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Secret Cravings/Rita Hestand
Rose and Josey Anderson had to keep the farm going while the civil war played it's deathly music. Life on the farm had changed since the war began, while Josey pined for Leroy's love, Rose made sure everyone on the farm was satisfied and happy.
The civil war was not a woman's war, but Ruby Anderson and her two daughters struggle to keep the farm they have always worked safe. Rose is engaged to Leroy Van Houghton, but he quickly enlists in the Confederate Army. Rose finds herself trying to keep all the man on the Anderson farm happy, including Leroy's brother, Hank. Abused as a child Rose doesn't understand that it is wrong to love more than one man.
Josey, the younger sister is secretly in love with Leroy, and lives for the day when he will recognizes her as a fully grown woman.
Rose finds the war is not the only nemisis, when she becomes pregnant and doesn’t' know who the father is. Can it be Jacob, (the beloved black slave on the farm)? And if it is…how can they possibly admit their love for each other in a country full of hate?
Rose must come full circle with her desires and emotions, and evolve into a heroine for her sister's sake, as Josey is accosted by Jayhawkers and left for dead.
Filled with the realities of war, and the passion of true love, the Anderson's must survive it all to find happiness!
Leroy and Hank were talking to her mother when she opened the door and greeted them with a smile. "Mornin’ Leroy, Hank."
"Josey." Leroy smiled, his glance sliding up and down her lazily. Josey lost her breath when his eyes met hers for an instant. She always read more in his eyes than was there. What an imagination she had.
Hank glanced about the place. "Where’s Rose?"
"She’s comin’." Josey frowned at the boy who was surveying the land about him.
Hank wasn’t as good looking as Leroy, with his red hair and freckles, but he had grown into a well-built man, with a husky voice and attitude that leaned toward snobbish. She didn’t like Hank that much, but since he was Leroy’s brother, she remembered her manners. Perhaps they were too close in age, or maybe the way he stared so at Rose, but Hank irritated her. After all, Rose was Leroy’s girl, everyone knew. He’d come callin’ this morning to tell her goodbye. Josey thought that sweet.
Leroy’s glance strayed to her, his lips formed a fast smile as he caught her eye once more. "You’re growing up fast, Josey." His voice held a sudden huskiness that she hadn’t expected. She’d learned a long time ago to put his sweet words in the corner of her heart, and treasure them always.
"Am I?" She smiled back.
"Looks like the young men will be beating a trail to your door soon." He chuckled.
Josey’s smile faded as she settled against the porch railing. "I guess…"
He came closer. "Well, Josey, I’m off to the war this mornin’ and I won’t be seein’ you for a while. I suppose you’ll be fully grown by the time I get back."
If Josey didn’t know him better, she would have sworn he was flirting with her, but she knew not to go there. She couldn’t flirt, if she even knew how.
"I expect so. I do hope you’ll be careful," she said breathlessly as he leaned toward her a bit.
Flustered, heat crept up her cheeks at his nearness. Why did she have to blush so? She hated blushing.
He closed in, his lips grazing her cheek softly. "Goodbye, Josey."
She would never wash her face again. He had kissed her in the blink of an eye and she squirmed. Had she imagined the huskiness of his voice? She imagined before that he said he loved her, but that would never happen. She needed to separate the truth from her daydreaming. Her inner most self wanted to jump into his arms and never let go, but good sense had her backing away just in time as Rose stepped outside.