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Authors: Linda Lael Miller

Tags: #Romance, #General, #Fiction

Taming Charlotte

Praise for the Author Who “Enchants Readers”
(Romantic Times) LINDA LAEL MILLER

Yankee Wife

“Sweeping and complex …
Yankee Wife
is a beautiful and meaningful romance—one of Ms. Miller’s best and destined for ‘bestsellerdom.’”

—Romantic Times

“You’ll have the time of your life keeping up with this quartet! Read this highly entertaining tale….”

—Rendezvous

Daniel’s Bride

“Linda Lael Miller is in top form as she brings readers into this warm, tender and exciting love story with touches of humor, poignancy and great compassion.
Daniel’s Bride
is a delectable tid-bit.”

—Romantic Times

“Linda Lael Miller is the greatest!
Daniel’s Bride
sizzles with humor, danger and romance, encompassing every emotion and leaving you breathless.”

—Affaire de Coeur

Caroline and the Raider

“Funny, exciting and heartwarming,
Caroline and the Raider
is a delight—another romance that’s as wonderful and hot as you’d expect from Linda Lael Miller!”

—Romantic Times

Emma and the Outlaw

“Ms. Miller’s unique way of tempering sensuality with tenderness in her characters makes them come alive and walk right off the pages and into your heart…. Emma and her outlaw will captivate and enchant you.”

—Rendezvous

Lily and the Major

“Earthy and sensuous, these two lovers are another wonderful hero and heroine presented to us from Ms. Miller’s fertile and very creative imagination. If all the girls’ stories are this delicious, have we got a treat in store? Darn tooting!”

—Rendezvous

“An absolutely joyous book, it will warm every reader’s heart.”


Romantic Times

Moonfire

“Linda Lael Miller continues to prove that she is one of the hottest romance authors writing today. This is a novel filled with passion, mystery, drama, humor and powerful emotions. Her love scenes sizzle and smolder with sensuality.”

—Romantic Times

“Sizzling love scenes and excellent characterization make
Moonfire
a delectable morsel of romantic fiction.”

—Affaire de Coeur

“Dynamic, sensual, very emotional…Ms. Miller’s explicit account of events is stimulating.”

—Rendezvous

Angelfire

“FIVE STARS—HIGHEST RATING!…Linda Lael Miller is a most talented craftsman with the written word. Her characters step out of the pages majestically and the reader is soon on very intimate terms with them.”

—Affaire de Coeur

“One of Linda Lael Miller’s hottest, most sizzling romances…Readers will be captivated by these headstrong, vulnerable lovers, their heartwarming love story and the scorching sensuality that pervades every page.”

—Romantic Times

My Darling Melissa

“[An] adorable, sprightly romance. Melissa is a delight—probably the most stubborn heroine of the season. Her determination to succeed, her unbridled sensuality and special brand of humor will capture your imagination.”

—Romantic Times

“A fast, entertaining read. Ms. Miller’s incorporation of the suffrage movement and the returning Corbin characters gave an added dimension to the story.”

—Rendezvous

“Unsinkable fun. The author dishes up her favorite fare: plucky women with the strength to reason and the passion to follow their hearts; powerful men who find an independent woman infuriating yet irresistible; countless love sequences that leave plenty to the imagination; and a flavorful 1890s setting.”

—Publishers Weekly

Books by Linda Lael Miller

Taming Charlotte
Yankee Wife
Daniel’s Bride
Caroline and the Raider
Emma and the Outlaw
Lily and the Major
My Darling Melissa
Angelfire
Moonfire
Wanton Angel
Lauralee
Memory’s Embrace
Corbin’s Fancy
Willow
Banner O’Brien
Desire and Destiny
Fletcher’s Woman

Published by POCKET BOOKS

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

An
Original
Publication of POCKET BOOKS

A Pocket Star Book published by
POCKET BOOKS, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc.
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
www.SimonandSchuster.com

Copyright © 1993 by Linda Lael Miller

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce
this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.
For information address Pocket Books, 1230 Avenue
of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

ISBN: 978-1-4516-1110-6
eISBN-13: 978-1-4516-5529-2

First Pocket Books printing November 1993

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

POCKET STAR BOOKS and colophon are registered
trademarks of Simon & Schuster Inc.

