By: Jane Toombs | Other books by Jane Toombs
Published By: Books We Love
Published: Jun 28, 2013
ISBN # 9781771450966
Published By: Books We Love
Published: Jun 28, 2013
ISBN # 9781771450966
Word Count: 92,479
Price: $2.99 $2.54
Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, Mobipocket (.mobi), Epub
Love's Odyssey by Jane Toombs - Romance>Action/AdventureThis is the story of a sixteen-year-old American girl who is orphaned when her father dies and she is sent to live with her English uncle. Unfortunately he falls out of favor with the king and is killed. This is where she meets Adrien who saves her from a dire fate by taking her to Holland to live with her mother’s sisters.
They sail to Java on the same ship, but Rommel and Adrien are fated to be torn apart again and again. She has only her courage and her beauty to keep her alive—and her impossible love for Adrien. He never gives up searching for her, even after she is abducted by a Chinese pirate and taken to Amoy. He’ll need all his ability as a swordsman to survive long enough to rescue her.
This is truly an odyssey for Rommel and Adrien as he keeps losing her and must set off to find her once more. Travel is by Dutch East India ship, by junk and by raft.
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Sensuality Rating: Not rated
Excerpt:"Well, girl, don't stand gawking out the window—answer me!"
Romell Wellsley turned from the view of her uncle's gardens to look at Sir Thomas Wellsley himself. "I'm sorry, sir," she said. "I didn't mean to be discourteous."
"Very well, very well," Sir Thomas said gruffly. No doubt I'm a bit short with everyone these days. Still, I must have your promise you'll not cause another ruckus like yesterday's."
Blood rose to Romell's cheeks. "I did nothing!" she cried. "My only wish was to be friendly. I had no notion those boys would come to blows."
Sir Thomas shook his head. "Scarcely a month in England and already men fight over you. It's not seemly, not seemly at all. A pity your mother died so young. As for your father—"
"Papa was a wonderful man!"
"I, too, loved Richard," her uncle said. "But being his brother didn't blind me to his faults. I see Richard in you, Romell. You must realize that behavior which might be considered merely high-spirited in a man is not appropriate in an eighteen-year-old girl."
"Papa did well in Virginia," she said. "You admitted as much yourself."
Sir Thomas nodded. "He found himself in the colonies. When I've settled his estate, your dowry will be substantial. I intend, however, to provide a dowry myself, so any marriage you might contract for will not be delayed. You're certainly comely enough. If you can manage to modify your demeanor, there's no reason why you shouldn't make a good match soon."
Romell smiled hesitantly. "I'll try to please you, Uncle Thomas. When I promised Papa, before he died, that I'd do my best to learn to be an English lady, I didn't realize the task would prove to be so difficult."
"Colony manners are as different from ours as colony dress," he told her, returning her smile. "You'll learn."
Romell glanced down at her scoop-necked gown of peach satin, admiring the fine lace that trimmed both the neck and the elbow-length sleeves. What she wore was the latest English fashion, she knew, but she wasn't used to exposing so much of herself. Why, the tops of her breasts showed! Perhaps it hadn't been only her attitude that had set the squire's sons to quarreling over her.
"Don't look so worried, child," her uncle said, reaching over to pat her cheek. His hand fell away, but his gaze continued to meet hers. "Since you've been here," he said, "I've come to wish a son of yours might someday inherit Three Oaks. I know it to be impossible, of course, due to the entailment. As you know, when I die the estate will go to a distant male cousin, descended from another branch of the family."
"But, sir, you're barely over fifty. Have you not thought to remarry? It may be you'd have a son."
A strange, almost desperate look crossed her uncle's face. "I fear there's no time," he muttered.
Romell gazed at him in concern. "Are you ill?"
"No, no, nothing of the sort. I spoke hastily. Political matters needn't concern you. And yet—" He broke off to stare at her again, so intently she gripped her fingers nervously about the small book of poetry she held.
"I believe a visit to your mother's relatives in Holland is in order," he said abruptly. "I'll see to the arrangements."
"My mother's relatives? But she was an orphan! I—I don't understand."
"Your mother has cousins in Holland. I don't wonder Richard never mentioned them—he despised the Dutch. With the exception of your mother, naturally. Annaleis was so charming no man could dislike her, whatever her lineage."
"I don't remember my mother."
"You have her brown eyes."
"Yes, Papa often said so. But I fear I have his cinnamon hair, and you've said yourself I've inherited his impetuous ways." As she spoke, Romell was thinking that, though Sir Thomas was her father's elder brother, there was nothing in him to remind her of Papa.
“I've no doubt you'll do very well, in time," her uncle said. "Control, that's the secret. He who controls himself has the power to rule the world. Would that King Charles might take note!"
The fighting in Scotland, Romell thought. Sir Thomas didn't approve of sending English troops there. He remained facing her, but he was staring over her head.
She looked down at the gilt-edged book of John Donne’s poetry she held. Her uncle’s library had more volumes in it than the entire colony of Virginia. Romell sighed.
In Virginia they would have finished the spring planting. The green shoots of hemp and flax would already be above ground. The cows would be dropping calves, and the tobacco sprouts would be ready for planting in the fields.
But Virginia was no longer her home. She lived at Three Oaks now, as she had promised Papa she would. Her father was eight months dead, and she must try to amend to suit Sir Thomas.
She glanced up at her uncle and saw his gaze was fixed on something outside the windows. Romell turned to look out at the side gardens where two gardeners methodically clipped back the riotous growth of spring so each shrub conformed to a pattern. In their way, Sir Thomas's gardens were lovely. They were certainly renowned throughout Suffolk for their elaborate order. Why did their formality make her feel stifled?
"Roosevelt," her uncle said.
Romell turned back to him. "Sir?"
"Those Dutch cousins of your mother's. I knew I'd remember the name. Spinster sisters. Halva and Greta Roosevelt if I'm not mistaken."
"I'm quite content here at Three Oaks," she said.
"Nevertheless, the trip is—" Sir Thomas broke off and strode to the long windows of the sitting room. As Romell followed him she thought she heard him mutter: "Too late."
She stared out at the two gardeners, who had abandoned their work and were looking in the direction of the front drive, although she couldn't see the drive from the sitting room. Did she hear horses? The gardeners gathered up their tools and hurried toward the rear of the mansion. A moment later, Romell heard the hollow boom of the massive iron hawk knocking against the oaken door of the great hall.
"Is something amiss?" she asked her uncle.
He didn't seem to hear her. All the color had left his long, rather ascetic face. His hair was quite gray, and, with his light eyes he seemed to have no color to him at all at that moment, like a wax puppet.
"Uncle Thomas!" she exclaimed, just as Hamer knocked.
Instead of bidding the butler to enter, Sir Thomas strode to the door. She caught a glimpse of Hamer's face before her uncle went out, closing the door and leaving her alone in the sitting room. Romell frowned. She'd never seen Hamer anything but impassive--surely she'd imagined that he looked frightened? Should she go after Sir Thomas? What would an English lady do?
Ladies didn't interfere in men's affairs. Ladies didn't attract undue attention. To follow her uncle would violate both precepts.