Sunday, June 9, 2013

Taryn's Snippit Sundays~ Fire & Ice in her eyes #Snippits #excerpts CASTAWAY HEARTS

Twice orphaned, Catherine Barrett arrives in Virginia a stranger to her closest kin and secretly engaged to the one man her family would disapprove of—her seafaring grandfather’s apprentice. Add to her troubles, the rich and intriguing older brother of her secret betrothed, Dawson Randolph, a plantation owner who is as heartless as he is handsome. Heartbroken when her intended sets sail for his maiden voyage, Catherine finds it difficult to adjust to her new life, hoping to befriend the one man who is, undoubtedly, the match her grandparents wish for her. Dawson’s distaste for her secret engagement to his brother makes it clear he has no designs for marriage to anyone. Especially her.

Ten years since the tragic loss of his young wife and infant son, Dawson Randolph is convinced love and marriage is a fool’s game and resents being pardon to his brother’s hidden engagement. Damned by his instant attraction and his own growing desire, Dawson vows to befriend her against his better judgment. Determined to bring her happiness in a time of fear and uncertainty, Dawson puts aside his animosity to become her confidant, only to realize Catherine holds the key to his heart. When tragedy strikes at sea, Catherine’s guilt pushes Dawson to the fringes of her life as madness consumes her.

Can his love save her before she drowns in her own grief? Or is he doomed to love her from a distance, always in the shadow of her love for his dead brother?

         “Mr. Randolph?” Catherine’s soft tones tinkled in his ears. “Have you talked to Nathaniel?”
       Their walk took them near the edge of the cliff.
      “Oh, yes. I saw him earlier today.” Dawson drew on his pipe and turned his gaze toward the sea. He kept his attention on a gull soaring on the air current high above the ocean.
     “Did he say anything to you—of importance?”
      Dawson turned to face her once more and saw the pleading in her eyes. Irritation filled his gut and fire burned his insides. She hungered for any word of his brother, any crumb of information he might have in his regard. Gall bit at his throat when he spoke.
    “Yes, he mentioned your plans. He confided his intentions, though I can’t say I agree.” Dawson paused, well aware that his next words would sound bitter and opinionated. “I know Nathaniel well. He’s not mature enough, even at his age, to know what marriage entails, and I don’t know you well enough to make that kind of judgment, but I rather doubt you do either.”
      Fire and ice flickered in her eyes, scorching him in the sunset glow as her face twisted, her eyebrows furrowed in anger so cold it gave him a chill.

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