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My Love, My Enemy
     

My Love, My Enemy

4.2 5
by Jan Speas
 

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Casablanca Classics presents this runaway bestseller, a swashbuckling historical romance by a beloved author

A passion for adventure...

Beautiful, naïve, and impulsive, Page Bradley inadvertently rescues English spy Lord Hazard in Baltimore during the tumultuous War of 1812. Now she must put herself at the mercy of her country's

Overview

Casablanca Classics presents this runaway bestseller, a swashbuckling historical romance by a beloved author

A passion for adventure...

Beautiful, naïve, and impulsive, Page Bradley inadvertently rescues English spy Lord Hazard in Baltimore during the tumultuous War of 1812. Now she must put herself at the mercy of her country's enemy.

An aptitude for deception...

Lord Hazard is no stranger to the atrocities of war, but he never imagined the beauty that could come of it until he meets the fiery and irresistible Page. Now he finds himself questioning every loyalty he's ever felt for King and Country.

Amidst the turmoil of war and the peril of the high seas, these two sworn enemies are destined to discover that denying love may be worse than treason.

"Irresistible...This novel of high romance moves on wings from Annapolis to Bermuda to London and back to Washington." -Library Journal

"Appealing and refreshing... a lovely romance told in a delightful swashbuckling manner." -Memphis Sunday Commercial Appeal

"Enchanting... Jan Cox Speas pulls out all of the stops." -Tacoma Sunday Ledger-News Tribune

Editorial Reviews

Life in the Thumb
An adventure story that takes the reader from the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, to the glorious beaches of Bermuda, the oppressed people and foggy shore lines of France, and finally to the ton of the town in jolly London.
In the Hammock Reviews
A fun swashbuckling adventure.
The Book Drunkard
A wonderful journey full of treachery and danger — France, Spain and beyond — all while mixing in real life historical figures.
Bookfoolery and Babble
Beautifully written with exciting battles and an adventurous journey across an historical backdrop of war.
The Royal Reviews
If you are looking for a swashbuckling historical romance, then this is the book for you.
From the Publisher
"[Jan Cox Speas] weaves history, sea lore, adventure and romance into an exciting tale of the choices people at war must make." - Linda Banche Romance Author

"An adventure story that takes the reader from the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, to the glorious beaches of Bermuda, the oppressed people and foggy shore lines of France, and finally to the ton of the town in jolly London. " - Life in the Thumb

"A fun swashbuckling adventure." - In the Hammock Reviews

"A wonderful journey full of treachery and danger — France, Spain and beyond — all while mixing in real life historical figures." - The Book Drunkard

"Beautifully written with exciting battles and an adventurous journey across an historical backdrop of war." - Bookfoolery and Babble

"If you are looking for a swashbuckling historical romance, then this is the book for you." - The Royal Reviews

"With every reversal of fortune come doubts that test their hearts and loyalties, the couple and the vivid secondary characters are realistically, reasonably, and poignantly affected by momentous events, culminating with the burning of Washington. " - Historical Novels Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402255779
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
02/01/2011
Series:
Casablanca Classics Series
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
7.76(w) x 5.04(h) x 0.70(d)

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Read an Excerpt

From One

It was not, from its beginning, an ordinary day. Dawn came to Bradley's House on a quiet gray pause between dark and day, dripping wetly from trees and boxwood and eaves, holding to itself in the cool air all the sweet garden scents of white magnolia and moss rose and fragile mimosa. Beyond the land the Chesapeake slept silently, its surface rippled like watered silk by a faint breath of wind that trailed the haze behind it in tattered wisps across the water. To the west, where the woodland and tobacco fields bordered the roads leading from the Bay to Upper Marlboro, to Bladensburg, to Washington, the fog dissolved into mist and a drizzle of summer rain, laying the thick dust and cooling the oppressive heat of that summer of 1813.

On the Bay the fog showed signs of lifting before noon, and the inland rain was no more than a brief deliverance. But whatever its destiny, the day that dawned with cool mist and a gray silence touched with the subtle cloudy beauty of an opal was already set apart from the hot glittering days preceding it. To Catherine Page Bradley, engaged in a small adventure of disobedience and misbehavior, the unique quality of the day seemed an extraordinary piece of good fortune.

Sitting quietly in the cockpit of the small sloop, she crossed her arms and held them tightly against her. In the hurry and stealth of leaving home she had forgotten to find a wrap, and her thin muslin gown with its narrow skirt and tiny sleeves seemed to leave an inordinate amount of her uncovered to the brisk morning chill. But if the fog was uncomfortably cold, she reminded herself sturdily that it also shrouded the world in an enormous cocoon; the British might be as thick on the Bay as forty thieves, but what they could not see they could not steal, or threaten, or shoot at the first sign of resistance.

She closed her eyes and breathed deeply of the damp air with its smells of brackish salt water, wet canvas sail, slippery decking that still gave off a faint resinous scent of white pine and hot yellow sun. Already she could distinguish an occasional warm feather of air from the land, hidden in the haze somewhere off the port bow. Soon the Catherine, slipping through the water with no more than a whisper of a sound, would round the point into the Severn.

