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Southern Rose by Lily Bly

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  • ISBN Digital: 978-1-5092-2412-8

    Page Count: 26

    Word Count: 5199

    Rated: 1 Rose

    The Gown & Dagger Seduction Series

    Rose O'Conner is a Confederate spy trapped among Union officers as the Civil War ends. When a Yankee from her past learns her secret, what is she willing to do to make him keep it?

    Over the past year, Captain Grant Franks has searched for the alluring woman who stole his heart. When he learns she is a spy, will his dedication to the Union hold up against his desire for his Southern Rose?

    Excerpt:

    The Yankee women smiled and laughed as the Bluebellies twirled them around the ballroom. Back to the wall, Rose tempered her grip on the crystal punch glass. An invisible weight settled around her neck. The more the Yankees danced, the heavier it became.

    “Dig up that pretty smile of yours, Miss O’Conner, or someone will find you out.” Grant Franks’ warm whisper tickled the curve of her ear as ice collected in the pit of her stomach.

    Two years. No one had called her by her real name in two years, not since she signed on to spy for the Confederacy and infiltrated the circles of Yankee officers and their mistresses up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

    “You are mistaken, Captain Franks. My name is Eleanor Arthur, and I am smiling. How could I not on a day like today? The North has won.”

    The captain cupped an uninvited hand around her elbow and stepped close. His uniformed leg pressed the layers of her skirts and hoop against her pantaloons. “I’d love to hear that in your real voice. I’m assuming it’s a sultry Georgia drawl seeing as how you were born and raised in Savannah.”

    What she wouldn’t give to hear the slow, long vowels of lost friends and family. “Where would you get such an idea?” The flat, nasally northern tone she had perfected nearly faltered. She swallowed hard and tried to detach her elbow, but he gripped harder, plucked the punch glass away with his other hand, and set it on a small table next to them.

    “Dance with me,” he ordered, ignoring her question and pulling her toward the swirling couples.

    “My apologies. I really am a terrible dancer.” Rose dug the heel of her shoe into his boot. He swallowed a groan, wincing, and his grip wavered. She stepped out of his reach and turned away. She dashed to the hall as quickly as she could without drawing attention.

    Her copious skirts slowed her down, and Captain Franks was faster. The saber hanging off his belt jingled as he caught her hand and pulled her out of the hall and through the open doorway of a small study.

    Damn this dress. The shoulders fell low without sleeves. She’d been forced to leave her wrist holster and derringer in her room, and her knife was too far under her skirts for any sort of quick retrieval. She scanned the room, looking for something that could be used as a weapon. A vase, a miniature bust of George Washington, and fire pokers all held possibilities, though she doubted she would need to use one of them on Captain Franks. He’d proven last year that he was far more susceptible to charm than force.

    She smoothed her skirts and turned to him with her most inviting smile. “What are you playing at?” He remained next to the partially open door, so she stepped forward, reaching out to smooth the epaulet’s gold fringe on his shoulder. “Don’t you feel like celebrating with the others?”

    He threaded his fingers through hers, pointedly drawing her hand away from his body, though he did not let go.

    She tipped her head back, lengthening her neck, and stared up into his sapphire eyes. “Maybe you’d like to pick up where we left off in Albany.”

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Southern Rose

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