Early years[ edit ] As a child, Maxwell read primarily classic literature. She did not read her first science fiction novel until college, and was not exposed to other genres, such as romance, until even later. Her husband worked from PM to midnight, and as there was no bus service near their house and Evan needed the car for work, Maxwell found herself alone at home with their toddler son. Maxwell did not like television and claims to have read all of the science fiction books in the local public library, in addition to everything science fiction in a local second-hand book store.

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What would a halfbreed mustang hunter do with an English aristocrat? I have neither need of money nor desire for the marriage bed. We both enjoy silence and conversation together.

We like to ride, to hunt, and to read in front of a fire. What more could be asked of a marriage? Wolfe ignored both the looks and the aristocratic company.

Or perhaps your future husband is a sportsman. Lord Gore, is that his name? Is he here tonight? Wolfe caught her and set her right with the same casual grace as he did everything. It was my clumsiness, not yours. He watched her with dark eyes as they waltzed, hardly able to credit what he was seeing.

Gone was the thin child with ice-blue eyes, burning red hair, and quick laughter. In her place was a stunning young woman who had an uncomfortable effect on his senses, an effect he had refused to acknowledge for years. Like a marriage between a halfbreed bastard and the Lady Jessica Charteris. I must compliment you on your wit. She had lived on her memories, on the knowledge that there was one place on earth of refuge for her.

Believing that had kept her from panic when her guardian insisted on the marriage to Lord Gore. Dear God, what will I do? Wolfe must agree to the marriage! How can 1 convince him? Are you ill? He did care for her.

She could see it in his unusual eyes, neither black nor yet blue, the color of deep twilight or sapphires in candlelight. She smiled with relief, not knowing how her smile lit her delicate face. The elf who switched salt for sugar and laughed with such delight at the faces I made? The elf who hid in a haystack during a storm until I found her and promised to hold the thunder at bay? Surely you did not have to absent yourself for so long.

You could have returned. You are my Lord Wolfe. If you will save me from the ice storm outside, I will save you from the lecherous duchesses inside. Sleet gleamed dully with reflected light. His eyes narrowed as he looked down at the young woman who clung just a bit too tightly to him. He had forgotten that she spoke rarely, if ever, of the nine years before the Earl of Glenshire died and she became the ward of a distant cousin whom she had never met.

The draft is quite cool. A smooth gold locket lay in the shadowed cleft between her breasts. It reminded him of warm cream. The scent of her was a rose garden beneath a summer sun, and her mouth was a pink bud from that same garden.

She rested in his arms as lightly as a sigh. She was a child eleven years younger than he was, and she was making him burn. He called her Lady Jessica only when he was angry with her. No other woman in the room was so well-covered. Lady Victoria was quite put out by the lines of my gown.

Jessica laughed. She wanted the neckline lowered, the waist drawn tight, and a much greater girth of crinoline. I preferred the French fashion, which lacks all those bothersome crinolines. He had seen quite clearly the feminine curve of hip and thigh beneath the filmy cloth. She said I looked like a stick fetched by one of the hounds.

But Wolfe was different. He was a man with no title, no need for heirs; he was not looking for a brood sow for his get. Wind bellowed and hail scattered like shot across the glass. Shuddering with a fear whose source she remembered only in dreams and forgot before waking, Jessica tried to get closer to Wolfe. Even the reduced skirts of her modern ball gown prevented it. She stumbled for a third time, and again was caught by hands that were both powerful and gentle.

Around her the final strains of the waltz swirled, wrapping the room in music. It was almost midnight. So little time left. I thought you outgrew your fear of storms when you were ten. And you did. Without you, I am lost. Automatically, he executed a graceful turn and released Jessica as the music ceased. She clung to his hand as she had at the end of their first dance only a few minutes before. You are a lady of the realm whose engagement will soon be announced.

Two will elicit comments. Three will cause a scandal. We have danced twice. We will not do so again. It was too late. He bowed over her hand and turned away. With eyes darkened by fear, Jessica watched Wolfe walk away. No matter how great the crush of people, he was easy to find. It was not his height, though he was taller than many men. Nor was it his looks, though he was undoubtedly handsome with his straight black hair, dark skin, and remote indigo eyes.

What set Wolfe apart was his way of moving, a combination of strength and unconscious grace. He was a man thoroughly at home within his body in the way a hunting cat is at home within its own body. Jessica needed that masculine strength, that self-assurance.

Somehow she had to make Wolfe understand her need. She had made no joke when she proposed marriage to him. Far from it. She had never been more serious in all her twenty years. Winter was coming to an end but spring had not yet fully arrived, and now the seasons were fighting for supremacy, shaking the puny stone cities of man in their battle. The feel of the locket and the silent litany had soothed Jessica during the years when Wolfe had been exiled to America.

Now he had come back…yet she felt more alone than she had ever felt since he had plucked her from her fragrant hiding place in the hay and held the storm at bay by calling to the thunder in the words of his Cheyenne mother. Jessica laced her fingers together, concealing their trembling, but there was nothing she could do to conceal the pallor of her skin or the bleak desperation in her eyes.

I kept your wishes in mind when I chose your husband. You will not be burdened by Lord Gore for long. He is old and overfond of port. In a handful of years he will die. Then you will be a wealthy widow with your whole life in front of you. You should have been born to a staunch Catholic family and sent to a nunnery, but you were not.

You are the only offspring of a Scots Protestant highland lass and a lowland earl. The title and lands passed elsewhere, leaving you no wealth of your own. You must marry. Lord Gore, whatever his drawbacks as a gentleman, has enough wealth to keep the Queen herself in luxury.

Would that we in England treated our women so tenderly! You have enjoyed the perquisites of aristocracy. A common woman your age would have been tumbled and set to breeding years ago by the first lout who got beneath her skirts. Despite that dreadful American maid whom you imitate, you were taught to speak proper English and to be a proper lady.

I have spoiled you, but that is at an end.


Ann Maxwell

She was born on April 05, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States and had the hobby of reading science fiction and romance novels right from her childhood days. As a well established author, Maxwell has gone on to write more than 50 novels in her writing career, both individually and in collaboration with her husband Evan. Apart from Elizabeth Lowell, she is also known by the pseudonyms A. Maxwell and Lowell Charters, through which she has contributed several successful novels and nonfiction books. The novels written by her range from a variety of genres including historical fiction, science fiction, mystery, romance and suspense. Her husband Evan has particularly contributed in the novels based on the crime genres, both local and international. As a child, author Ann Maxwell used to love reading classic literature and it was not before her college days that she got the chance of reading science fiction novels.







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