CELINE – On sale October 7, 2014
About the book –
He stepped off a jewel of a sternwheeler onto one of the most beautiful plantations in all of Louisiana. And into her life.
Celine’s breath caught in her throat. Heat smoldered in her belly. What a sensual man. The scion of the Andrews family carried an aura of personal magnetism so powerful, a sensation close to fright swept through her. She stood still and aloof, masking her emotions. His intense gaze seemed almost a physical touch. She held her head at a proud, haughty angle, not flinching from his bold scrutiny.
In seconds, Trevor regained his cool, casual air. A lusty grin caught at the corners of his mouth, and fire danced in his eyes as he bent ever so slightly at the waist, tipped an imaginary hat, and strode casually into the house.
She would never be the same…
From Plantation era New Orleans to the untamed American West, here is the sweeping, unforgettable tale of a headstrong young beauty and the man she is destined to love.
The sight of the regal two-deck paddleboat gliding past Carlton Oaks during its regular runs between New Orleans and Baton Rouge never failed to stir Celine. What wasn’t decorated with ornate iron scrollwork gleamed with fresh white paint. Her elegant twin stacks rose high in the air, billowing thick, white steam into the afternoon sky, her paddles at the stern churning the dark waters around her into white froth. Fashionably turned-out passengers lined the upper deck, hoping to catch sight of the parade of ostentatious plantations up and down the river.
A man Celine assumed to be Trevor strolled down the gangplank and climbed into the carriage. She couldn’t quite tell from this distance, but he appeared tall, like his father and brothers, but with dark hair like his sister, whose excited chatter from below gained cadence.
The gangplank behind him disappeared into the boat. A tender closed the gate and with three clangs of the bell, the paddles reversed, waters churned, and the sternwheeler floated gracefully upriver.
The carriage slowly approached, looming larger as the driver made his way along the shaded drive. Majestic oaks lined both sides of the narrow road, their boughs forming a vaulted corridor leading to the mansion. Celine backed away from the rail, hoping the colorful Brasilia vines clinging to the railing and column she stood behind hid the lavender of her wide skirt. Blasted hoops.
Lindsey scrambled down a tree, and ran and skipped behind the carriage, calling excited greetings. Trevor turned situating himself with his back to the house and toward his brother. Lindsey picked up the pace.
The carriage drew closer, and Trevor turned back to the small crowd of family and servants gathered in front of the grand plantation house. Celine caught a faltering breath. Good Lord! If that wasn’t the most attractive man she had ever seen.
The driver pulled to a stop in front of the gathering. Trevor swung one long, muscular leg down from the carriage and twisted to reach for his valise. The muscles in his wide shoulder rippled beneath his dark blue broadcloth jacket. In one swift motion, he lifted the bag, sprang from this carriage, and set the baggage down to the ground. He ran his hand down one thigh, smoothing his tight fawn-colored breeches tucked into shiny black boots that rose to his knees.
Celine’s gaze roved the length of his body in a hypnotized fascination. She stepped closer to the edge of the balcony for a better view of this enigma, who now leaned casually against the carriage as if he’d leisurely strolled in. His eyes crinkles at the corners when he smiled, and his full mouth displayed a set of even white teeth against golden skin. Dark eyes flashed in merriment.
Lindsey reached his brother first. Trevor swung him easily in the air. He set the boy down and tousled his hair. Michel, the second oldest son, and Justin gathered around Trevor. Finally Felicte, his sister, waiting on the sidelines, could stand still no longer. She pushed through the men and threw her arms around her brother.
“Je t’aime, je t’aime,” she cried, smothering her brother with affectionate kisses. Her dark curls bounced gaily about a petite and lovely face. “I missed you so much, mon frere.”
An easy grin settled about Trevor’s startlingly handsome face as he held court with the family. He and Felicite shared similar features, both of them bearing a striking resemblance to the painting of their beautiful French mother hanging in the parlor.
Suddenly confused, Celine leaned into the pillar and pressed her hot cheek against the cool column. He wasn’t anything like she had imagined. He was tall and wide in the shoulders like Justin, but any resemblance ended there. He had neither the Andrews hawk nose of his father and brothers, nor the hard edge about him she had anticipated. Oh, she’d expected him to be handsome enough – the men in the family were – but she’d thought he would mirror those wealthy dandies she used to sidestep at the parties she’d attended before her marriage. No matter how suave they appeared, something usually lurked beneath their facades that repelled her. She’d been curious as to why the other young ladies failed to notice, until she figured out why – they didn’t want to, not where wealth was concerned. Trevor’s demeanor held not a speck of the deceitful dandy.
About the author –
Born in Minnesota, Kathleen Bittner Roth has lived all over the U.S.: Idaho, Washington, California, Texas and New York. Currently, she resides in Budapest, Hungary, often called the Paris of the East. Kathleen has won countless awards for her writing, including finaling in RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart contest. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America, including the Hearts Through History chapter and has been a contributing editor for an online romance magazine as well as writing and producing successful seminars and meditation CDs.
There are three print copies of CELINE up for grabs – go and check it out right over here: a Rafflecopter giveaway