The year is 1782. Marco Mondragón, brand inspector in Spanish New Mexico, and his wife Paloma Vega have settled happily into married life on the Double Cross. And yet Paloma is convinced their joy wil
The year is 1782. Marco Mondragón, brand inspector in Spanish New Mexico, and his wife Paloma Vega have settled happily into married life on the Double Cross. And yet Paloma is convinced their joy will not be complete until she has a child. She longs to give her husband a baby to soothe his grief over the death from cholera of his first wife and twin sons.
Marco's land grant stands at the edge of the most dangerous region in the Southwest: Comanchería. Both Paloma and Marco have suffered at the hands of the fierce Comanche, losing beloved family members in raids. Despite their fear and mistrust of the Comanche, one lives among them.
Paloma rescued Toshua from slavery and near death. As much as she respects the man now, Paloma wishes he would return to the Staked Plains, Comanche stronghold to the east in Texas.
No one knows why Toshua remains at the Double Cross. Is it because his own tribe shunned him, or is he genuinely attached to its owners?
Now a new enemy threatens the Mondragóns' domestic bliss: the Dark Windela viruela, smallpox—barreling down on the defenseless royal colony from Comanchería. A mysterious and arrogant English physician named Anthony Gill offers their one hope at salvation... but only if Marco agrees to his Devil's Bargain.
Book Two in the Spanish Brand series, which began with The Double Cross.
View Biographical note
A well-known veteran of the romance writing field, Carla Kelly is the author of thirty-one novels and three non-fiction works, as well as numerous short stories and articles for various publications. She is the recipient of two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America for Best Regency of the Year; two Spur Awards from Western Writers of America; two Whitney Awards, 2011 and 2012; and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Romantic Times. Carla's interest in historical fiction is a byproduct of her lifelong study of history. She's held a variety of jobs, including public relations work for major hospitals and hospices, feature writer and columnist for a North Dakota daily newspaper, and ranger in the National Park Service (her favorite job) at Fort Laramie National Historic Site and Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site. She has worked for the North Dakota Historical Society as a contract researcher. Interest in the Napoleonic Wars at sea led to a recent series of novels about the British Channel Fleet during that conflict. Of late, Carla has written two novels set in southeast Wyoming in 1910 that focus on her Mormon background and her interest in ranching. You can find Carla on the Web at: CarlaKellyAuthor.com.