Wild Swan Author:Celeste De Blasis Sweeping from England's West Country in the years of the Napoleonic wars when smuggling flourished and life was led dangerously, to the beauty of Maryland horse country -- a golden land already shadowed by slavery and soon to be ravaged by war -- here is a novel richly spun of authentically detailed history and sumptuous romance, the story of a ... more »woman's life and the generations of two families interwoven by fortune and fate.
At the center of the novel is Alexandria Thaine, wild beyond taming, wise beyond her years. For Alexandria, youngest and unwanted child of a bitter mother and a distant father, there are only two joys in childhood: the warmth of a wise grandmother's love and the too-few carefree days spent with the Falconer family, distant relations to whom she is sent.
It is with the Falconers on the wild, wind-swept coast of Devon where the free trade thrives and fills the days and nights with danger that Alexandria's life gloriously begins. For here is Rane Falconer, the handsome, dark-haired young man in whose eyes she glimpses the reflection of her own soul. Rane, who sees in the child the woman Alexandria will become -- the woman he will love for the rest of his life.
But those days are nearly forgotten when Alexandria is summoned home to care for her dead sister's children. Soon, she will have to care as well for their father, St. John Carrington, who returns from Waterloo shattered in body and spirit. So much of herself and her love does Alexandria lavish on restoring him to health that it seems natural for her to become his wife -- a union sanctioned by neither church nor state. And so great is St. John's need for her that when Rane comes at last to claim her, it is too late. But these brief, stolen moments with Rane awaken Alexandria to her own sensuality and forever alter her life. For Rane will ever stay a part of her, as close as her own soul, though loyalty and love of a different kind will bind her to St. John -- to their life together in a new land, to their children, and to Wild Swan, the Maryland farm where the magnificent thoroughbred racing stock that is the Carrington's dream and fortune is bred.« less