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With unexplainable speed, she shot through the water. Gulps of air scorched aching lungs as her face broke the surface. Amongst the debris of wood, cargo and bodies, the colossal side of the Sultana careened. White-capped waves boiled, threatening to drive her into the massive hull or back into the frightening abyss below. Murky water hit the back of her throat before a scream could join hundreds of others echoing through the night.
She threw her head back, choking and gasping for air as her arms flayed against the assaulting water, and kicked both feet at the force lugging her downward. Something wrapped around one hand and another strong heave wrenched her shoulder. She twisted away from the splashes trying to fill her mouth and nose. The steely grip tightened as it towed her away from the ship.
"Jerek!" Her free hand tried to latch onto the fingers wrapped around her wrist.
"I've got you!" he yelled above the roar of chaos. His other arm swiftly glided in and out of the water before it wrapped around a bobbing object. With a hard tug, he pulled her next to it. "Grab on with both hands!"
The current was too swift. Her skirt, yards of wet material, acted like a sail and tugged her away from him. The sleeve of his shirt threatened to slip from her fingers.
Jerek seized an elbow and thrust her forward. She wheezed for air as her chest slammed against the floating log.
His hands forced her arms around the cold, wet wood. "April! Don't let go! Don't you dare let go!"
Posted May 7, 2009
April Simonson found it difficult to trust men. She was working on the Sultan when the ship exploded. The death toll was startling. The setting is the Civil War, 1865, Memphis. April's face was disfigured. That did not matter to Jerek when he struggled to save her from the muddy waters of the Mississippi River. Jerek has secrets that he is not ready for April to know. Can she trust him? Is he different from other men that hurt her?
Lauri Robinson takes an actual event and uses it not only for the backdrop of this story, but also as a major part in the story with a unique twist. Fans of romantica will enjoy An April to Remember.