Deceive Not My Heart by Shirlee Busbee - Fiction
Leonie Saint-Andre, the granddaughter of an old Creole gentleman, thinks Morgan Slade is a scoundrel.
Morgan, the son of a wealthy Natchez plantation family, thinks Leonie is a clever liar.
Leonie claims Morgan married her, and fathered her five-year-old son. All she wants is her dowry returned to pay her dead grandfather's gambling debts and save their home.
Morgan knows that he accepted neither dowry, nor Leonie's hand in marriage. But the woman before him awakens emotions he never thought he'd feel again.
But that doesn't give reason for the imposter who signed his name to the marriage papers Leonie holds or why her son bears such a striking resemblance to Morgan himself.
Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice
Affaire de Coeur's Silver and Bronze Pen
"One of the best romance writers of our time." ~Affaire de Coeur
THE LOUISIANA LADIES, in series order
Deceive Not My Heart
Love Be Mine
What brought his eyes to her, he couldn't say, but one second his gaze was idly skimming the smiling crowd, and the next it was riveted on the dainty figure standing uncertainly in the archway. Sweet Jesus, who is that bewitching little creature? was his first thought, the blue eyes narrowing intently as they moved assessingly over the bright tawny hair and golden skin. So compelling was the pull of attraction that it was all he could do to prevent himself from closing the distance between them and demanding an introduction. Despite the occasion and the distance that separated them, the small slim figure radiated an appeal that trapped Morgan's attention; he was unable to tear his gaze away from her. It's the hair, he told himself savagely a second later, it's the same shade as Stephanie's. But it wasn't that, and he knew it—the first sight of Stephanie's shining curls had not filled him with an overpowering desire to caress their silken softness, nor had it instilled a craving to bury his head in the unruly strands and breathe in the sweet perfume he knew was there.Angry at this sudden surge of passion, his mouth tightened and the dark blue eyes hardened. Whoever she was, he was damn well going to avoid her—any woman who could arouse such powerful emotions at first sight was a damned witch. And yet, having decided that, he still couldn't tear his gaze away, as he stared at her, every nerve in his body aware of her—and furious because of it.Leonie felt the steady, increasingly hostile blue stare, and as if drawn by a magnet, she looked at last in his direction. Across the space that divided them, she saw a tall, broad-shouldered man with a hard, arrogant face dressed in a well-fitting jacket of midnight blue velvet and black satin breeches that displayed the long, muscled length of his legs. The candlelight caught blue shadows in the black hair, and his skin was dark, the heavy, arching black brows apparent in spite of the distance and people that were between them.Time seemed to freeze; the rest of the room and the world faded away. There were just the two of them as their eyes met across the width of the ballroom. Then Leonie recognized him—or rather thought she recognized the man she had married nearly six years ago—and with righteous wrath blinding her to everything but his iniquity, she stormed toward him.Gaylord was two steps behind her, his courage wavering at the ugly, embarrassing scene that was about to erupt. Cowardly, wishing he had suggested they wait until later and then have a private confrontation with Slade, he made one vain attempt to catch Leonie's arm and persuade her to postpone the confrontation.It is doubtful anything could have stopped Leonie at that moment; everyone in the room was becoming aware that something was very wrong. Morgan's eyes had not left Leonie's slim, determined little figure as she made her way towards him, and naturally people began to turn to see who or what had his undivided attention at such an inopportune moment. Gaylord's presence alone caused a titter of curiosity to sweep the room, and Melinda's satin-slippered foot started to tap with an angry rhythm. If he does anything to spoil my party, I shall never speak to him again! she decided petulantly. Disparagingly, her gaze rested for a moment on Leonie and then dismissed her. What a positively dowdy gown she is wearing! was her only thought, as Leonie reached them.A hush fell as Leonie, her vivid little face alight with rage, stopped directly in front of Morgan. Gaylord was at her side, and from the moment Morgan had spotted him, he knew there was going to be trouble, even if it hadn't been obvious that the young lady...