During their childhood, one girl devotedly followed Bowie Beckett everywhere; in turn, he teased the plantation owner's daughter unmercifully and loved her from afar. But now she is a beautiful woman and his boyhood feelings are a man's passion--a forbidden passion he fears can only lead to ruin for them both. Maria adored one man all her life, a man society dictated she could never have. She will survive bandits, outrun Yankees, flaunt her well-turned ankle--anything to capture Bowie. For though his words are harsh, she sees desire in his eyes. And Maria chooses to herald Bowie's taunts as a challenge--one to be overcome by a woman's love.
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