For beautiful, strong-willed Cameron Campbell, the war had one shining spot: dashing Captain Jackson Logan. Though separated by duty for nearly four years, Jackson has come home at last. Cameron, however, has a few plans of her own.This headstrong young womanwho's unwilling to do any man's biddingis determined to return to Elmwood, her family's Mississippi plantation, and reclaim her heritage, stolen by the ravages of war.
A Union spy and decorated war hero, Jackson's legendary air of command served him well as a leader of men. But now he is forced to reckon with a wife as stubborn and willful as he -- and the unexpected return of a woman from his past who has come to claim his love.While his passion is fierce for his beautiful wife, a dark menace forces him into a last crucial mission for his country, and Jackson knows he must also make a final stand for the woman he loves.
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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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Return To Me
By Rosemary Rogers
Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWashington, D.C. June, 1865
The summer night was warm and humid, reminding Cameron of her home in Mississippi, as her stylish horse-drawn carriage slowed to a halt on the brick-paved drive in front of the Rowe-James Hotel in Washington, D.C. She gathered the skirts of her blue-and-white Pekins silk evening gown and grasped the white-gloved hand offered by a red-liveried footman, allowing him to assist her onto the lamp-lit walk. The slight breeze from the Potomac ruffled the mass of rich red curls that fell down her back, revealing cascading diamond-and-sapphire earrings sparkling to her bare shoulders.
Cameron's heartbeat quickened. The elegant RoweJames Hotel held only happy memories for her. It was here that her husband had first proposed marriage almost four years and what now seemed a lifetime ago. Here, on their wedding night, they'd danced in their luxurious suite, drunk champagne and made love until the dawn cast a golden light on their silken pillows.
Approaching the columned doorway, she glanced up at the black bunting that garlanded the entry, a stark reminder that only two months had passed since President Lincoln's assassination. The fragile country was still in mourning, in shock, as of yet unable to accept that their beloved leader, who had freed the slaves, saved the Union and vowed to heal the young nation's wounds, had been so foully murdered.
"Good evening, Mrs. Logan." A uniformed doorman swung open the imposing brass doors.
"Good evening." She offered a kind smile as she swept into the magnificent Greek-columned lobby, a vast, high chamber bustling with men in dark frock coats and women in elegant evening attire.
"Mrs. Logan!" A distinguished gentleman with a plump, dark-haired lady on his arm, bowed. "So glad to see you. I hear Captain Logan is back in Washington."
"He is indeed, Senator." Cameron smiled, but did not linger in conversation.
"Mrs. Logan, good to have you with us." The formally dressed mai^tre d' bowed, then escorted her through the dining room. "Your usual table?"
She nodded, lifting her dark lashes and smiling graciously. "The captain will be joining me as soon as his business is complete. I expect him any moment."
The maître d' beamed as he escorted her through a labyrinth of white-linen covered, candle-lit tables. The elegant dining room hummed with the sound of hushed voices in polite dinner conversation underscored by the discreet notes of a grand piano.
"Your favorite table, Mrs. Logan, perfect for a homecoming." Mr. Douglas pulled the damask-upholstered chair from the table near the window. The dark blue velvet drapes had been drawn back. Cameron could see the sparkling gaslights of the city all the way to the distant curve of the Potomac River in the distance, where ships sat in anchor, their lanterns glowing against the encroaching darkness.
"Thank you, Mr. Douglas. The captain will be pleased."
"Something to refresh you while you wait?"
She plucked off her elbow-length, white silk gloves and laid them on the table beside her beaded reticule. "Champagne."
"Of course. Albert!" He snapped his fingers at the nearest waiter. "Champagne for Mrs. Logan. A bottle of Moet & Chandon's best cuvee from Captain Logan's private wine closet."
"Look at her," Alma Meriwether whispered from behind the cover of her fan. "Flirting shamelessly with the maître d'. My, but she thinks she's everything and a cup of tea, doesn't she?"
"Who is she?" breathed her niece. Noreen Meriwether had only arrived in the nation's capital a week earlier and this was her first night to see and be seen in such a public arena. She was so excited that she could barely draw breath.
"Oh, my dear heavens! You've so much to learn." Aunt Alma worked her heavy jowls, using her fan to shield her conversation from those around her. "That, my dear, is Mrs. Jackson Logan, wife of Captain Logan."
Noreen blinked and then gulped. She may have led a sheltered life in her father's Methodist home, but not so sheltered that she had not heard of the dashing war hero, rumored to be the most successful spy in all the Union army during the war. "The famous Captain Logan?" She spoke in a hushed voice, as if she kneeled before the altar of God.
"Some might say infamous," her aunt replied.
