Cover image for The captain's woman
The captain's woman
Lovelace, Merline.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Don Mills, Ont. : MIRA, [2003]

Physical Description:
376 pages ; 17 cm
Format :


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X Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks

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Victoria Parker, daughter of a Wyoming newspaper baron, has loved Captain Sam Garrett for years. When the career soldier returns to Cheyenne, Victoria sets out to win his heart. But war erupts and Sam joins Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders. Victoria follows him, determined not to lose the love she has just found. Original.

Author Notes

After a 23-year career commanding U. S. Forces around the world, USAF Colonel Merline Lovelace began a second career as a writer. She has based many of her books on her own experiences in uniform.

Lovelace has published more than 70 novels including those for the series: Men of the Bar-H and Codename: Danger. Her books have won numerous awards, including the Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA.

She was named the University of Oklahoma's Writer of the Year and the Oklahoma Female Veteran of the Year.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

No man is going to tell free-spirited reporter Victoria Parker what to do, so after she dutifully sees Captain Sam Garrett, the love of her life, off to the war in Cuba, she sets out after him. But nothing in Victoria's young life has prepared her for the wounded soldiers and the plague of yellow fever. Romance--and maturity--come hard for a feisty young woman in this adventure-filled story, the third in the consistently enjoyable Garrett Family saga (The Horse Soldier [2001] and The Colonel's Daughter [2002]). In one of the few romances set during the Spanish American War, historical figures such as Teddy Roosevelt, Frederic Remington, Stephen Crane, and Clara Barton pop up from time to time to add interest and an authentic feel to the story, and a compelling subplot illuminates the creation of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. It is the rare author who writes contemporary and historical fiction with equal facility, but Lovelace proves over and over again that she has mastered both. --Shelley Mosley

