The Captain’s Heart by Suzanna Medeiros
When the man who saves his life during the Battle of Waterloo dies from wounds that were meant for him, Captain Edward Hathaway must live with the guilt of having survived and is determined to fulfill that man’s dying wish.
Grace Kent only accepted her childhood friend’s proposal of marriage so he wouldn’t go off to war with a broken heart. But while she still grieves for her friend after learning of his death, she cannot resist her attraction to the handsome Captain Hathaway.
He is determined to discharge his duty at the expense of his own happiness. She wants only one taste of true passion. Can Captain Hathaway and Grace Kent overcome the guilt that continues to haunt them both and find true love?
Read an Excerpt from The Captain’s Heart!
Mont-Saint-Jean farm, Belgium
June 21, 1815
Gazing down at the shrunken figure lying on the hospital bed before him, Captain Edward Hathaway searched for signs of the perpetually happy young man everyone knew and loved. Why was it that men always looked so much smaller in stature when stretched out on a bed?
Or in a coffin.
His mind shied away from that image. He’d seen more than his share of death recently, but he’d also seen men survive worse wounds than the loss of a leg. And if anyone deserved to live, it was Private Freddie Reynolds.
It should have been him in that bed. Freddie had come between him and a bayonet aimed directly at his back during that final, bloody battle on the fields near Waterloo. The private had fielded off that blow, but his heroism had been rewarded with a musket ball to the leg. Edward still didn’t know what exactly had happened. They had managed to break through the front line of Bonaparte’s infantry and the enemy had been everywhere. Time had passed in a blur of blood and battle frenzy as every man fought for his very survival.
But he did know one thing. If not for this man, he would probably be dead.
He never knew what to expect each day when he walked into the field hospital that housed far too many of his men. The number of injured in the ward dwindled daily as men were discharged, transported, or succumbed to their wounds. But Freddie survived and Edward clung to the hope that he would shake off the fever that seemed to plague him.
He was rewarded when the young man opened his eyes.
“The nurses told me you were awake earlier today. I was beginning to think you were pretending to be asleep to avoid speaking to me.”
“Not at all,” Freddie said with a strained chuckle as he drew himself up into a seated position on the bed. Neither of them said anything about his grimace of pain, or about the visible absence of one of his legs underneath the blanket. “I was hoping to see you today, Captain.”
Edward lowered himself onto the stool by the bed. “It eases my mind to see you up.” He’d been thinking about what to say to this man, but how did one adequately thank someone for saving their life? “I am forever in your debt,” he said, having decided that the prosaic words would have to suffice.
“It has been an honor to serve with you, Captain.”
It sounded as though the man was saying his farewells, but Edward shook off that morbid thought. “The honor has been mine. If there is ever anything I can do for you, you have only to ask.”
Freddie looked him square in the eye and in their depths Edward could see his determination. “In case there is no future, I do have a request to make of you.”
“There will be a future,” Edward said, refusing to believe otherwise.
Freddie looked away for a moment, struggling to form his next words. “I have written a letter to Grace. I’d like you to take it and deliver it to her personally. It is vital that she receive it.” He pulled a folded square of paper from under the corner of his pillow. “I wrote it earlier today and one of the nurses was kind enough to seal it for me.”
Edward balked at the implication that the man before him would not be seeing his oft-spoken-about betrothed again. “I’m sure you will see her yourself soon enough.”
Freddie tried to hand the letter to him, but he was weaker than he appeared. When Edward didn’t take it right away, his hand sank to the bed. “I would consider it a personal favor.”
Edward couldn’t deny the request, but he hated that Freddie was even considering the possibility that he wouldn’t recover. He took the letter from his hand.
“Promise me that you’ll deliver it in person, Captain.”
“You have my word, Private. But I won’t be returning to England for at least another few weeks. I hope, by that time, to be delivering it to you and you can give it to your future wife yourself.”
