Title: Winning His Wife by Sandra Sookoo
A Marriage of Convenience Book One
Publisher: Sybarite Seductions
Genre: Historical, Romance
Word Count: 45,500
Fighting for independence goes beyond an infant nation, but love might just conquer all.
Captain Caleb Haslet has come home to Portsmouth, Rhode Island after two years at sea chasing pirates and keeping British ships from the fledgling American nation. He wants nothing more than to settle into domestic life and finally claim the new bride duty had forced him to leave behind.
Though she now has her own life doing charity work, providing prisoners with basic creature comforts, Abigail Haslet is both excited and anxious that Caleb thinks to take up where they left off. But, how can she give her heart to a man who’ll leave again when duty calls?
Caleb no longer wants a marriage of convenience. When plying Abigail with kisses and spending time with her fails, he decides to take advantage of his wife’s stint behind bars to make her see the truth—he’s in love with her.
“I do what I please, Caleb. You’ll find that out quickly.” She stared him down, holding his gaze as if it were a contest. “I never wanted a marriage of convenience.”
“Ha!” A bark of bitter laughter followed his outburst. “It’s hardly been convenient. In fact, it’s been damned inconvenient.” Who willingly weds then embarks on a two-year mission without bedding his wife?
“You’ve been out fighting the British instead of staying home to protect me from them.” Was that a waver in her voice? She shot to her feet with her glare back in place.
“If only my orders had been to fight the British, it would have made our parting easier at times.”
When she didn’t appear to want more of his story, he sighed and clasped his hands behind his back. “Commanding the Iroquois is my livelihood. I support you and this household with the profits I pull from the position. I won’t change that now.”
“I wouldn’t ask it of you.” Abigail crossed her arms over her breasts. “However, if you cannot commit to me and our home, we have no marriage. I’m well aware women have no intrinsic value in this society, especially when war is just started, but in this I remain firm. I’m not an object to be bought and set on a shelf to forget.” Her voice caught at the end of her speech.
Caleb’s heart lurched. Would she welcome him in their home while he was on leave? “Careful what you wish for, wife. I’ve been granted two month’s leave while the ship’s being repaired.”
“Oh?” One of her eyebrows arched.
“Aye. I will rectify the neglect with haste as I plan to bed you at my leisure.” There, he’d put forth his intentions. Let her make the next move.
A pretty blush colored her cheeks. “It’s not such an easy problem to solve.” The tendons in her neck worked with a hard swallow. “If you want me, you need to understand me, court me. I have my own life and interests besides being your wife—in name only.”
It was the second time she’d mentioned he hadn’t claimed her body. Did she want him to do just that? “Challenge accepted.” He walked to a sideboard where a few decanters of liquor rested on a silver tray. “And by the by, I refuse to sleep away from you tonight. You are my wife and I will bed down with you. Prepare yourself.”
“Fine, but prepare yourself for a cold reception. I’m not the sort of woman to open her legs simply because a stranger wishes a fast romp for a flimsy claim to ownership.” Turning so quickly her skirts flared, she stormed upstairs, stomping on each wooden step. A door slammed seconds later.
He grinned. “I have a proclivity for the chase.” It was his profession, after all. With a steady hand, he poured himself a fair measure of red wine. Winning his wife would be his finest adventure. Loving her would be his next.
Sandra is a writer of romantic fiction. Her portfolio includes historical, contemporary, sci-fi, and paranormal romances in full-length books as well as shorts and novellas. No matter if the heat level is spicy or sweet, she loves to blend genres and oftentimes will add humor to the mix.
When not immersed in creating new worlds and engaging characters, Sandra likes to read, bake, taste new teas, watch The Big Bang Theory, and Psych as well as Finding Bigfoot and travel. Her favorite place to spend vacation hours is Walt Disney World: it’s where dreams come true and the soul can play. When she’s not writing, she’s keeping things interesting at her Believing is Seeing blog or spending time with her husband, who patiently answers questions she has about men, sci-fi-related subjects, and the odd “what if”.
Sandra loves to hear from her readers. You can write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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