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?
Dawson gave the horse a good prod with his heels, and she took off. The wind whipped through his hair and the moonlight illuminated his way through the lush forest across the road from his home, down the embankment to the edge of the beach. Even in the dark, guided by the pale moonlight, his horse knew the way. This was not their first midnight ride.
As they reached the clearing, Dawson gave another prod. Gypsy opened up and flew across the sand. She sensed her master’s troubled heart and in turn mirrored his desire for freedom and wild abandon. Dawson let her run, her thunderous hooves muffled by the gritty sand beneath.
The horse galloped across the sand for a good quarter mile before Dawson gave her a nudge and pulled back on the reins to slow her to a halt. He stared out at the sea, the moon, the stars, and found he felt small, petty, and irritated still.
Aggravation crept into his heart as he looked out into the bay. Nathaniel knew what Dawson went through in his youth and yet his foolish little brother still wanted to take a bride.
Dawson threw a glance over his shoulder to the cliff-side home of Captain and Mrs. Barrett. The building housed the one idea he never imagined he could want.
Don’t dwell on this waif. She’s not yours to want after or worry about.
His brother was another story. Nathaniel had a great mind for sailing, but he had always been bohemian, never content to stay still for long.