His promise seemed to put the young man at ease. His shoulders visibly relaxed and he could only nod in reply. Taking that as a sign that Freddie needed to rest again, Edward stood and took his leave.
When he reached the hallway, out of sight of Freddie and all the wounded men in the ward, he had to stop and gather the composure for which he was famous. Seeing Freddie in such low spirits had unsettled him more than he would have thought possible. The man in that bed was not the person he’d come to know. The Freddie he knew had buoyed the mood of every man in their regiment at one point or another. He was the eternal optimist who refused to give up hope even in the most dire of circumstances.
Edward had to struggle against the impulse to march back into that room and order the private to get better.
The sound of a single pistol shot came out of nowhere, unnaturally loud in the quiet hospital environment. Without thinking, Edward’s hand flew to the hilt of his sword, but then he remembered where he was and that he didn’t have the weapon that had seemed a part of him for so long.
He waited, listening for signs of a battle. But instead of hearing the clash of swords or the return fire he expected would come from the men stationed outside the makeshift hospital, a woman’s cry of alarm came from the room he’d just vacated.
Dread settled in the pit of his stomach as he rushed into the ward. What he saw there affected him more than anything he’d seen on the battlefield.
The Incomparables: 6 Heroes of Waterloo and the 6 Ladies They Adore
This limited edition box set includes 6 scorching romances that commemorate the 200th anniversary of the June 18, 1815 Battle of Waterloo.
From the Duchess of Richmond’s ball in Brussels to the Battle of Waterloo and beyond, join these six unforgettable heroes as they journey back from the physical and emotional trials of war and discover the passion that thrills the body can also heal the heart.
Release Party, June 18: https://www.facebook.com/events/429783400531422/
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Read more about this steamy collection!
Interlude with a Baron by Cerise DeLand
Emma wants only an interlude with the man she’s adored for years. But Drayton Worth has spent five years riddled with guilt for hurting her—and he’s determined to have more than a few nights in her bed.
Tarnished Honor by Sabrina York
Daniel Sinclair is a broken man with war wounds that are physical and spiritual. He’s weighed down by grief and guilt and tormented by his tarnished honor. When he meets Fia Lennox, a beautiful and brave Highland lass in dire need of his protection, he sees in her his chance for redemption…or utter damnation. Because despite his valiant attempts to resist her, he cannot.
Love After Waterloo by Suzi Love
When Lady Melton and her son join Captain Belling and the last wounded soldiers evacuating from Waterloo to London, she expects clashes with army deserters but doesn’t anticipate how falling in love with the antagonistic captain will change her life.
Dreaming of Waterloo by Lynne Connolly
Paul “Lucky” Sherstone daren’t even let his wife too close because of his headaches and the living nightmares he can’t dispel. Hetty hardly knows the man who comes back from war, but one thing she does know—she still wants him.
The Captain’s Heart by Suzanna Medeiros
A man who is determined to fulfill his duty at the expense of his own happiness, a woman who wants only one taste of true passion, and a case of mistaken identity. Can Captain Edward Hathaway and Grace Kent overcome the guilt that continues to haunt them both and find true love?
For Love or Revenge by Dominique Eastwick
Captain Roarke Wooldridge is about to find out that sometimes love does heal all wounds.But when his need for revenge collides with desires he never believed he would feel again, will he be able to put aside the scars of Waterloo to embrace his future?
More about Suzanna Medeiros
Suzanna Medeiros was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Her love for the written word led her to pursue a degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Education degree, but graduated at a time when no teaching jobs were available. After working at a number of interesting places, including a federal inquiry, a youth probation office, and the Office of the Fire Marshal of Ontario, she decided to pursue her first love – writing.
Suzanna is married to her own hero and is the proud mother of twin daughters. She is an avowed romantic who enjoys spending her days writing love stories.
She would like to thank her parents for showing her that love at first sight and happily ever after really do exist.
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