Revised and re-released
Available on Amazon
Sam Langhorne loves the carefree life of a wrecker in Key West. The island is perfect – for forgetting the woman who broke his heart. When he rescues Livvie Collins from a watery grave, he’s swept away by her beauty. He’s sworn off love, but is soon captivated by Livvie’s wit – and her independent spirit.
Olivia Collins never planned to visit Key West, or to fall in love with Sam. Handsome and attentive, he’s constantly surprising her with his intelligence and interest in current literature, but she knows better than to believe she’s anything more than a dalliance. As a novelist, she intends to make her own future.
Deception and treachery await them both in New Orleans. Can Livvie and Sam weather the most dangerous storm of all – love?
Reviews for previous version
Angels, Sinners and Madmen by Cate Masters is definitely one that will get you intrigued in every chapter. Cate did a great job creating two people who are lost in the world, finding their way back in a way that will make you jump to see them together. There were some parts that got me so moved and the words Sam speaks to his love is heartbreaking.I loved it and applaud Cate for creating a time in the past that seems so real in this book. It was enchanting!
This intriguing novel, brilliantly written by Cate Masters, is set in the 1850's in Key West and tells the stories of the wreckers, men who salvage the cargo from sunken ships. For these two characters to get together seems well nigh impossible, but the author has skilfully drawn them together. Sam the brave wrecker who risks his life diving to the ocean floor during salvage operations. Livvie the aspiring novelist, who fights against the restraints of genteel society. You will fall in love these two characters along with the rest of Sam's wrecker friends. Laughter, tragedy and heroism abound, so make sure you have plenty of time when you start reading Angels, Sinners and Madmen, because you will not want to put this gripping story down until you have read every single word of it.
Inside the tall windows of Whelan’s Dry Goods Store hung sail cloth and rope. Anchors and other nautical necessities unfamiliar to Livvie occupied one side of the store. After wandering several aisles, she found the sewing items. One spool of white thread appeared thick enough to sew stitches in horse hide. While she examined it, a movement caught her eye, and the back of her neck prickled.
She glanced up to see Sam Langhorne stroll in. Walking toward her, his smile widened, and his gaze wandered freely across her, sending heated pinpricks across her skin.
He sauntered closer, his movements panther-like in their grace. “Good morning.”
The prickles traveled from her neck down her spine, deepening along their inward path. She held the mending tape across her chest to hide her quickening breath. “Hello, Mr. Langhorne. What brings you here?”
He stepped closer, his eyes bright. “Our schooner suffered a battering during the storm. I’m charged with mending the sails and am in need of some strong thread.” His fingers closed around hers. “I see you have what I need.”
Her voice failed her. “Pardon?” she whispered.
“The thread.” He slipped the spool from her hand. “Are you mending sails today also?”
Disappointment surprised her. “Mrs. Crowell sent me here for sewing thread.”
From the display, he selected a smaller one and held it up. “I suspect she meant this type.”
Warmth crawled up her neck. “I’m not much of a seamstress, Mr. Langhorne.”
“You aren’t joining Mrs. Crowell’s sewing circle?” He clucked his tongue. “I thought women enjoyed passing the time that way.” His brown eyes sparkled. Stubble shadowed his jaw and chin, framing his mouth.
She forced her gaze away when she found herself staring too long, wondering how his rough face would feel against hers. She pretended renewed interest in the threads. “I’ve little experience in that area.”
He leaned an elbow against the display and looked up at her. “Ah. Your passels of servants took care of your sewing for you, eh? And here I was hoping you might come lend a hand.” Grinning in a teasing way, he searched her face intensely, as though trying to divine the truth.
She lifted her chin. “After my mother’s death, my father hired a housekeeper. I’m afraid I wasn’t an ideal charge. I spent more time with Sir Galahad than at home.” Never had she wanted to be one of the primping girls who practiced domestic skills in hopes of enticing a husband, or took more interest in their appearance than anything else. Now she felt deficient in womanly skills. Sam Langhorne made her feel more deficient. Since their last encounter, she’d dreamed of practicing womanly skills on him.
He pressed his lips tight. “Your own knight in shining armor?”
So he knew of King Arthur. How, she wondered?
“My horse, Mr. Langhorne.” Something tightened in her chest while he held her gaze, so she scanned the mending tapes and selected one, hoping he wouldn’t correct her.
He straightened and stood closer than propriety allowed. “I see. You’re full of surprises.”
His nearness warmed her skin. She stepped away and forced a light tone. “And you, as well. You’re a man of many talents, apparently–sewing, salvaging, sailing. Is there anything you can’t do?”
“I’m sure there is. Nothing comes to mind.” His low voice rumbled like an approaching storm, one of searing lightning and drenching rains.
Livvie had always been fascinated by such storms, and the thought of Sam tearing at her clothes like a gale made her shiver.
“A typical male affliction.” The newspaper tucked beneath his arm caught her eye. She tilted her head to read the banner. “Is that a Philadelphia newspaper?”
He held it out for her to see. “Yes, my brother sends it to me now and again, thinking he’ll taunt me into coming home. His letter said this edition had an interesting article on the wrecking industry.”
“You’re from Philadelphia?” She’d imagined him a farm boy, perhaps, from some obscure place providing no outlet for his energy. What else would propel a man to travel far from home to become a wrecker?
His tone fell flat. “Born and raised there.” He inserted the newspaper in its resting place beneath his arm.
“What made you come here?” Surely Philadelphia had entertainments similar to those in New York. Perhaps his occupation–maybe a blacksmith–didn’t allow time for social events. Judging by the abundant muscles on his lean frame, he’d worked hard all his life.
He leaned in dangerously close. “Why don’t you let me walk you home so we can continue our conversation?”
No ready excuse came to mind to refuse him. Nor did she want to.
Many thanks to Freya’s Bower, which first published this novel.