Once a Rebel
by Mary Jo Putney
Genre: Historical Romance
“Putney’s endearing characters and warm-hearted stories never fail to inspire and delight.” —Sabrina Jeffries
A Rogue Redeemed
As Washington burns, Callista Brooke is trapped in the battle between her native England and her adopted homeland. She is on the verge of losing everything, including her life, when a handsome Englishman cuts through the violent crowd to claim that she is his. Callie falls into her protector's arms, recognizing that he is no stranger, but the boy she'd once loved, a lifetime ago.
Lord George Gordon Audley had been Callie’s best friend, and it was to Gordon she turned in desperation to avoid a loathsome arranged marriage. But the repercussions of his gallant attempt to rescue her sent Callie packing to Jamaica, and Gordon on a one way trip to the penal colony of Australia.
Against all odds, Gordon survived. Finding Callie is like reclaiming his tarnished soul, and once again he vows to do whatever is necessary to protect her and those she loves. But the innocent friendship they shared as children has become a dangerous passion that may save or destroy them when they challenge the aristocratic society that exiled them both….
August 20, 1814
Callie brushed a lock of damp hair from her eyes, then dried her fingers on a towel before she returned to pinning delicate silk. Like its namesake, the rebellious General Washington, this young capital city was fresh and exciting in comparison to her Lancashire home, but the hot and humid summer had her wishing wistfully for the soft, cool summers of her childhood. She tucked another pin into the gown she was altering for Mrs. Gerard, one of her best customers. The wife of a high official in President Madison’s cabinet, Mrs. Gerard accepted a clean linen handkerchief from Sarah, Callie’s housekeeper, cook, assistant, and friend.
After murmuring thanks, Mrs. Gerard said soberly, “We’ve decided to move to our country house for the rest of the summer. It will be safer there, and we’ll get away from the heat and illness of this malaria-infested swamp.”
Washington was famous for its unhealthy climate, but not everyone had a country house to escape the summer heat. Callie said, “The Royal Navy has been plundering the Chesapeake Bay for over a year. What does Mr. Gerard think will happen now?”
“Since Napoleon’s abdication has released British Army troops to come here, the cities around the bay are in danger of land invasion. If troops are landed on the Patuxent River, they can march to Washington, Annapolis, or Baltimore.”
Similar thoughts had been keeping Callie awake at night. Luckily, her customers kept her better informed than the news sheets. “Wouldn’t Baltimore be the most likely target because of its shipping and privateers? They say the Royal Navy admirals call Baltimore ‘that nest of pirates.’ ”
“Yes, and justly so,” Mrs. Gerard agreed. “But I wish this war was over.”
“So do I!” Callie accidentally stabbed her finger with a pin. “I’ve never seen the point of it.”
Before Mrs. Gerard could reply, the door to the dress shop flew open. Callie’s fourteen-year-old stepson, Trey, his black curls rioting around his face, burst into the salon. “The British have landed over on the Patuxent!”
Mary Jo Putney is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has written over 50 novels and novellas. A ten-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA, she has won the honor twice and is on the RWA Honor Roll for bestselling authors. She has been awarded two Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards, four NJRW Golden Leaf awards, plus the NJRW career achievement award for historical romance. Though most of her books have been historical romance, she has also published contemporary romances, historical fantasy, and young adult paranormal historicals.
Mary Jo Putney, Jo Beverley, Joanna Bourne, Patricia Rice, Nicola Cornick, Cara Elliott, Anne Gracie, Susan King are the ladies otherwise known as the Word Wenches. These eight authors have written a combined 231 novels and 74 novellas. They’ve won awards such as the RITAS, RT Lifetime Achievement award, RT Living Legend, and RT Reviewers Choice award. Several of them are regulars on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.
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