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George Hawkins was meant to be a soldier. As a young boy slashing the enemy with his stick sword, he knew it was his destiny. A destiny that grew murky after the Battle of the Little Bighorn, while following the Lakota with General George Crook. Strong morals and ideals guided George, and when he refused to obey an order that was in direct conflict with those beliefs, he was forced to resign his cavalry commission in disgrace. With no direction in life other than to survive day by day, George winds up on the Lazy D ranch, run by patriarch Stuart Douglas. Maggie Douglas, Stuart’s rich, spoiled daughter, is used to getting what she wants. And she wants George Hawkins. When George goes to work at the Lazy D as a ranch hand after resigning his commission, Maggie sets her cap to win him; if only to make her father and brothers crazy because he’s not their idea of an acceptable husband for her. But what happens between them is not what she planned on when her game began, when she falls for the shy, old-fashioned cavalryman. One look at Maggie Douglas, the prickly, opinionated, black-haired minx, and George knew he was lost. Deep within she carried a strong passion for the Indians, a cause close to George’s own heart, as well as passion for her own right to drink, swear and ride just like any man--if she wanted to. An outspoken whirlwind in her own right, Maggie seems more suited to the 1990’s than the 1890’s. She constantly spouts the suffragist ideals of Susan B. Anthony. Some day, Maggie will make her voice heard as part of Miss Anthony’s cause--a cause, in her estimation, that should be heard and shouted aloud by all women. A cause far different than the rhetoric her father and brothers constantly try to pound into her head that all she needs to think about is to find an “acceptable” husband, become a good wife, and raise lots of babies. Despite George’s confused feelings about Maggie, he rebuffs her openly flirtatious advances because of her forward and wild ways. He was raised to revere a woman, put her on a pedestal, and treat her with respect. Once Maggie’s initial anger chills from George’s rejection, she realizes she might enjoy the challenge of an old-fashioned courtship--if she didn’t have things to do. It’s almost time for her to find her own path in life, to raise her voice for women’s rights, and to discover the world around her. Frustrated and confused, George finally rebels against everything Maggie keeps telling him about her father and brothers’ ideas for a husband and asks her to marry him. Maggie refuses his proposal, leaves the ranch and follows her heart to join Susan B. Anthony in her quest for women’s rights, leaving George alone and searching for the direction his life should now take. Picking up the pieces of his shattered pride, George goes to work as a teamster delivering annuities to the Indians. He vows that somehow, some way, he will make a difference for the Indians on the reservations. For years he struggles to keep that vow, and because of his honest and sincere desire to help the Indians, he is given a name of respect by the headmen. Wasicun Cantewaste. White Man With Good Heart. After years of driving, George knows there’s still a huge void in his soul. A void called Maggie Douglas. But she’s a closed chapter in his life, a time he can’t recapture, so he pushes forward, continuing to do whatever he can to make things better for the reservation Indians, while fighting a corrupt system, the weather, evil men, and doing everything in his power to ensure delivery of the best annuities possible. But the story doesn't end here. In fact, it's just beginning. Very soon George will come to love his wild and rebellious woman….
Awe-Struck Publishing; May 2008
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She turned. Tears glistened in her eyes. "Why do we have to hate the way we do? Why can’t we just live in peace?" She brushed the tears from her eyes. "I get so mad when I think about how they’re treated. How they’ve been made out to be evil because they fight to preserve their heritage and their land--land they’ve hunted and lived on for centuries." Her tone of voice was changing and George sensed her suppressed anger. She had strong convictions when it came to the treatment of the Indians. The same convictions he held. It was frightening in a way. They were very much alike, regardless of how much he didn’t want them to be. He wanted to reach out and take her into his arms--to hold and comfort her and take her pain away. She looked up, her eyes still brimming with tears, and he forgot everything except her. He closed the distance between them. His arms wrapped around her shoulders and his lips settled on hers in a searing kiss. She moaned and his lips slanted harder across her mouth. Her hands snaked up under his arms and around his shoulders, her fingers dug into the thickness of his coat. His heart hammered. He probed her lips with his tongue. Her mouth opened and invited him into her warmth, her own tongue teasing and tasting. George was dizzy with desire as her hands moved brazenly over his chest. She unbuttoned his coat, their lips still melded in a burning kiss. Her hands found their way inside his coat, while they continued to nip and tease each other’s lips. Her nose was cold, but her mouth was hot and inviting. George’s body was tight and growing hotter as her hands roved the contours of his chest and shoulders, around his sides and up and down his back. She moaned. He groaned and wrapped his arms tighter around her shoulders to pull her closer. He wanted to make her his, wanted her to meld into him, become part of him. She slipped off her right glove and dropped it to the ground then undid several buttons on his shirt. She slid her hand under the material and let her fingers rove through the light matting of hair on his chest. George about came out of his skin when her warm hand touched his bare flesh. She moved against his body and mewled like a cat in heat.
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