Beautiful, headstrong Cameron Campbell knows her privileged life as a Mississippi senator's daughter is about to be shattered. Her fine Southern family has its share of secrets and scandal, and as her father decides to stand with the Union, long-held family rivalries lead to cold-blooded murder. But amidst the devastation, one honorable man is about to show her the meaning of love.
Six years ago Cameron offered Captain Jackson Logan her heartand he walked away from her. She vowed then never to let another man hurt her that way. But now, as war assumes its deadly course, Cameron will be forced to find an ally in this man she loves to hate and hates to love. A man whose strength and courage will mirror her own as she stakes a defiant stand against slavery. A man who will face unimaginable danger by her side and show her the magic of a rapturous love that comes but once in a lifetime.
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About the Author
Often dubbed the "Princess of Passion," author Rosemary Rogers is considered to be one of the founders of the modern historical romance novel. She has written more than 20 novels and sold more than 60 million copies of her books, including Dark Fires, Sweet Savage Love, and Bride for a Night.
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An Honorable Man
By Rosemary Rogers
Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Copyright © 2002 Harlequin Enterprises Limited
All right reserved.
Chapter OneElmwood Plantation, Jackson, Mississippi April, 1861
Cameron Campbell shortened the reins of the spirited Arabian mare and concentrated on the spot between the gray's ears. This was where she was at her best, a fine horse beneath her, the scorching Mississippi breeze in her face and a split-rail fence looming ahead.
Mentally calculating the number of strides left until the fence, Cameron rose up off the man's hunt saddle, hunkering down over the steed's neck and threading her fingers through her mane. She could hear the skirts of her riding habit flapping in the wind, hear the steel-tipped hooves pounding the earth.
Cameron held her breath, thrusting out her arms to give the gray enough rein to make the daring jump, and suddenly she was airborne. For one long moment, time became elastic. As she sailed over the fence, all of Elmwood-its cotton fields and muddy rivers, lush vegetation and flat dusty deltas-stretched beyond the burning April sky. For that one moment, Cameron was a part of the magnificent steed beneath her. She felt Roxy's great lungs fill with air. She was free, free of the skirts and petticoats that tangled around her legs, free of the frustrations of being born female in a man's world.
All too soon, Roxy's hooves hit the soft grass and the two of them landed in Elmwood again.
"Sweet Mary, Mother of God," Taye cried, sinking to her knees in the grass.
"It's all right, Taye," Cameron called gaily, releasing the reins as Roxy trotted back toward the fence, proud neck arched, mane streaming. "I'm fine. Look, no hands." She dropped the knotted leather reins to her lap and waved with both kidskin-gloved hands.
"Please, Cameron, take the reins and stop scaring me like this." Taye covered her lovely face. "You know how much it frightens me when you don't hold on."
Cameron laughed as she slowed to a walk. "And what of this?" she teased, pulling her muddy riding boots from the stirrups. "Look, Taye. Does this scare you, too?"
With the practiced hand of a young woman who had tumbled to the ground many times, Cameron lifted one foot and then the other until she stood balanced on the seat of the English-made saddle, worth the price of a male field hand, her arms outstretched for balance.
Taye glanced up, her honey-colored skin flushing beneath her sunbonnet, her lovely features flashing from fear to annoyance. "Stop that, Cameron. Stop it at once. You know you only do that to frighten me."
"That's where you're wrong, Taye. I don't do it to frighten you." She swayed precariously as the mare lowered her head to nibble fresh grass. "I do it because I like to."
Cameron dropped to the ground, coming to rest before the young woman kneeling in the grass.
Taye-an innocent seventeen years old to Cameron's twenty-three-leaped to her feet and threw her arms around her companion. "Do you see why such nonsense is dangerous? You could have been hurt!"
"But I wasn't hurt." Cameron looked into Taye's pale blue eyes. "Look at me, you silly goose. I'm right as rain." She pinched Taye's cheek affectionately.
"Look at you indeed," Taye exclaimed, breaking into a grin. She worshiped the ground Cameron Campbell walked on and had since she was a baby on their mammy's lead strings. She handed Cameron her straw bonnet. "Best put this on before you're freckled beyond hope. The sun's hot today. What I was trying to tell you before you took off over that fence was that the senator has sent for you. A guest has arrived and just look at you." She indicated with a sweep of her gracious hand. "You look like a field hand. Your riding habit is covered in mud and your hair is tangled in a rat's nest. It will take me an hour to comb out those snarls."
Cameron caught Roxy's reins and headed along the elm-lined drive that led to Elmwood, the grand, white-columned house of the cotton and sugar cane plantation nestled beside the muddy Pearl River. Just south of Jackson, Mississippi, Elmwood was the only home she had ever known. The only world she had ever known.