Cover art by Yuan Lee

Printed in the U.S.A.

For those who came to celebrate:

Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr, Nancy Higginbotham, Jill Marie Landis, Janet Carroll, Kim Bush, Patty Knoll, and Ginny Hillard, with big-time love and much gratitude (and honorable mention to the guy Irene hired to sing “New York, New York”).

Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

TAMING CHARLOTTE

June 10, 1877
Paris, France

My dear sister,

I hope this letter finds you well and happy. Of course, I have no reason to doubt that it will, since you have always been healthy as Papa’s best oxen. As for your joy in your forthcoming marriage to the young pastor, well, there could be no questioning that, even from so great a distance. Do you realize that every word you’ve written to me in the past year, Millicent Quade, has been but a single note in an ongoing serenade to the wonders of love in general and Lucas Bradley in particular? Even Lydia cannot praise the man enough, though fortunately for me, our beloved stepmother at least takes the trouble to tell me that Papa and the boys are well and that Uncle Devon and Aunt Polly and their brood are thriving as usual. If I had to depend upon you for a complete understanding of events in Quade’s Harbor, I would know a great deal about your intended and absolutely nothing about our family and friends!

No, darling, of course I’m not scolding you. If anything, I’m a little jealous of your Grand Passion. (I confess to wondering precisely how
grand
passion is allowed to be, with a minister of the gospel. I’ll ask you
about it when I return home, and know the answer by your blush.) In any case, you needn’t run straight to Papa and tell him I’m hankering to get myself married off, because I’m not.

Millicent, if you were here beside me, you would hear me sigh quite sadly at this juncture. I’m twenty-three now, as you know, and I’ve long since completed my education here in Europe. Needless to say, I am now officially an old maid, at least by standards in Washington Territory. And I am quite aware that I cannot delay coming home much longer; soon enough, I’ll sail into that familiar harbor and Papa will have a row of prospective husbands lined up on the dock. I’ve resigned myself to becoming a wife, and bearing children, and I’m certain that I will be happy enough, once I’ve mourned the death of my dreams. I mustn’t forget, too, that I will still have my painting for solace, when and if I am spared the time.

Oh, Millie, do forgive me for being so dreary about the whole thing. I don’t object to the idea of being a wife and mother, truly I don’t, but I wanted so to have one splendid,
glorious
adventure first, before settling down. It would seem, though, that I shall have to content myself with a brief journey to the shore in southern Spain, and a possible side trip to the island of Riz, with the Richardsons, those friends of Papa’s and Lydia’s who are traveling in Europe now. As you already know, I will be making the trip home to Seattle in their company. You remember their daughter, Bettina, I’m sure—she is still as timid as a deer, and will probably want to sit in a corner and crochet edgings for pillowcases rather than do any exploring.

How I wish you were here instead!

I find myself sighing again, Millicent, and continue writing only after gazing dreamily off into the distance for an interval. Is it truly too much to ask that, before I become a matron, subject to vapors and washday and plumpness, I could experience just one magnificent exploit? Something so undeniably fabulous that I could
draw on it forever, in those times when my spirit will surely be in famine?

I fear it is indeed too much to expect, and I grieve for my lost hope, though I put on the bravest front at all times and shall certainly continue to do so.

I will see you soon, darling, and watch proudly as Papa escorts you down the aisle to join your bridegroom at the altar. Please, set aside a little time for me, after the honeymoon. We have so very much to tell each other!

Do give my everlasting love to Papa and Lydia, our tribe of rambunctious little brothers, and to Uncle Devon, Aunt Polly, and all our many cousins. Don’t forget to greet Dr. Joe and Etta and their little ones, too. And kiss your handsome reverend once for me, if that’s proper—oh,
never mind
if it’s proper. Do it anyway!

I cherish you.

As ever,
Your Charlotte

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