Release date: June 13, 2016
Cate Whitfield harbors revenge in her heart for the bloodthirsty pirate who murdered her betrothed. So she’s stunned to learn that he is to be her father’s guest of honor at one of his revelries—and even more upset to discover that Captain Alexander Chase may not be the scoundrel she believes.
Even though she has publicly branded him a criminal, feisty Cate mesmerizes Alex. But the former pirate isn’t about to let her accusations deter his own agenda for vengeance. He’s returned to Promise, New Jersey, to retaliate against the man who murdered his father … the man who just happens to be Cate’s father.
Trouble is, he may be falling in love with her, and she’s hell-bent on seeing him punished. Can these two wounded hearts find out the truth before it’s too late, or is their love doomed to walk the plank?
by Suzanne Hoos
Suzanne Hoos divides her time between teaching junior high English to classes of future authors and her own writing career. She lives in central New Jersey with husband Gary, cats Simba and Scout, and dogs Esmeralda, Jasmine, and Cooper.
An excerpt from The Pirate’s Lady:
Town of Promise in the colony of New Jersey
Cate Whitfield’s temper flared. Was it possible? Could Alexander Chase really be here at Blythewood, mocking her family’s name and sullying her beloved home? If what she’d learned were true, then by God in heaven, she’d see to it he’d pay for his crimes. The expensive pearl necklace she wore bounced against her flushed décolletage as she dashed down the winding staircase. She gave no concern to falling and snapping her neck. Her thoughts focused only on Alexander Chase.
The return trip these past three days from her cousin’s house in Maryland to New Jersey had been long and arduous. Though she’d thoroughly enjoyed her time with Luella, Wil, and their five children, she’d looked forward to coming home to Promise for some quiet time and peace of mind. She’d purposely evaded her father’s latest social gathering in the ballroom this evening and had stolen away to her room as soon as she’d arrived home to acquire that harmony.
Cate had planned on rising early and surprising her father in the morning. She’d already taken off her unyielding green silk frock and corset and was about to slip her nightgown over her head. If it weren’t for Esme, her maidservant, blathering on and on about “Mr. James’s important guest,” she’d be headed for her bed to garner some much needed sleep, not flying down the stairs like some avenging angel intent on beheading a serpent with her sword.
Now, wearing nothing except her chemise, pantaloons, and stockings, Cate raced across the slate floor of the antechamber. Her white hair ribbon had come undone, and a sea of blond curls furiously sprang like coils around her head.
Nary a guest was in sight. From the corner of her eye, she spied Clarence, her father’s manservant, approaching through an arched alcove. He balanced a large silver tray. The aroma of highly seasoned beef wafted past her. She ignored her rumbling stomach and rushed to him.
The lanky man stiffened with surprise and then alarm. His gaze fell to the floor. He swallowed hard; his dark skin turned gray. “Miss Whitfield, you shouldn’t be here,” he lowered his voice, “like that.”
“Clarence, where is the man my father sees fit to entertain this evening?”
The manservant refused to meet her stare.
“Where is he?” she asked again.
The tray jumped in Clarence’s hands. His eyes darted up and down, back and forth, anywhere except on Cate. “I … I don’t know who you mean, miss. Mr. Whitfield chooses to entertain many guests this evening.”
Cate took a deep, angry breath and expelled it just as furiously. “Alexander Chase.” She spit out the name as though a bitter bile coated her tongue.
Still Clarence refused to look at her. “I … I imagine he’s with the others in the ballroom.” …
“Show me who he is, Clarence.” The harsh sound of her words even shocked her for a moment.
Before Clarence could answer, Cate stopped him with a sharp wave of her hand. There, standing in front of the opened panes, outlined by the night sky, was someone she’d never seen before.
He was a strapping man. Tall. Powerful. Intimidating. His bright red coat shimmered in the sea of dark waistcoats the other men wore. The silk molded around his broad shoulders and thick arms. Cream-colored breeches curved with the muscles in his legs. He wore no powdered wig, like most of the gentlemen. Instead, his long, dark brown hair was tied in a queue at the nape of his neck.
“There he is, miss.” Clarence’s meek voice sent a shiver through her. “There’s the man you’re looking for. That’s the one they call Alexander Chase.”
Cate drew back. Could it be? Could this handsome—dare she say strikingly well-heeled—gentleman really be the ruthless pirate she’d come to despise? A saber at the man’s side caught her attention. She recoiled at the sight. Was that the weapon? Was that the rapier he’d used to kill Jeremy Talbot, her betrothed?