Today is release day for my newest historical romance novel, Cassidy’s War. Although the story is set five years after the Civil War ended, the characters are directly affected by the war. The hero, George Masters enlisted in the Union Army alongside the heroine’s brothers. He saw one of her brothers, his best friend, die at Gettysburg. He was gravely injured there as well, but recovered and rejoined the army. Late in the war, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and was captured by Confederates as the war neared an end, ending his service as a prisoner at Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia.
When he returned home, he planned to marry Cassidy, but nightmares of his time in the war and in prison sent him running from her just days before their wedding.
Althought post traumatic stress disorder seems to be a modern experience, Civil War soldiers did suffer from it. The horrors and hardships they experienced would’ve been hard to leave behind as they returned to civilian life.
At the start of my new novel, the hero has returned to town working undercover as a Pinkerton agent, but old memories close in as he returns to the place where he’d lived most of his life.
He watched her tread down the hall, then retreated into the formal parlor. Two chairs and a settee set around an ivory trimmed fireplace, upholstered in a combination of blue and gold. The wool carpet beneath his feet was a red, blue, and black blend. Burgundy drapes covered the windows, but gold tasseled sashes held them open to the sunshine. As he moved through the room, he studied family photos. One of Cassidy’s father seated in a chair, with her mother’s hand resting on his broad shoulder. Two other photos, Quinn and Josh, both standing tall and proud in their army uniforms. Another photo contained all the Stuart children. Cassidy and Sarah sat while their brothers, Quinn, Josh and Matt, a small boy at the time, stood around the girls.
He lifted the photo of Josh in uniform. The day his best friend had died on the battlefield at Gettysburg flooded back. The last time George had ever cried. Josh had meant everything to him. So much so, he’d followed him into the army. And then lost him forever.
Movement in the hall startled him. He turned, the photo still clutched in his hand. Cassidy stood in the open doorway watching him.
He flushed and cleared his throat, as he placed the photo on the table. “I sure do miss old Josh.”
Cassidy nodded, gazing at the photo. “We all do, but I know how much he meant to you.”
George blew out a breath. “Josh was the one real friend I had in town. Well, so much for old memories.” He motioned her to take a seat.
She gathered her skirts and settled onto the chair. George sat across on the settee, not wanting to be too close right now. He might not be able to keep his hands, lips, tongue off her, and if her mother returned, there’d be hell to pay.
“George, I was thinking…” She leaned forward, elbows on her knees, her brow furrowed.
“Well, if Miss Baker won’t tell us anything, there may be another way we can get the goods on Madison.”
“And what might that be?”
She ran her tongue over her lip, enticing him to move close, but he steeled himself to concentrate on what she said. “In town just now as I was on my way to see Miss Baker, Madison offered me a position as his assistant.”
“He what?” George’s bile rose.
“He told me since my practice was practically non-existent, I could work alongside him as I did with Pa.”
George’s blood chilled. “You told him no, I hope.”
“Of course. Why would I want to work for that arrogant ass? But now…” She clasped her hands as if in prayer. “…if I did take the position, I could get close to him. Bait him.”
“Absolutely not!” George rose to his feet. “You are not to go anywhere near him. That’s an order.”
Cassidy’s War available today at The Wild Rose Press.
Be sure to leave a comment at my blog http://susanmacatee.wordpress.com to be entered in the drawing to win a copy. Winners will be announced at my blog tomorrow.