back to look at him cautiously.

“Yes.” He smiled his crooked smile. “I love you, Kitty, and I’m not going to let you go again. Now let’s take our boy and get to New Orleans. We’ve got a long ride ahead of us to North Carolina, and I imagine I’ve got a lot of work waiting for me when I get there.”

“Travis, you mean it?” she whispered, swaying against him.

He held her tightly. “Hell, yes, I mean it. Any woman who did what you just did has to be in love. And that’s all I ever wanted, Kitty, was to know you really love me.”

“Travis, I do. And I always have.”

Their lips met. It was a strangely gentle kiss, a kiss of promise.

John cried out indignantly, and they drew apart. “We’ve got a hungry boy on our hands,” Travis laughed, scooping him up tenderly. “Let’s go.”

Holding his son in one arm, Travis put his other around his beloved. He led them out of the swamp. Their hearts, at long last, were at peace. Kitty and Travis were nearly home.

About the Author

Patricia Hagan might be the New York Times bestselling author of 38 novels and 2500 short stories, but she can also lay claim to being among the vanguard of women writers covering NASCAR stock-car racing. The first woman granted garage passes to major speedways, she has awards in TV commentary, newspaper and magazine articles, and for several years wrote and produced a twice-weekly racing program heard on 42 radio stations in the south.

Patricia’s books have been translated into many languages, and she has made promotional trips to Europe, including England, France, Italy, Norway, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Spain and Ireland.

Hagan’s exciting eight-book Coltrane saga, which spans from the Civil War to the Russian Revolution, has appeared on every major bestseller list and is one of the most popular series published in France, never having been out-of-print in that country in nearly 30 years.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Patricia grew up all across the United States due to her father’s position as a federal attorney, finally settling in Alabama where she graduated from the University of Alabama with a major in English. She now resides with her husband in south Florida where she volunteers as a Court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem for abused children.

But of all her accolades and accomplishments, Patricia most of all loves to boast of being the proud mom of a Navy SEAL.

Look for these titles by Patricia Hagan

Now Available:

 

The Coltrane Saga

Love and War

The Raging Hearts

 

Coming Soon:

 

Love and Glory

Love and Fury

Love and Splendor

Love and Dreams

Love and Honor

Love and Triumph

A tale of sizzling passion in a world consumed by the Civil War.

 

Love and War

© 2011 Patricia Hagan

 

Beautiful and spirited Southerner Kitty Wright is torn between Rebel Nathan Collins and Yankee Travis Coltrane, the dashing Cavalry officer who can melt her heart with desire while sending fury coursing through her veins.

As war erupts, Kitty is abducted and ravished by a war-crazed Rebel. Rescued by Yankees, she is held captive and thrust into the battlefields to help tend the wounded. But from the first moment Travis Coltrane ignites—and satiates—the wild, raw desire in her that she never knew existed, she realizes her heart is imprisoned as well as her body.

Hating Travis for his Yankee loyalty, while loving him despite their different worlds, Kitty struggles with her guilt over Nathan, the Rebel to whom she is promised…all while struggling to survive as the world explodes around them all.

 

Enjoy the following excerpt for
Love and War:

 

The sky was gray and overcast. Kitty Wright sat in the rocking chair in the main room of the old wooden farmhouse, staring through the window at the stark, brown field beyond. The tatting her mother insisted she labor over lay neglected in her lap. She longed to be outside, anywhere but there in that cold, dreary room, alone with her thoughts.

A sudden, sharp rapping on the door intruded upon her dreamy state. Laying aside the lace-weaving, she moved swiftly across the thin plank floor to yank the door open eagerly.

