From USA Today bestselling author, Gina Danna, comes a historical romance full of deceit, betrayal and passion that ignite the flames of love between two lovers on opposite sides of a war.
About The Wicked NorthThe Wicked North by Gina Danna
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Bound by duty and honor to wear the Union blue, a Southern-born West Point officer fights his own desires and the need to protect the woman he abandoned, he disobeys his orders to find her, as the Army of the Potomac marches toward her family’s home near Richmond.
She has the guts and willpower to protect her home from the hated Yankee aggressors, but when that traitor to the South appears at her door, she’s torn between wanting to shoot him and to be held in his arms again. Can she forgive him for their past indiscretion or does she turn him in to be executed, a traitor to both sides?
In the summer of 1862, her family’s plantation becomes the personal battle ground between them as deceit, betrayal and passion ignite the flames of love and hate that burn brighter than the roar of the guns and rivers of blood surrounding them.
Rose Hill Plantation, Silvers’ residence. Parlor game of the 19th century called “Kissing the Corners” – a kissing game where a gentleman was stationed in each corner of the room and the ladies went to get a kiss. It was a ‘forfeit’ to redeem for losing in an earlier game. Emma, our heroine, finds herself faced with kissing Jack, the man she so wanted to kiss but this was her first time kissing. Would he kiss her or not?
Next was Jack. She walked to his corner, gazing into his glowing emerald eyes.
“Emma,” he whispered.
She heard voices behind her. The others had already finished. She was the last. Turning her head slightly, she looked for Caroline. She caught a glimpse of her sister in her buttercup yellow dress, talking to Abigail, Charles and the twins.
“I’m right here, Emma,” Jack said, drawing her attention back to him.
He was too handsome. She wanted to both kiss him and avoid him. A tingle in her belly spread up to her nipples.
When Jack smiled his devilish smile, Emma felt as though she would turn into a puddle at his feet. Her mouth went dry as she stood there, frozen.
“Why didn’t you ever write to me?”
The question rattled her, bringing her back to her senses. “I sent you a letter, but I never received one from you.”
He quietly chuckled. “I sent you a letter, hoping you’d respond.”
“I never received any correspondence from you,” she said.
“Hmm, I never got yours either.” His low drawl reached inside, soothing her. “But,” he continued, “I believe you owe me a kiss.”
She opened her mouth, but not a sound came out.
Jack stood still. She fidgeted. The silk dress clung to her breasts and her narrow waist. Her cage crinoline maintained a respectable space between them, regardless of how much he wanted her closer. He put his hands at the waist of her skirt and felt her tremble. She bit her lower lip. Oh, how he wanted to soothe that lip.
With a gentle tug, he pulled her closer. The motion unbalanced her, and her hands sought his arms. When she still didn’t lean up to kiss him, he brought her even closer, his eyes fixed on her lower lip as her teeth released it.
He wouldn’t meet her halfway. This could be the only time he’d have the advantage, and he didn’t want to waste it. Because Emma’s feet were slightly lifted from the floor, she gripped his arms tightly.
He brought her to him. As he kissed Emma, his tongue traced her lower lip before his mouth enveloped hers. He wanted her to open her mouth, and he prodded the crease between her lips, coaxing her with his tongue. She parted her lips but pulled her head back as his tongue invaded her mouth.
She tasted like strawberries and wine. It was an intriguing taste and he wanted more. She felt soft and warm against him. He knew he was pushing the limits of the game and propriety, but when he glimpsed her eyelashes feathered on her cheek, he almost growled. Abruptly, Jack released Emma and set her on the floor, his hands remaining at her waist. He could feel her shiver as she looked into his face, her eyes wide open. He smiled.
Within a second, she raced away from him as fast as she could in a ladylike manner. Jack smirked. She had enjoyed his kiss. With his head cocked to the side, he walked to the sideboard and poured himself a brandy.
When Emma had stepped away from Jack, she did everything within her power to control her nerves. Her lips felt swollen. His hands had left an impression on her waist—an impression that wasn’t his to make. Her next and last corner was Billy’s. He grinned at her as she tried to maintain a steady gait, but the memory of Jack’s kiss tingled down her spine, making her feel hot and cold simultaneously. Stop it! She gave her head a small shake and stopped, inhaling a large breath before returning Billy’s smile.
But she wanted to kiss Jack.
No, what he did was take advantage of the situation. How vulgar of him! Why did she crave more?
“Is something wrong, Emma?”
Conflicting thoughts clouded her mind, and she didn’t realize she was already in front of Billy. Politely dismissing his concern, she said, “No, no, nothing is wrong.”
Billy’s head lowered slightly for her. “Kiss me, or pay a higher price forfeit.”
Emma was curious about what the higher price might be, but, after Jack’s advances, she ignored it. Composing herself, she met Billy’s lips part way.
He didn’t play with her lips nor press to enter her mouth. In a very gentlemanly manner, he gave her a quick kiss and bowed away. No fire came from his lips as it had from Jack’s. If anything, she was gravely disappointed that Billy hadn’t tried to kiss her like Jack had. She should have been glad, but she wasn’t.
Like a good girl, she placed her hand on his sleeve and let him escort her back to the others. Caroline enticed them all to start charades. Jack was with them, a devilish grin on his face that Emma had the sudden urge to slap. When his glance fell her way, excitement raced through her veins, and she had the strangest sensation her nipples were tightening. Tamping down the fury of emotions Jack caused, she spent the rest of the evening at Billy’s and Caroline’s side and away from Jack.