She is intent on avenging her dishonor by the man who had taken more from her than she could ever possibly imagine. She has nothing, and so there is nothing she can lose, but she is intent on using any means necessary to take back what is rightfully hers.
Born out of the ravages of war, theirs is a love that cannot be denied,
blurring the boundaries forged by conflict until both are on the edge of
a dizzying abyss where only passion matters, and surrender is sweet.
From the book
"Tyler, I'm not at all sure we should go through with such an underhanded plot. You know I've had no experience with this sort of trick! Why, I've never done a fraudulent deed in my life!"
"I know, Etty, but I told you before, it's not really dishonest, not when it's him. You don't have to utter a syllable. Just stand there and look matronly and sincere, like always, and I'll do all the talking, I promise," Tyler MacKenzie insisted gently, her final words taking on a wheedling tone as she tried to calm the older, bespectacled woman standing beside her. Tyler knew that her dear friend Harriet Stokely, who was fifty-five, considered herself a good bit wiser in the ways of the world than eighteen-year-old Tyler. At the moment, Harriet did not look the least bit convinced, despite Tyler's reassurances.
Tyler sighed. Her small, high-heeled red boots made crunching sounds in the ice-crusted snow as she stamped her feet, trying to keep warm. The night wind was so cold! "Just remember I've done this sham before, lots and lots of times, and it always works like a charm. Anyway, we've got to do it this way, because the Yankee must think we met him by chance. According to the Tribune, he's one of the fastest fellows in Chicago, so he's bound to pay me some notice if I act the coquette. You read the account of him and that awful artist woman yourself. She ended up deserting her husband and going back east because of him. I can have him eating out of the palm of my hand in no time at all, I know I can," she finished with a self-confident nod.
"Oh, Tyler, won't you please reconsider? You haven't tried any of these" -- Harriet faltered over the distasteful words -- "disgraceful conspiracies for months now, not since last summer when your uncle Burl was laid to rest in St. Louis. He was the mastermind, if you'll remember!"
Tyler knew Harriet would never condone her scheme, so she took a different tack, one she knew would appeal to the other woman.
"Etty, tonight will end our deceptions, just as I promised you. I mean it, truly. Once we get Rose Point back from Gray Kincaid, we can go there to live. You know that's all I've ever wanted. He owes it to me. Rose Point is rightfully mine."
Harriet detected the barely perceptible catch in Tyler's voice, and she sighed heavily in surrender. Shaking her head and grumbling a few more disapproving words, she tugged her gray squirrel cap down over her silvering dark brown hair. Lordy, she thought, vigorously chafing her hands inside her black woolen gloves, what a horrid night to stand about in the snow!
"Perhaps he's not intending to come around tonight after all," Harriet suggested, peering down the wide public mall and hoping desperately that she was right. "It's getting late. He usually passes this way by now. Mercy me, I'm becoming quite numb," she added.
"Please bear up, Etty. I'm not used to snow either," Tyler MacKenzie replied, shivering. "A brisk walk down to the end of the bridge would do you good, I suspect. He'll be along shortly now, I'm sure. He hasn't missed a night in five days. And, Etty, if you catch sight of him, and you're quite certain it's Gray Kincaid, stroll back toward me. That can be our signal.