When Matthew McAlister pulls a nearly-drowned woman from the mucky waters of the Mississippi, he has no idea what’s in store for him. Or, how easily he’ll willingly give up his carefree, love-em-and-leave-em lifestyle for a chance at real happiness.
Kathryn (Kate) Lowell can’t believe her bad luck. Or the fact she’s somehow been transported from the twenty-first century back to the post Civil War south. Worse yet, into the arms of the one man she grew up hating. The man she blames for her father’s recent demise.
Can these two off-kilter and infinitely stubborn individuals fight their mutual attraction? Or, will they give in to the inevitable? And, when the time comes, will Kate choose to stay with Matt in the past, or return to her former life?
Kate shifted the neon green tote bag higher on her shoulder. The added weight of the strongbox containing her father’s few possessions made the short walk to the end of the pier more difficult than it should have been. Behind her, the sun beat down mercilessly, its searing rays reflecting off the water and heating the dock’s wooden planks, until Kate could feel their warmth through the soles of her canvas shoes.
Less than a dozen feet separated her from the ghostly remains of the devil her father had chased for the majority of his life. The only visible signs of the Lucky Lady’s existence were the tarnished hull and splintered railings that shone as she listed on her side in an unforgiving river.
She stopped at the end of the dock and surveyed her surroundings. The waters of the Mississippi River were a sickening muddy brown, their banks strewn with broken bottles and empty fast-food containers. Graffiti covered the retaining walls, scribbled in vibrant shades of red, black and orange, a painter’s palate of obscenities intensified by the bright sunlight.
Kate lowered her head, intent on one last moment of reflection, one last farewell. She rummaged inside her pocket for the envelope of flower petals she planned to scatter across her father’s watery grave, encountering instead the cool surface of her father’s silver dollar. A treasure from the early 1860s and Joseph Lowell’s second most prized possession, the coin had been found at the water’s edge by the coast guard recovery team and given to Kate when she arrived to settle her father’s affairs.
Clutching the large coin tightly in her hand, she whispered, “Why daddy? Why didn’t you get off the boat while you still could? I wish I knew where you were.” Kate tucked the coin in her pocket, and drew a deep breath for strength. “I wish I had one more chance to tell you how much I love you.”
“Come back, my love.”
The voice…the one from her dreams…echoed around her, through her. Kate spun quickly, bracing herself for a face-to-face encounter. The weight of the tote bag threw her off balance. She did her best to compensate, stretching her arms out at her sides for balance and dropping her purse in the process.
Too late she realized how close she’d wandered to the edge of the dock. With barely enough time to draw a breath, Kate fell backward into the water, the rock-like weight of the strongbox dragging her deeper, the murky water of the Mississippi River swallowing her whole.
NANCY FRASER—Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.
Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.
Nancy has published over thirty-five books in full-length, novella, and short format.
When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
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