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Cover Copyright ©2004
Trace Edward Zaber
My Secret Yankee
by T. D. McKinney & Aimée Masion
ISBN: 1-59279-318-5 (Electronic)
ISBN: 1-59279-814-4 (Paperback)
Best Romance (Historical)
Angele Valmont struggles to make the best of things when Federal troops pour into New Orleans and the despicable "Beast" Butler imposes martial law upon the city. She is determined to see her business and her family survive the losses of the vicious war. But the appalling Order No. 28 leaves her stripped of dignity and susceptible to violent attack by the dregs of the Union army.
Major James Darling resents being stationed in the muggy town of haughty Creoles and serving under a reprobate like Butler. When he is forced to physically defend one red-haired belle from his brothers in arms, his lot seems unbearable as well as boring. Angele's leonine eyes hold him in a thrall from which he can't bear to be free.
The Union major and the Confederate lady spark passion within each other no common sense or sense of duty can quench. If exposed, their secret love affair can ruin lives and set scandal burning across the French Quarter. If forever hidden, however, it will break their hearts...
Romance / Historical Romance
Length: Extended Novel (98k words / 270 paperback pages)
~ Purchase ~
Read what the reviewers are saying...
"In the grand tradition of Janet Dailey and Nora Roberts, My Secret Yankee is a delightfully rich tapestry of life in occupied New Orleans. Ms. McKinney and Ms. Masion take the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotion as they introduce us to the Valmont family. Wealthy Creole aristocrats, they love where they will regardless of scandal. While Angele Valmont and Major James Darling's romance may be the centerpiece of the story, they share the screen delightfully with Charlie Valmont's more proper courtship by Captain Wesley Leighton. Add in Séverin Valmont and his deliciously scandalous liaison with Antoine Broullette and you wonder just who's proper and who's not. Still, I long for a second novel, for while all's well and good, a war still rages, the major and the captain are still in the military, too many things could ruin the Valmont happiness. I want another novel about this lovely family, just to be assured that things stay well."—MeriBeth McCombs, Professional Reviewer
"Slightly wicked, deliciously lovely, My Secret Yankee begins with the proclamation from Major-General Benjamin Butler's heinous General Order # 28 posted to Angele Valmont's house. The genteel society of New Orleans' Creole upper crust unfolds in a glamorous tale of love, honor and deception. Major James Darling of the Union Army learns the torment of loving Angele, a beautiful Rebel, while the war rages around them. This is a 'must-read' for Civil War buffs and romance lovers alike."—Wanda Horton, Author, President North Texas Professional Writers Association and charter member Pulpwood Queens of Tarrant County
"5 Angels!...This is one amazing love story that will take readers on an emotional adventure of the heart. I was so immersed into the lives of these fascinating people that I could not put the book down even once. T.D. McKinney and Aimee Masion take you right into the middle of the Civil War. You will learn about the hardships both sides faced. You will see first hand how strong and brave these Southern women were while still being very much ladies! I am hoping for a sequel to see what happens to Charlie and the cousins. I am looking forward to reading more of Ms. McKinney’s and Ms. Masion’s soul–searing and heart-wrenching books! This duo definitely has a winner."—Janean, Fallen Angel Review
"5 Cups!...A joy to read. It is rich in historical detail without being over powering. In fact, the attention to detail gives real depth to the characters and the plot and really brings New Orleans to life. Although the plot pivots on the love affair between Angele and James, it is complimented by the long-standing relationship of Séverin and his lover Antoine and their constant tap-dancing to keep their love on the right side of respectable, as well as the emerging romance of Wes and Charlie. The reticence of Angele to acknowledge her relationship with James could be a huge obstacle for the character to gain any sympathy. However, Ms. McKinney and Ms. Masion draw such a vivid description of society and its restrictions you cannot help but feel her and the agony she goes through when she realizes her mistake of not publicly acknowledging her love for James. This book is both uplifting and heart-wrenching at different times, with even a few sparks of humor thrown in. I only wish Wes and Charlie and Séverin and Antoine had books of their own."—Gen Thomas, Coffee Time Romance
"Cupid Plot Factor 4.5!...This is truly what a historical romance aspires to be. It is so richly descriptive about Civil War New Orleans and the people inhabiting it that even the minutest of detail is discussed with clarity and insight. It is a bit overwhelming to start at 300 plus pages, but once the story grabs hold of you the pages fly by and you are fully immersed in the story and feel kinship to each and every character. Each of the six main characters in this book are so unique and their stories so interesting it is a wonder this novel is not far longer or broken into three volumes for each pair's love story. Angele and James are by far the two central characters and their story is fantastic. The love they share for one another is written so well and their joy and pain become your joy and pain. This is not a novel with highly sexual scenes, it is a romance with tender but few love scenes, so if you are looking for erotica this is not your book. I would classify this book as in the style of historical romances by Heather Graham and Judith McNaught. You will find rich detail intermixed with true historical events and people, as well as, pull at your heart moments between all the characters. I truly enjoyed this book and learned quite a bit about the Civil War and New Orleans. This definitely is a heart-warmer of a story with some teeth and characters you believe in and want to see happy. Well done!"—Marina, Cupid's Library Reviews
Read a short excerpt...
...Angele answered the pounding on her front door with trepidation in her heart and a gun in her hand. Stumbling backward as the shutters covering her front door were wrenched open, she stared dumbfounded as her Yanqui hero grabbed her shoulders with firm hands and blazing eyes.
"You can't do it. You can't throw your life away on some man who doesn't even like women. I won't let you."
She blinked up at him. She had no idea what he was talking about, but his voice was just as beautiful as she remembered.
"You shouldn't be here," she whispered.
Then she made the mistake of looking directly into his eyes and coherent thought fled. With a groan, he kissed her with three days' worth of hunger. Her arms wrapped about him and she returned the kiss with need equal to that flowing from him. Already dressed for bed, she could feel every line of his hard body through her thin night rail and it ignited a fire deep inside her
"Your servants? Where are they?" he asked as he nuzzled her neck, breathless and demanding.
"In their quarters at the back of the house. Asleep," she answered.
"Good!" She wrapped her arms about his neck as he scooped her into his arms and carried her up the mahogany staircase to her bedroom. He kicked her door shut behind him and deposited her on her bed. "I don't care about any sham engagement. You're mine. I'll think of some way we can marry, but until I do, you're still mine."
A groan escaped her lips as he smothered her neck and face in kisses, making it hard for her to think. She knew she should protest and explain that it was impossible for them to ever be together, but all she could think of was how much she'd missed him and wanted him. Sleep had become a memory, something that occurred no more than an hour at a time since she'd watched him disappear down the white shell path of her back alley. It was impossible to concentrate on anything but him. Now as she'd dreamed and fantasized, he was again in her bed, his hand on her bare thigh, his lips on hers, swearing he'd find a way to claim her...
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