The Frenchman and the English Rose, by Carolann Camillo: Romance and Intrigue during the U.S. Colonial Period

frenchmanSworn to vengeance, Rive stole Catherine away on the eve of her marriage. Will this fierce Frenchman fight her countrymen to the death in the French and Indian War?

The Frenchman and the English Rose (ISBN: 978-1-60381-681-6, $14.95, 216 pp.) is a reprint of an historical romance by Carolann Camillo, originally published as Moonlit Desire. The story takes place during the U.S. Colonial period and culminates in the Battle of Quebec.

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“Camillo sets this dramatic standalone historical romance in the mid-18th century, during the French and Indian War. [….] Romantic tension simmers between Rive and Catherine as they travel toward his home in an Indian village and Rive prepares for Jeremy to follow them. The danger Rive and Catherine encounter throughout adds magnetism to the blossoming romance and the plentiful historical details.”  Read more….

—Publishers Weekly

“Carolann Camillo provides tightly woven narration with just enough period detail to make the setting and circumstances come alive for the reader. She describes the forest surroundings of rural New York in a way reminiscent of James Fenimore Cooper. The dialogue is true to the time period, yet it has a freshness we can all relate to today. Very captivating.” Historical Novel Society

“The progression of the story, the vivid descriptions of the scenery all keep the reader engrossed in the character’s plight. Camillo’s keen perception about human behavior, desires, and motivation show that she deserves to be on the pedestal alongside such classic romancers as Nora Roberts and Jude Deveraux.” Romantic Historical Lovers Blog

“Catherine and Rive have a chemistry that is astonishing.[….] Ms. Camillo pens a wonderfully inspired story of love, devotion and honor. This is positively a heart-warming gem with all the makings of a great book. Indeed a journey worth traveling in every page.” Coffeetime Romance & More

In 1759 Catherine Bradshaw travels from London to the colony of New York to join her future husband, Jeremy Flint, a man she barely knows but already fears. Immediately after the wedding ceremony, their coach is waylaid by Rive St. Clair, a French Army captain who has sworn vengeance against Flint. Rive abducts Catherine and heads north, confident that Flint will pursue. Sixteen years earlier, Flint instigated a massacre at an Indian village, and now Rive hopes to lure him back to that same village and make him pay for his crimes.

As Rive forges a path through the wilderness, Catherine’s indomitable spirit and resilience are put to the test. She is frightened of her surroundings and the man who holds her fate in his hands. Rive makes no secret of his desire for her, and she is determined to resist her own growing attraction. As for her scoundrel of a husband, Catherine harbors no more illusions, especially after his cowardly plot to rescue her fails disastrously.

Rive brings Catherine to Quebec City, the French stronghold he has pledged to defend against the British. There he proves himself worthy of her love, respect, and devotion. Catherine’s hard-won happiness may be all too brief. The French city falls to the British, leaving Rive to the mercy of his enemies. But Catherine will not surrender without a fight. The British have not bargained on her ingenuity or the depth of her passion for Rive.

Says Camillo, “Ever since I read The Last of the Mohicans, I wanted to write a novel that takes place during the period of the French and Indian War. James Fenimore Cooper’s classic totally captured my imagination. My goal with this book was to make that conflict come alive for a new generation.”

Carolann Camillo’s other novels include Southern Star, Forever Mine, The Very Thought of You, and Eyewitness (with Phyllis Humphrey). A member of Romance Writers of America, she was a finalist in the Windy City Romance Writers Contest. She won the Foster City International Writers Contest in the children’s story division. Carolann was born in New York City and graduated from St. John’s University. She lives with her college professor husband twenty miles south of San Francisco. Click here to find Carolann online.

Keep reading for an excerpt:

A shiver rippled though Catherine’s body, a shiver having naught to do with the lack of sunlight or the cool, damp air. She had responded to him, and she could no longer deny it. It had something to do with the tilt of his mouth when he smiled and everything to do with his touch, now so surprisingly light, considering that he must be furious with her. When he threaded those long, sculpted fingers through her hair, her scalp prickled with the most delicious sensations. She wondered when he would stop, was afraid to contemplate where he would stop. It took all her willpower to smother the moan that was forming dangerously in her throat. She could still feel his body imprinted against every part of hers.

It also took a considerable dose of common sense, combined with a stout mental kick to the posterior, to gather her defenses. Admittedly, he treated her with some respect. He touched her, but in a far less intimate way than he might have done, and had been generous in sharing his breakfast. Still, she was loath to think of his actions as gallant. She had no guarantee he would continue playing the role of a gentleman if they were to spend many more days and nights together. Her body’s betrayal frightened her, and she resolved to give him no cause to abandon all decency.

After what seemed an eternity, he said, “Don’t ever do that again. There are dangers about far greater than any you will ever suffer from me.”

She pushed against his chest with her arms. “I cannot breathe.”

He tipped her face up and gazed into her eyes. “I cannot trust you. So, Catherine, it seems I had better keep you close.”

He lifted her into his arms and carried her to the stream, setting her on her feet at the water’s edge. A flock of wild geese flew overhead in a V formation. On the opposite bank, a doe and her fawn stepped out of the trees and approached the stream. Rive placed a finger against his lips, and together they watched the animals drink.

Having experienced such an idyllic scene only in books, Catherine stared, enthralled. The doe raised her head and stood perfectly still for a moment before she turned and bolted for cover, followed closely by the fawn.

Rive slipped free the lace ruffle Catherine had tucked into her bodice, dipped it in the water and dabbed at the tiny cuts on her arms and hands. Throughout his ministrations, she stood as still as one of the surrounding trees. Spent from her flight and desperately in need of refreshing, she let him cleanse her wounds. While he did, she deepened her resolve to allow nothing he said or did to affect her in that way.

The task completed, he led her to where he left his horse, saddled and ready to ride.

“Madame’s transport awaits.” Then he lifted her onto the horse’s back, gathered the reins and bounded up behind her. Looping one arm about her waist, he murmured against her ear, “Yes, from now on, I intend to keep you very close indeed.”

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