Release date: 10 March 2014
Jealousy had shattered the happiness of Cathy and Bill’s secret elopement. When Mark, the handsome man from Cathy’s past, suddenly reappeared, Bill saw in their fond reunion a threat to his own love. Hurt and angered, he returned to his rich matchmaking aunt and the fortune he’d nearly lost by loving the wrong girl.
And suddenly, Cathy was faced with a frightening choice—did she want the husband she’d married or the man who’d returned from her past?
by Peggy Gaddis
Sensuality Level: Sensual
Eroline Pearl Gaddis Dern (1895 – 1966) began her literary career editing trade journals and fan magazines. For thirty years she wrote traditional romances for a single publisher, Arcadia House. For the last ten of those years she wrote principally nurse novels. She also wrote “love novels,” a romance genre invented by lending-library publishers that was considered a bit racier for the times.
An excerpt from Secret Honeymoon:
“Going home! Going home! Going home!”
To others aboard the train the wheels might go “Clickety-clack, clickety-clack!” but to Cathy Layne, perched on the edge of her seat, her eager eyes on the flying landscape outside, the wheels said, “Going home!”
How many long, weary months in Vietnam had she wondered if she would ever be going home again! Her too thin body in the smartly cut uniform of the Army Nurse Corps was almost rigid as she watched each beloved, once familiar, now strange scene flash past. Her brown-gold hair, tucked neatly beneath the provocative little overseas cap, topped a face that was still a lovely oval, despite hollows in her cheeks, the faint circles beneath her eyes. She had been very ill and she was desperately tired; but she had sixty blessed days of leave before she must report for another assignment, or for discharge. And she meant to spend those sixty days doing very little save resting, eating, sleeping—and being with Bill.
The very thought of Bill, never far from her heart and mind even during the age-long months of horror and destruction, brought a lovely color to her face and lit a sparkle in her tired eyes.
When the train halted at the Cypressville station, Cathy looked about her, quick with delight at the loved familiarity of the old, dingy station. Nothing had changed; it was all as she remembered it.
Where was Bill? She had wired him the time of her arrival, taking it for granted he would be as eager to see her as she was to see him—yet he was not here.
Behind her a warm, eager voice said, “Well, bless you, child, here you are—and I’m that glad to see you!”
Warm arms enfolded her, and Cathy laughed and cried as the woman patted her back and kissed her cheek.
“Well, well, if it ain’t a sight for sore eyes to see you again! Cathy, I’ve missed you—and land alive, the way I’ve worried about you!”
It was Aunt Maggie Westbrook, big, kindly, warm-hearted; the woman who had taken a frightened, big-eyed ten-year-old girl, when her mother died, and given her a home. Aunt Maggie, who was not really a relative at all, but a neighbor who had known and loved Cathy’s mother and who had been unable to see the small Cathy go to an institution.
Scooping up Cathy’s bag in one strong, ample hand, her other arm about the girl, Aunt Maggie sailed across the platform. “Sailed” was a good word, Cathy told herself halfway between tears and laughter, for though Aunt Maggie was big and heavy she moved with an astonishing lightness; her unfashionably long skirts billowed a little with the energy of her movement and gave the impression of a sturdy, dependable sailing ship in a strong wind.