Publisher's Weekly Review

This book's title, and its cover, which depicts a long-gowned woman gazing passively out to sea, don't indicate that Lovelace's latest (after The Colonel's Daughter) is anything but a stereotypical romance between a swashbuckling hero and doormat heroine. There's more here than appearances suggest, however. Third in a series about army life and love in frontier America, the tale centers on the relationship between spirited, spoiled 17-year-old journalist Victoria Parker and young cavalry officer Sam Garrett. Despite Sam's love for a beautiful and dedicated nurse, he and Victoria impulsively get engaged after falling in lust on the eve of the Spanish American War. Following the couple from their Cheyenne, Wyo., hometown to war-torn Cuba, Lovelace, a retired air force colonel, brings her central theme-the creation of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps-to vivid life by focusing on Sam's struggles as one of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders, Victoria's maturing from society fluff writer into respected war correspondent and the battle-driven evolution of their relationship from mere passion to impassioned love. As rich in history as it is in character, this romance is an inspirational delight. (Jan.) Forecast: Despite the bland, misleading cover, booksellers should see an increase in sales if they display this one alongside similar western-flavored novels like Jodi Thomas's The Texan's Wager and Kate Bridges's The Doctor's Homecoming. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Cheyenne, Wyoming February 15, 1898 Whenever Victoria Parker looked back on the cold, snowy night that plunged her into a wrenching passage from girl to woman, her heart would ache at the absurd arrogance of youth. She supposed more generous souls might excuse her conceit that blustery February night. After all, she'd celebrated her seventeenth birthday only a few months before. Not only did she stand poised and eager on the brink of womanhood, but she thrilled to the promise of the new century about to dawn. The old world was rapidly giving way to the new. Electric lights now flickered in most major cities. All across the country, female suffragettes were demanding the same right to vote that the state of Wyoming had granted its women two decades before. Railroad tracks and telegraph lines now spanned the American continent, once so vast and seemingly limitless. And for just a few pennies, eager patrons could enjoy rousing concerts, touring vaudeville acts or that incredible new invention, the moving picture show. With the utter confidence of the young, Victoria quite honestly believed the coming century held only the promise of grand adventures and great passions. Not that she was unaware of the dark clouds gathering on the horizon. After thirty-five years of peace following the War Between the States, a strident call to arms was once again sounding across the country. It had begun three years ago, when Cuban rebels mounted yet another insurrection to throw off the yoke of their hated Spanish masters. To deny the rebels their supply and support base, the Spanish military governor had moved hundreds of thousands of peasants off their farms into reconcentration camps. There they died, day after day, week after week, from sickness and starvation. American businessmen with interests in Cuban sugar plantations had raised the initial alarm. With their profits threatened by the continuing turmoil, they'd become increasingly vocal in their demands for intervention by the United States. American reporters in Havana had added to the urgency by detailing in their dispatches the atrocities committed by Spain. Some of those stories, to be sure, contained as much fiction as fact. But moral outrage over the situation in Cuba ran high, and newspaper giants like Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst shrewdly continued to fan the flames with story after story. Victoria herself had contributed to the war fever by helping her papa draft indignant editorials about the abysmal situation. Her thoughts that fateful February evening weren't centered on war or female suffrage, however, or even on the plight of the Cuban peasants forced into reconcentradas . Her most pressing concern as she sat before the dressing table in an upstairs bedroom at the Double-S ranch was her hair. "Wherever is that maid?" Grimacing at her reflection, Victoria struggled to tame her strawberry curls into the smooth, pouffy chignon made so popular by Charles Dana Gibson's sketches. At the same time, she kept an ear tuned to the faint sound of laughter and the chink of glasses drifting from the floor below. Elise Sloan's birthday party was already underway. If Victoria didn't hurry, she'd miss the festivities completely. She and her parents had intended to arrive early, but a sudden fall of snow had made the eight-mile carriage ride to the Sloan ranch outside Cheyenne an exercise in sheer determination. Elise and her mother, Suzanne, had escorted the late arrivals upstairs to thaw out and change. Unfortunately, the maid who had delivered a pitcher of hot water and promised to help the young miss dress must have been diverted by other duties. Eager to get downstairs, Victoria snatched hairpins from the dressing table and stabbed them into her scalp. The chignon slipped precariously to one side. "Botheration!" And here she'd so wanted to look her best tonight! Ordinarily, Victoria didn't concern herself unduly with her appearance. She didn't have to. Her mother's inherited wealth and her father's prominence as owner of one of the city's leading newspapers assured her place in Cheyenne society. Her parentage aside, Victoria could, quite without conceit, take satisfaction from her natural attributes. The nipped-in, hourglass fashions of the day perfectly suited her narrow waist and generous curve of bust and hip. Her sparkling, china-blue eyes and Cupid's-bow mouth had inspired some rather wretched, if enormously flattering, poetry. But it was her dancing smile, disguising as it did the hint of obstinacy in her nature, that enchanted every unattached male within two hundred miles. Except one. Elise's handsome young uncle, Samuel Garrett. The former cavalry officer who persisted in treating Victoria with careless, big-brotherly affection. The man she'd known most of her life but only decided to marry a year ago. She remembered the date exactly. March 22. Sam had just resigned his cavalry commission and returned to Cheyenne to take over management of the Garrett family's business affairs. Victoria had barely turned sixteen and was thoroughly enjoying the attentions of her many admirers. She'd also just begun scribbling quaint little stories for her father's paper and was quite puffed up with her own importance. Yet she'd taken one glimpse of the tall, broad-shouldered officer who stepped off the train and experienced the most ridiculous, most intense quivers in the pit of her stomach. In the months since, the odd sensations had intensified every time her path happened to cross that of Elise's uncle. Since Sam and his parents, like Victoria and hers, lived in town, that occurred with satisfying frequency. Not that Sam had any inkling of her tumultuous emotions, of course. Although spoiled outrageously by her doting mama and papa, Victoria was Wyoming-bred and range-smart beneath her sugar-spun beauty. She possessed far too much intelligence to let Sam Garrett know he set her pulse to pounding whenever he handed her into a carriage or took her in his arms for a waltz. (Continues...) Excerpted from The Captain's Woman by Merline Lovelace Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.