"My appearance again? Taye, you know I could care less what anyone thinks of my appearance! I'm sick of always being the proper Southern lady. Sick of always being expected to be dressed suitably, to say and do what is appropriate, to smile when I don't feel like smiling. You should have been born Senator David Campbell's daughter instead of me. You are truly a lady in every sense of the word."
"Cameron, don't talk like that!" Taye's pale-blue eyes grew wide.
"And who is this visitor?" Cameron asked, running her fingers through her long copper hair. "Well, whoever it is, I'm so happy that Papa is home again!"
Senator David Campbell had been in Washington, D.C., on and off since Mississippi had seceded from the Union in January. Though he could no longer attend the senate in an official capacity, he had been desperately trying to bridge the widening gap between politicians from both northern and southern states. Despite the secession of South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas, he still held out hope that a war over slavery could be prevented.
The senator had told Cameron only last night at the supper hour that matters were not going well. Just last month at a convention in Montgomery, Alabama, the seven seceding states had created a Confederate Constitution. And with the previous president's refusal to surrender southern federal forts to the seceding states, southern troops had recently seized them. The senator had been about to explain the ramifications of such seizures when her brother Grant had joined them and her father had changed the subject to discussing the new crop of cotton. Grant did not approve of the senator discussing politics with a woman, and on his first night home her father had wanted to keep the peace between them, at least for a few short hours.
Cameron lowered her hand to her hip impatiently. "Well, do tell? Who is my father's visitor?" She wrinkled her sun-freckled nose. "What's the big secret? Surely our newly inaugurated President Lincoln has not come to call! He's been president but a month. I would think he would be occupied elsewhere."
"It's not our president, silly goose." Taye glanced nervously away, smoothing the bodice of her new peach bombazine gown that seemed, on her, to be impervious to wrinkles. "Now remember, don't kill the messenger," she warned.
Cameron smiled lovingly at her companion. Though Taye was the daughter of their freed slave housekeeper, Sukey, and six years her junior, she had loved her as a sister since the day Taye had entered her nursery as a toddler. Because Taye had been fathered by some unknown white man, she had exquisite honey-colored skin. Her creamy complexion, pale-blue eyes and rich dark-brown hair gave her the exotic look of a woman who, like Helen of Troy, could launch a thousand ships.
"Tell me," Cameron said, halting. "You know I could never be angry with you, puss."
"Perhaps you should go to your father's study and see for yourself."
"Who?" Cameron demanded, her amber cat eyes narrowing dangerously.
Taye hung her beautiful head. "Captain Logan."
"Logan!" Cameron exploded.
Excerpted from An Honorable Man by Rosemary Rogers
Copyright © 2002 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a great book. The author described each character's personality well. The author did a great job with the story line and kept you interested the entire book. I am typically a Contempoary, Romantic Suspense and Mystery reader. However this book was too good to pass up.
This was the first historical romance (civial war) book i read.. i usually stick with regencey romance..i found this book like years ago and decided to read it and let me tell you..wow. glad i read it. This is one of my favorite stories i have ever read....now i love historical romance( southern,civial war )if u loved this book dont forget the sequel. Return to me..that book is awsome to.
Rosemary Roger's newest novel, "An Honorable Man" is the kind of historical romance that begs to be read over and over again. With a return to her most passionate characters and the old south, Ms Rogers proves that she can still enchant her readers. I loved the book. A Fan
As southern states succeed from the Union like dominos both sides of the conflict wonder what position will highly regarded Senator David Campbell take. Two presidents court the Mississippi representative, but David accepts Lincoln¿s offer of advisor on the war council. Before he leaves for DC, David decides to free his slaves as a symbolic gesture. Though his daughter Cameron bursts with pride over her father¿s courageous actions, his son Grant detests the destruction of his privileged life. In a drunken ire, he kills his father, but persuades authorities that an accident occurred. Grant denies Cameron¿s insistence that their father was freeing the slaves because he intends to sell them. However, Grant fails to recognize his sister¿s passion for honoring her father¿s wishes and see the slaves to safety and freedom. She persuades Lincoln¿s escort envoy Jackson Logan, undercover as a merchant, to help her even though he broke her heart several years ago. As they journey together, their love flourishes while they struggle to survive one harrowing experience after another. Most readers realize that a visit to Rosemary Rogers¿ neighborhood is always a sure shot for finding a powerfully enjoyable novel. Her latest tale, AN HONORABLE MAN, may be her best as this Civil War tale contains a terrific plot, a feel for the era, two delightful lead protagonists, a nasty villain, and a tremendous support cast. Fans of historical romance will gain much satisfaction with this superior Americana story. Harriet Klausner