The crisp, early November air swirled her muslin skirt about her legs as she stared into the anxious face of the old black man, Jacob. Twisting a ragged straw hat in trembling hands, he bowed his graying head slightly and said, “Miss Kitty, you better find your pappy. I heard ol’ Betsy wailin’, and I peeked in the barn, and she looks ‘bout ready to drop that calf. I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout birthin’ no calf, and Fanny, she out helpin’ with Nora Brown’s sick young’uns…”

Kitty nodded, frowning. That calf was important, because it meant meat on the table one day, something they seldom had, In fact, her father was out hunting right then, because a neighbor had stopped by to report wild turkeys feeding near the river. She had even begged to go along, but her mother had reacted angrily, saying it wasn’t fitting for a young lady to take up arms and hunt like a man.

Lena Wright had ranted and raged until John Wright told Kitty they would go together another time. Since she was old enough to tag along behind him, Kitty had loved to go into the woods with her father, but she didn’t pursue the argument any further that day. She and her father both knew only too well that Lena would make their lives miserable for days on end if she were opposed. It was easier to give in.

Kitty motioned to Jacob. “You go to the barn and stay with Betsy. Let me get my shawl, and I’ll be right there.”

“Oh, no, you won’t,” the sharp voice made Kitty snap her head around to find her mother standing just behind her, face pinched with anger. “I’m not going to have you out there groveling in blood and straw like a common farmhand…”

This time, Kitty was determined not to give in to her. She brushed past, moving toward the little lean-to kitchen her father had built onto the house. Lena insisted on attempting to pattern her lifestyle after the rich plantation owners as nearly as possible, refusing to accept the fact that they were but poor dirt farmers. A separate room for cooking had been something she had nagged about until she got it.

“Katherine.” Her mother was right behind her. “Do you hear me, girl? Let Jacob see to that old cow. How do you think it would look to our neighbors? You groveling like a slave…”

Kitty pulled a worn woolen shawl around her shoulders, then turned to give her mother a defiant look. “I can deliver that calf as well, or better, than any farmhand or slave, Mother, and we can’t afford to lose that calf. Betsy is old and might not make it through the birth. Then what would we do for milk and butter this winter? Poppa will be home soon, but I’ve got to do whatever I can till he gets here.”

“Jacob can do what has to be done.” She followed her to the door, stepping back as the sudden blast of cold wind engulfed her. Kitty ran on down the rickety steps into the dirt yard.

“You let Jacob do it, I say!” Lena screamed.

Kitty turned long enough to shout back, “Jacob doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to do, Mother. He isn’t a slave, anymore. He stays because he’s our friend!”

The Raging Hearts

 

 

 

Patricia Hagan

 

 

 

 

As the Civil War rages on, Kitty Wright must fight to keep her child—and her love—alive.

 

The Coltrane Saga, Book 2

Kitty Wright finds herself alone in the smoldering ashes of the Civil War. Her beloved father has been killed, along with the man she was once engaged to, and fate has sent Travis Coltrane, the Yankee cavalry officer whom she truly loves, marching on with General Sherman's troops.
 

Unbeknownst to Travis, Kitty gives birth to his son. Struggling to survive, she marries carpetbagger Corey McRae, grateful when he saves her from a mob of angry neighbors. But her life soon becomes a a living hell as he forces her to endure his depraved lust.

Kitty's indomitable spirit and love for her child keep her fighting for the day when Travis will return to her. But when he does, he is angry she has married and thinks her child is McRae's. And once again, Kitty must fight for the two greatest loves in her life.

 

This is a Retro Romance reprint and was originally published by Avon Books in April 1982.

 

Warning: This book accurately depicts the horrors of the Civil War, including graphic battlefield scenes, wounds, and trauma.
 

eBooks are
not
transferable.

They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement on the copyright of this work.

 

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is entirely coincidental.

 

Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

11821 Mason Montgomery Road Suite 4B

Cincinnati OH 45249

 

The Raging Hearts

Copyright © 2012 by Patricia Hagan

ISBN: 978-1-60928-991-1

Edited by Heather Osborn

Cover by Valerie Tibbs

 

All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

 

First
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
electronic publication: January 2012

www.samhainpublishing.com

BOOK: The Raging Hearts: The Coltrane Saga, Book 2
12.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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