Title Spirit of the Winds
Author Judy Kentrus
Genre Historical Romantic Suspense
Publisher Lady Kay Publishing
Cadell Leighton’s dream is about to come true. He’s worked hard to gain the knowledge to captain a new design in sailing ships. Spirit of the Winds, the latest addition to Leighton Shipping, will prove his claim to deliver cargo in record time. Wagers are heavy against him that he won’t make it back to Boston harbor alive.
His only regret is that his father, a ship’s captain, couldn’t share in the Wind’s maiden voyage. He was forced to leave his homeland under mysterious circumstances. Cade is determined to get answers to his many questions.
His command of the ship is contested by a Boston society chit who causes unforeseen calamity in his life. Backed into a corner, he’s forced to sacrifice his cherished freedom. The different moods of the sea won't be the only thing that will challenge his command and his heart.
Katherine Jameson hates the prim and proper life of a society deb. She’s being pressured into honoring a marriage contract that her mother has arranged to an undesirable clod old enough to be her father.
Her dream has always been to go to sea, following in the footsteps of her father, captain of a sailing ship. When she discovers her late father, who died under mysterious circumstances, made her part owner of a magnificent clipper, she sees it as a chance to fulfill her dream.
When these strong-willed characters are forced into a marriage neither of them wants, the storms won't only be confined to the seas. They’ll also have to work together to get answers to the questions behind their father’s past lives before they can get their much deserved, happily-ever-after.
Cade’s eyes widened in shock. “Are you mad? Me? Marry…her?”
“I see nothing wrong with my suggestion. It’s about time you take a wife!”
Cade threw his arms wide and walked closer to his uncle. “What would I do with a wife? I’m away all the time.”
“That’s just it. You won’t be burdened in any way.”
Katherine stood up and jammed her hands on her hips. “Excuse, me, gentlemen, but it happens to be my life you’re arguing over!” She tossed her high-society nose up at Cade. “And who says I want to marry him?”
The shrillness of her voice captured their attention, and Uncle Ian tried to calm the out-of-control situation. “Let’s discuss this calmly,” he suggested before sitting in the wing chair across from Katherine.
Cade wanted to get his wishes known right from the start. “Your idea has merit, but marriage is the furthest thing from my mind. I’ve a ship to run and must concentrate on it and the lives of my crew and not some irresponsible, lying society maid who acts without thinking. I’m not home for months at a time. How do I know she won’t do something to blacken the Leighton name?”
“I’d never do anything to blacken your name, because I won’t be marrying you!”
“Katherine, you’ll get your turn, but first I have to say something to Cadell,” Ian interjected. “If you’ll stop and think about it, the idea is sound. There are a number of women who would marry you just for your personal wealth, but Katherine has her own money. Your union will keep the ownership of the Winds in the family, and it’s the best way to keep her safe from Chandler.”
The fury in his body went beyond the rage of a storm that could pull his ship down into the depths of the ocean. He went over to the sideboard and poured himself a generous helping of Azorean brandy. It burned all the way down, but had no effect on calming his inner storm. Marry Katherine Jameson? Never!
Ian stood up, limped over to his nephew and took a stance before him, his voice challengingly stern. “I want you to listen to what I’ve got to say and understand that I mean every word. No one has to tell me how much that ship means to you. She’s everything you’ve ever wanted and worked for. She’s your dream come true. Because you’re so strong-willed, you’ll fight me on this all the way. For that reason, I’ve no other choice. I’m issuing you an ultimatum. Either you marry Katherine Jameson, or I find myself another captain.”
If he’d been hit by a swinging spar, he couldn’t have been more stunned by his uncle’s scurrilous ultimatum. Never did he ever think his uncle would be so underhanded. Before he could protest, Katherine spoke up.
“You can’t do that to him! It’s cruel and unjust. Besides, you can’t make me marry him!”
“Katherine, now it’s your turn. You’ve got the same wild streak in you as your mother, and for a time, I thought I’d tamed her. You’re also as obstinate as my nephew. How about I tell Raymond Chandler where you are?”
“Uncle Ian, that’s downright ruthless and underhanded. We’re not two pawns in a chess game. We’re two human beings!”
“Aha! Very well put, Cadell!” Ian grinned and slapped his nephew on the back. “You seem to forget that it’s my board, and I’m checkmating both of you. You’ll be good for one another, taming your mutual wild streaks. I’ll leave you alone for a few minutes to discuss my proposal.”
“It isn’t a proposal! It’s blackmail!” Cade bellowed just before the door closed.
A benumbed silence dominated the room as their eyes nervously darted to each other. Cade began to pace, feeling like an animal that had always known total freedom had suddenly been put in a small pen. No, no, this isn’t happening, he kept telling himself over and over again.
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I’ve always been a romantic at heart and married my high school sweetheart. I make my home in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. After raising our two children, I followed my dream to publish my books. I love to travel and include some of the places I’ve visited in my books. When I’m not at my computer giving couples their happily-ever-after, you can find me in the kitchen, baking, especially cookies. I’ve been dubbed the cookie queen by my family and friends. My stories are fun, sexy, romances that will make you laugh, cry and fall in love.
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