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A Pirate's Love : Avon Historical Romance - Johanna Lindsey

A Pirate's Love

Avon Historical Romance

Paperback Published: January 2000
ISBN: 9780380400485
Number Of Pages: 384

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A Pirate's Love

Sailing westward toward the Caribbean sun, young Bettina Verlaine obediently sets out to fulfill the promise made by her father—but not by her heart — a prearranged marriage destined not to be...once the notorious Captain Tristan's pirate ship appears on the horizon.

Abducted by the bold and handsome brigand, the pale-haired beauty surrenders her innocence in the warm caress of the tropical winds — detesting her virile captor for enslaving her. . .yet loving him for the passionate spell he casts over fragile, yearning heart.

About the Author

Johanna Lindsey has been hailed as one of the most popular authors of romantic fiction, with more than sixty million copies of her novels sold. World renowned for her novels of "first-rate romance" (New York Daily News), Lindsey is the author of forty-seven previous national bestselling novels, many of which reached the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Lindsey lives in Maine with her family.

Industry Reviews

"A dreamspinner extraordinaire."-- "Romantic Times "A DREAMSPINNER EXTRAORDINAIRE".Romantic Times

Chapter One

Bettina Verlaine was more than apprehensive when she entered the sun-filled drawing room that morning and stood before her mother and father. It wasn't often that André Verlaine summoned her so early, and never before had he warned her to be present a day ahead. She knew that he must have something very important to tell her, something that would affect her life. She'd had the whole night to worry about it, but deep inside of her she knew what it would be. She was nineteen and marriageable.

She had expected to be married off three years ago, when she had come home from the convent school. Most girls from wealthy families were betrothed when they were only children, and married at the young age of fourteen or fifteen, as Bettina's mother had been. Many suitors had come to call on Bettina's father, though she had not been allowed to see them. But her father would consider none of the young men who sought her, for none was rich enough to suit him.

Bettina was sure that her future had now been decided. Soon she would be told the name of the man she would marry.

André Verlaine was seated at his desk and hadn't bothered to look up when Bettina entered the room. Could her father be deliberately putting off the task of telling her his decision? Perhaps he was feeling a trifle guilty about it now. But then, how could he? He was the same man who had sent her to the convent, saying she had become too troublesome to handle. She had spent most of her nineteen years away from home, and now she would be sent away again, forever.

Jossel Verlaine looked at her daughter anxiously. She had tried desperately to dissuade Andréfrom choosing Bettina's husband and thought she had succeeded until last night, when André had offhandedly informed her of his decision. Bettina wasn't like most girls; she was too spirited and too beautiful to be just given away. She might have chosen a good husband for herself, if only André had been reasonable. But no, André had to find a wealthy and titled husband for his daughter, and didn't care if Bettina found him repulsive or not.

Jossel sat before the open doors that led onto the terrace, as she did every morning, but today she hadn't been able to take one stitch in the tapestry before her. She couldn't stop thinking of the fate that awaited her daughter.

"Well, Bettina, this will not take long," André Verlaine finally said brusquely.

But he didn't alarm Bettina. Her father was never one to show tenderness or love for her, or for her mother, either. He treated them both as he treated the servants. André Verlaine was a cold man, obsessed only with increasing his wealth. And this consumed nearly all his time and thoughts, leaving little for his family.

"Why don't you sit down, ma chérie," Jossel said tenderly, before her husband had a chance to continue.

Bettina knew that her mother loved her. But she refused to sit, not wanting to appear relaxed and make it easier for her father. Bettina was feeling rebellious, and knew she had no right to be, for this was the way of things in the year 1667. It had been the same for centuries, and would probably never change. She just wished that her mother -had not talked so much about falling in love and choosing her own husband.

Mariage de convenance was what daughters were for, at least daughters of wealthy parents. Besides, no eligible men lived in their small hometown of Argentan, only peasants and petty tradesmen. If Bettina had chanced to fall in love, her father would never have consented, and she had been kept isolated from young men of her own class.

"I have arranged for your marriage to Comte Pierre de Lambert," André continued. "It will take place soon after the beginning of the new year."

Bettina flashed her dark-green eyes at him angrily, one last show of defiance to let him know what she thought about his crude announcement; then she bowed her head meekly as a good, obedient daughter was expected to do.

"Yes, Papa," Bettina said quietly, amazed at her own self-control.

"You will leave in a month. This will not give you much time to make your trousseau, so I will hire dressmakers to help you. Comte de Lambert resides on Saint Martin, an island in the Caribbean, so you will travel by ship. Unfortunately, it will be a long and tedious voyage. Madeleine, your old nurse, will go with you as chaperone and companion."

"Why must I go so far away?" Bettina exploded.

"Surely there must be someone here in France I could marry.

"By the Blessed Virgin!" André shouted, his otherwise milky complexion turning quite red. He stood up and glared at his wife. "I sent her to that convent to learn obedience! But all those years were wasted, I can see. She still questions my authority."

"If you would only take her wishes into consideration, André Is that too much to ask?" Jossel ventured.

"Her wishes are of no concern, madame," said André "And I will not stand for any more of your opposition. The betrothal has been arranged and cannot be undone. Bettina will marry Comte Pierre de Lambert. I pray God he can curb her defiance where I have failed!"

Bettina bristled. Did her father always have to talk as if she were not even present, as if she were of no consequence at all? She loved her father, but sometimes-in fact, most times-he made her so mad she could scream.

"May I be excused now, Papa?" she asked.

"Yes, yes," he replied irritably. "You have been told all that you need to know."

Bettina hurried from the drawing room, wanting to laugh, for what had she actually been told? She knew the man's name, where he lived, and that she would marry him after the new year arrived, that was all. Well, at least her father hadn't married her off fresh out of the convent. No, it had taken him three years to find her a husband, a man who could make it possible for him to increase his own wealth.

Bettina was full of conflicting emotions as she quickly ran up the stairs. She was angry with her father for sending her to a man who lived so far away. She would be in a new land, a land of strangers, and this terrified her. She wasn't really angry with him for arranging the marriage, for she had expected no less, and she was relieved in a way that it was finally done. She felt deep sorrow that she would be leaving her mother. But to counteract these feelings was a kind of joy-joy that she would not be completely alone on this journey. Madeleine would be with her, dear Maddy, whom she loved as much as she loved her mother.

ISBN: 9780380400485
ISBN-10: 0380400480
Series: Avon Historical Romance
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: January 2000
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 17.4 x 10.6  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.2

Johanna Lindsey

About the Author

Johanna Lindsey has been hailed as one of the most popular authors of romantic fiction, with more than sixty million copies of her novels sold. World renowned for her novels of "first-rate romance" (New York Daily News), Lindsey is the author of forty-seven previous national bestselling novels, many of which reached the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Lindsey lives in Maine with her family.

Visit Johanna Lindsey's Booktopia Author Page

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