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 Yankee.
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.