The Blue Hat and the Red Rose by Lynne Forest
Union Army Major Charles Morrow has been ordered to escort the daughter of a well-connected Ohio couple from the recently captured town of Cynthiana, Kentucky to her parents’ home. Along the way, he must protect her from remnant bands of Rebel soldiers and hostile Confederate sympathizers. He does not relish the assignment, but at least the journey will take him to within a few hours ride of his own homestead.
Emily McAllister enjoys spending much of her time with her aunt and uncle in their Cynthiana home. Emily is a pacifist, and abhorred the violence that placed Cynthiana back under Union control. To Emily, there is never an excuse for resorting to bloodshed among civilized members of society. She takes great umbrage at the notion that an armed escort has been sent to take her safely home, and steals his horse and takes off for Ohio.
When the Major finally finds her, he arrives just in time to save her from some harsh questioning from a group of green Union soldiers who were convinced that they had captured a spy. Emily experiences some well-deserved discipline from the Major before they travel on. Along the way, there is more danger, and more sabotage of the Major’s reliance upon military skills to keep her safe. But Emily soon finds both her bottom and her emotions smoldering.
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The Cursed Bed and Breakfast by Amity Maree
Chloe Weatherby was at a turning point in her life. She was an investigative reporter with a problem; she was good at getting results and she loved uncovering the truth, but if that truth was going to hurt someone who was innocent, or had no control over things, she couldn’t bring herself to reveal the truth. For example, the family of a man who was systematically robbing his clients, and then committed suicide; telling the truth then would only hurt the family. Chloe’s boss didn’t get it, and he made her clear out her desk, and told her if she wanted her job back, she had to come up with a story that would put her name in the public’s eye once again.
Chloe researched and found an interesting story to explore. Women had been disappearing from Old Blush Manor for years, the first in 1850, and the last as late as 2000. She was going undercover as a guest, and if there was a story to be had, she would find it. Instead, she found Daniel O’Keefe, the seven times great-grandson of the man who built the manor in 1846.
Daniel’s reaction to Chloe was just as strong as her reaction to him. They were definitely in lust, but there was something more, too. For some reason he couldn’t understand, he put Chloe in the Petal Room, and she experienced the dreams the room was responsible for. It was as though she became one with the women who disappeared, and she had the red backside to prove it!
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