Set in the early days of the Naval Academy in Annapolis,
Sandra Madden's Zebra historical series, Men of
Annapolis, continues with THE LIEUTENANT'S
WOMAN. The second book arrives in bookstores just in
time for the holidays. In this brief excerpt from chapter
one, the heroine, Susannah Partridge pauses at the door of
Lt. Trace Reardon's home. She is debating whether to begin
an adventure that will surely change her life.
Susannah's father used to say that the Lord worked in
mysterious ways. Perhaps it was true, but Lieutenant
Reardon did not appear to be connected with a Higher Power
in any way. He looked more like the devil. An enticing
devil with a charming southern drawl. But southern wasn't
good. If Susannah hadn't found herself in dire straits,
she might have turned Reardon down on the basis of his
obvious Confederate roots. She'd been raised a New England
Tall, dark and formidable, the man soon to be her employer
towered over Susannah. She guessed the lieutenant to be at
least six feet four inches. His rigid, military bearing
hinted at formidable strength, a power both exciting and
dangerous. His dark blue uniform strikingly displayed
shoulders as broad as the city of Boston. A man in uniform
could always make a woman's heart beat faster.
In one hand Susannah carried a worn carpet bag containing
her sole possessions. In the other she carried her
irascible cockatiel who, although covered, squawked loudly
each time she inadvertently swung his cage.
She was about to enter the unknown. Beyond his appearance,
Susannah knew nothing about Lieutenant Reardon. She might
have been hired to care for children spawned by the devil.
If only she knew what waited for her beyond the walls of
the big old house. But she had little choice. Summoning
the last threads of her courage, she mounted the steps and
pounded the brass door knocker.
No victory was ever sweeter than her love....