Mr. Meriwether tipped his menu and stared at his wife through oval spectacles. "Mrs. Meriwether, lower your voice before someone hears you."
"It wouldn't be any news they don't already know," she half whispered, reaching for her niece's gloved hand on the linen-covered table. "My sweet, Mrs. Logan isn't just Captain Logan's wife, she is the daughter of the deceased Senator Campbell from Mississippi." She leaned closer to Noreen, fluttering her carved ivory fan. "They say that the senator's sudden death was no accident at all, but that he was murdered by his own son."
Noreen's eyes bulged. "Murdered by his own son?"
"Oh, you don't know what this young man was like," Aunt Alma continued, flustered with excitement.
"You knew him?"
"Goodness, of course not. But they say he was a sexual deviant, my dear sweet child."
Noreen gulped once. Twice. She didn't know who they were, nor did she have any earthly idea what a sexual deviant was, but just the implication made her want to fall to her knees in prayer for the damned soul.
"They say that Grant Campbell, that woman's brother -" she nodded toward Mrs. Logan "- tried to sell his sister's virtue on an auction block in Baton Rouge, just after the war began."
Light-headed, Noreen reached for her own fan. One never heard such lewd tales in her hometown of Dover, Delaware. Such sinfulness simply did not exist. She wanted to turn away, to cover her ears to her aunt's scandalous gossip, for she knew it, too, was sinful, but she simply could not help herself. "Heavens, his own sister ... an auction block? Whatever ..." She panted, suddenly feeling overheated. The lace collar of her new blue taffeta evening gown rubbed against her throat and she tugged at it.
"You don't know the half of it," her aunt murmured, pulling Noreen's hand from her collar. "The sister in question is a n-e-g-r-a." Aunt Alma lowered her lashes as if to apologize for having to make that confession, even by spelling it out. "As black as tar."
Noreen had never seen her uncle's face so red. When her aunt glanced up, Uncle Ralph knowingly eyed the black waiter discreetly setting the next table.
Aunt Alma gave her husband a wave of dismissal, as if the servant's presence meant nothing to her. "I jest not," she told Noreen from behind her fan.
"No!" Noreen whispered. Her pale blue eyes widened, then narrowed as she glanced at the ivory-skinned, auburnhaired young woman seated at the windows. The young woman appeared too beautiful to her to be real. The sister of a negra woman? "But how -"
"Her father consorted with his slaves, of course." Aunt Alma rolled her eyes heavenward. "You know these Southerners."
Excerpted from Return To Me by Rosemary Rogers Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
OMG!! very good
Love this second book...glad jackson and cam had another tale. Read these years ago..still one of my favorite civial war books.a musr read. But start with the first book. You wont regret it.
I was not able to put this book down. It is a great story and keeps you on the edge of your seat!
I am a southerner by birth and marriage. I love to read, and I love books about the south and the Civil War. I read 'Honorable Man' by Rosemary Rogers and loved it. I kept remembering the characters and scenes from the book. When I discovered 'Return to Me', I was shopping for someone else, but had to have it. It did not let me down. If anything, 'Return to Me' was even better than the first book, 'Honorable Man'. Few fiction books ever tell about the years just after the War Between the States, or tell of the love between members of the opposite race. This author is a master storyteller. I loved 'Return to Me'. No romance library should be without it. It was hot, sexy, and romantic. I will never forget these characters. Thank you, Rosemary Rogers. Yours truly, Virginia Belle
At the beginning of the American Civil War, Jackson Logan met and married Mississippian Cameron. They relocate to the DC area, but he serves as a Union spy so is rarely home. With the war finally over, Cameron looks forward to seeing her spouse and informing him that he will soon be a father for the first time. However, though the formal hostilities ended, Secretary of State Seward, recovering from the bullet he took during the Lincoln assassination, believes otherwise. Seward assigns Jackson to end the horror of Thompson¿s Raiders causing death and havoc in the south. Cameron is upset that her beloved will continue to be away for extended stretches, but even more disconcerting is the debate over where to live. He wants to remain by the Chesapeake while she wants to go home to Mississippi. Unable to compromise, Cameron leaves so that her child can be born on southern soil. A worried Jackson gives chase, but may arrive too late to keep his spouse safe from terrorists including the man Seward wants him to stop. Though there is some initial confusion over when Jackson last came home, fans will appreciate this deep Americana historical romance. The story line is very powerful as the horrors of war are brought home to the audience through the innocent eyes of a stunned Cameron. Though her naivety in what Sherman and his troops did to her old south seems odd, Cameron is a steel magnolia, an essence that Jackson recognizes almost too late in the woman he cherishes above all else, even more than Seward¿s orders. Rosemary Roger¿s refreshing read will please sub-genre fans enormously. Harriet Klausner