Ahead, blurred and indistinct, would be the houses and steeples of Annapolis reaching upward through a canopy of dark wet green, and the sheltered harbor with ships reflecting their curved images across the glassy water while their masts raked the fog. Not to be immediately seen, but there as surely as the calm harbor and State House cupola, would be the noises and smells and infectious bustle of a port town, and the carriages and horses crowding the streets, and the town people who lived in the graceful brick houses and walked the tree-shaded lanes.

Inside her a slow delicious excitement stirred, warming her against the morning chill and the equally dampening disapproval in Duncan MacDougall's face.

For the past few minutes he had resorted to the final reproach of ignoring her, lifting his eyes to the sail or narrowing them to watch the drifting haze ahead, carefully centering his attention on the Catherine and her destination. But Page, looking from beneath her lashes at the fixed scowl on his plain stubborn face, was not misled.

"I thought you'd be pleased to have my company," she said at last. "Don't you ever find it lonely, sailing back and forth to town all alone?"

He could not ignore a direct question. But he made her wait a few minutes before he said pointedly, "It's one of the few pleasures of my life, getting away from the giggling and chattering."

"I don't chatter," Page said with dignity, "and I seldom giggle."

"You've six sisters who do," MacDougall said. "I've put up with a houseful of women for longer than I care to remember, and you're the worst of the lot." He regarded her with an illconcealed exasperation. "One day you'll find yourself in one scrape too many, and when you look to me for help you'll not get it."

"You're as cross as an old bear," Page said cordially. "It isn't so terrible a crime, after all. Papa promised me a trip to town for my birthday."

"Not in the Catherine, he didn't. You know well enough you're not allowed on the Bay, and who's to explain to Samuel Bradley how it happened? It'll be me, no doubt, the way it's always been, but I can tell you now I've no hope of saving you from his temper."

Page sighed, obliged to admit that her father would indeed be in a tearing rage when he discovered that she had tricked MacDougall by the simple ruse of hiding below until the Catherine was well out into the channel. Samuel Bradley might send his small sloop wherever he pleased, satisfied that few enemy ships might outsail her; but he had not, since the beginning of the British blockade, cared to extend the same risk to his daughters.

She could not truly blame him. The British were guilty of the most heinous crimes, not the least of which was their very presence in the Chesapeake, keeping everyone in a constant state of turmoil. Since February, when Admiral Cockburn first brought his squadron to Lynhaven Bay, there had seldom been a week when one of his ships was not sighted from the steeple of the State House. And British captains, eager to line their own pockets with the spoils of war, were as likely to covet small civilian craft as men-of-war. In the wake of a dozen such mishaps to astonished neighbors up and down the shore, Samuel Bradley had declared positively that his daughters would either travel by horse or carriage, or they would stay at home. To the sociably-inclined Bradley daughters-as to anyone born and bred in a country where sensible people had always preferred the quick and pleasant waterways of the Chesapeake to the interminable and ill-made roads-the indignity of being forced off the Bay was one of the more irritating hardships of the war.

"If he promised," MacDougall said, "why didn't you wait and go with him? I heard him tell Bessie he'd take her in to shop one day next week."

"That isn't fair. I notice that you always have a number of pressing chores to keep you at home when it's time for Bessie to go to town."

He had the grace to grin faintly. "She's a fair nuisance, that one. I've stood on Fleet Street for more than an hour, mind you, waiting for her to finish her chattering."

Page laughed. She was fond of MacDougall's sister Bessie, a small Scots woman with an enormous motherly heart who had cherished the Bradley family as her own for years, reigning over the domestic life of Bradley's House as firmly as Duncan ruled the fields and stables. But no amount of fondness could ease the burden of a shopping trip with Bessie. The sisters drew straws to determine which would endure the long jolting carriage ride, the tiresome waiting while Bessie visited up and down the streets of Annapolis, and the strict surveillance that never faltered until Bessie had her chicks safely back home again.

"But that's nothing to do with you," MacDougall said. "At my age, I don't need a chaperon."

Page lifted her chin. "Nor do I."

"Aye, you need a keeper," he retorted, "and I've no mind to take on such a thankless position." He glanced at her briefly, his scowl returning. "You'd look more like a young lady if you'd bother yourself to put on that bonnet. There's no sense in going to town to buy fancy new clothes when you look like somebody's poor kin."

"Don't scold, Mac." Page slipped the bonnet behind her.

"It's my very oldest one, and it was Martha's best and Emily's second-best before it came to me." She added, quite firmly, "I've made up my mind I'll never wear it again."

Meet the Author

Late bestselling author Jan Cox Speas published three runaway bestselling historical romances between 1954 and 1961 that established her as a cult favorite and breakout romance author. She taught English and creative writing at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. By 1978 there were 1 million copies of her books in print.

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My Love, My Enemy 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very dry and very hard to read. I continued to read it in hope that it would get better....no such hope.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A gem not to be missed.
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