Midnight Caller is the first novella in my Moonlight Romance series. It is set in the South right after the Civil War. Race prejudice is still strong and my heros and heroines get into lots trouble because they follow their hearts instead of listening to society’s rules.
Life without love is painful, but in 1865 forbidden fruit can be deadly. When a wealthy widow decides to enjoy her new-found freedom, she puts more than her reputation on the line. An unwanted suitor means to have her, or no one will. From sizzling sex to life-threatening danger, the intrigue will keep you turning the pages!
“You know, Mr. Hawthorne is interested in you.”
Emma gave a slight nod. Everyone in town knew Mr. Hawthorne was interested in her. Hank had forbidden the telegraph operator to come around her again, but now Hank was gone, would he pursue her?
“Mr. Hawthorne is a respectable man,” Mrs. Dimshire said.
A throbbing pain began above Emma’s left eye. Surely, the old lady wouldn’t try to set them up. Out of all the eligible bachelors in town…with his thinning auburn hair and long, homely face, he was as attractive as a gnarled tree. She couldn’t imagine sleeping next to him. Her lungs compressed, making each breath a chore.
“He isn’t my type,” Emma squeaked out. He was worse than Hank. He would be more than demanding and controlling. He would be jealous and overbearing, maybe even violent.
She picked up her cup again, hoping the tea would be soothing. It wasn’t. Her hands shook and she set the cup down before she spilled it on the white lace tablecloth.
Mrs. Dimshire’s wrinkled hand grabbed her wrist tenderly. Emma’s heart punched her ribs. The touch was probably meant to be comforting, but she felt trapped.
“Do you know how I get through each day without Connor?”
Emma shook her head.
“Whenever I feel the need to have a man next to me, I satisfy that need.”
Emma’s eyes bulged. Had the leading socialite in Louisville just said she shared her bed with a variety of men? But there would have been gossip, surely. No one had said a word.
Mrs. Dimshire’s eyes were sincere and she spoke as matter-of-factly as if she had just ordered a cut of beef from the butcher.
“I know you are not ready to remarry.” The older woman’s fingers slipped away from her skin. “But I thought you might like some male company once in a while.”
A thrill rushed from Emma’s head to her toes. Being with a man, no-strings attached. All the power and freedom she wanted. She could control the affair.
“Ah, I see the glow in your eyes,” Mrs. Dimshire said. “Yes, it is exciting and invigorating for a woman to take charge. I can tell you where to go. No one will ever find out.” Mrs. Dimshire paused and leaned back in her brown-and-burgundy striped chair. “And I trust you will keep my secret.”
“Yes, ma’am. Of course.” Going against Mrs. Dimshire would be social suicide.
“There is one thing though that might dissuade you,” Mrs. Dimshire said and then dabbed her lips with a linen napkin. “The men are colored.”