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Intimate Strangers Affair
Dark gray clouds had swallowed the rising sun, dawn outlining their ominous shapes in gold. And the sky…crimson red, the color of fresh blood. Nathalie's blood started to pound with excitement. She could almost taste it. Rain was coming. A storm.
Physician Nathalie Arnaud is on her way home to San Francisco from Paris. After living on old bread, studying by oil lamps, and swimming through mischievous opinions about unnatural females, she has finally earned a brand new diploma from L'Ecole de Medicin. On the ship she encounters an enigmatic green-eyed Capitán, a most irritating man who causes her to exhibit symptoms she's not used to diagnosing.
When The Silhouette reaches port, Nathalie finds that nothing is quite as she remembered. San Francisco has grown up, and the Civil War hasn't stayed as far away as she'd hoped. Her aunt, Catherine Larsson, is running one of the most luxurious bordellos in town; her brother, Claude, has gone missing in connection with a most disturbing disappearance of the Union's gold; and doctoring on the front has taken a toll on her mentor, Doc James Calhoun, who's since closed his Infirmary for Women and Children.
To top off her homecoming, Major William Wolfe, the man with unlimited powers over her fate due to a sin committed years ago, now claims to hold her brother's life in the balance. Nathalie is forced once again to secretly work for the Union, only this time as a physician and not as a spy.
Don Miguel Samuelle Cabrillo is not only a powerful man, but also a man with many dark secrets. Nathalie's new assignment is to diagnose and cure Don Miguel of a most mysterious illness, even against his will. As one of the few female doctors, she is used to having trouble performing her duties, but when the young doctora finally comes face to face with Don Miguel Samuelle Cabrillo, the stipulations he imposes promise to make this the most challenging and stimulating assignment she has ever faced.
She is determined not only to get to the bottom of the Don's illness, but also to unravel the mystery of the Union's gold disappearance, whatever it takes. And it may very well take her life. She doesn't, however, count on society balls and wartime intrigue being part of her job. Nathalie finds herself drawn further into the mysterious world of the Captain, and discovers that he can teach her a few things medical school could not. When in Don Miguel's arms, his kisses burn up all thought, his caresses wash away all reality, and his body obliterates all truth except the one in their hearts. The place they reach when they are together is softer than silk and brighter than lightning, peaceful and cataclysmic, familiar because they belong there, and foreign because they can never stay long enough.