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Conquered by the Ghost

The Conquered : 3

By: Pippa Greathouse, Ruby Caine
Published By: Blushing Press
Copyright: ©2018 by Blushing Books® and Pippa Greathouse and Ruby Caine
21 chapters / 61,000 words
Heat Level:
4.8 Out Of 5 (4.8 on 8)   |  Write a review
Price:
$4.99

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The only way to save her is to kidnap her. 

Chloe Cates has spent the last year of her life falling deeper in love every day with a man she knows perished with the Charlotte when it sank off the coast of the Carolinas. 

That man has been back in England for a year now, and he has thought of her and written about her in the journal he keeps locked in his desk. He came home to England to find his family holding his funeral, and decided he would stay the person he became that day - the Ghost. 

But he can no longer stay in the shadows when he overhears a plot to kidnap and kill darling little Chloe. And, suddenly, there is no choice. 
 
He must kidnap her himself. 
 
Publisher's Note: This steamy historical romance contains graphic action scenes, as well as power exchange as Ghost attempts to protect his Chloe. 

 

Chapter One 

 

 

August of 1850 

Plots afoot… 

Her nimble fingers moved about as she styled Lady Arabellas hair, fashioning the most intricate pattern of curls in preparation for the evening meal. Skilled at the task, Chloes mind wandered off as she worked. Flashes of memories cluttered her thoughts. 

She was looking down from a perch, watching the surprised, wide dark eyes of a handsome man. Seconds before, she had been determined to do him grave harm, but something about his brown eyes had her experiencing great regret. Only a moment before, there had been a hard line to his thin, pale lips, as if hed been the devil himself. A few strands of rich brown hair escaped his cap. 

and Mama is just as concerned about Papas behavior as I am. She admitted as much when we spoke earlier. A few times, I found him trailing after Gregory, as if he were trying to get him alone to ask him something of importance. Chloes mistress and best friends words did not register until Bella started giggling. Chloe, have you heard a single word Ive spoken? From the frown on your face, whatever has your attention displeases you. 

Meeting Bellas eyes in the vanity, Chloe took a moment to consider the words. Embarrassed to have been caught daydreaming again, she offered a blushed apology. Im so sorry, Bella. You must think me the worst ladys maid in all of England. 

I dont consider you a ladys maid at all, my dear friend. It is you who insists on continuing that farce since we left the ship. Both Gregory and I consider you a family member. 

Who happens to live off the good graces of her relatives? Chloe smiled. Her taupe complexion stood in dark contrast to Bellas fair features, mocking any suggestion they were blood relatives. But a year before, the two forged a bond on a fateful voyage to America which went well beyond friendship. Helping you dress and styling your hair is little compensation for all you and your husband have doneand continue to dofor me. 

Bella took her friends small hands into her own. Wont you reconsider joining us tonight? Celebrating my first wedding anniversary wont be the same without you there. Admit it. If my mother and father were not visiting, you would take your evening meal in the main dining area with us like you always do. 

Its best to keep in the shadows when others visit, Bella. I know you like to pretend I wasnt a stowaway on your husbands ship, escaping a life of servitude to the highest bidder, but its the truth. 

I wouldnt consent for you to go back to slavery, Chloe. Ever. Nor would Gregory. Standing up, Bella smoothed the material on her dress as Chloe finished fastening the back. Are you sure I shouldnt wear the corset? It was designed for expectant mothers, you know. I feel so huge without it. 

Binding your expanding waist is the last thing the babe in your womb needs right now, Bella. Dont make me tell Gregory you have been trying to talk me into helping you secure one in place. You are just now able to sit down without wincing. Walking around her mistress, Chloe nodded with approval. You are glowing, dear friend. How I envy you. You are living a dream, married to a wonderful, brave man, mistress of a grand manor and expecting a new babe in five months. 

Six months! Bella chided, putting a finger to her friends lips and checking to make sure her husband was not about. Whispering frantically, she continued. He barely agreed to let me go on the next voyage. If he knew I was four months along, instead of three, he would leave me behind. 

I will not lie to the captain, Bella. If he asks me directly, I will be honest about how far along you are. I fear you might be even more seasick this time around than the first time we travelled. Gregory knows what is best for you. You should trust him. 

Men are contrary creatures. Darby, one of the most reasonable of them, refuses to let Lily and their baby come along on this trip, claiming it is too dangerous for them. You are just lucky you managed to return to England without a new husband. Giggling, she pushed her friend into the bench by the vanity and started fixing her long red hair into soft curls with pins. When she finished, she secured them with bright jeweled combs. 

You and Lily stole the only decent men aboard, Chloe smirked. No, thats not true. I fancied myself in love with another man on the voyage, but you wouldnt believe me if I told you who it was. She stared seriously at Bella, wondering why she even mentioned it. Dreams were better left private, especially unrealistic ones. 

Who? Bella met her eyes in the mirror. Chloe, tell me which of the men caught your eye. Maybe I can make sure Gregory has the gentleman join us at the captains table. Mayhap we can have a wedding before returning to England. 

Chloe was desperately thinking now and wishing she hadnt mentioned it at all. Deciding to keep this last bit of herself private, she broke eye contact. Its the man from the crows nest. You remember him, dont you? She kept her eyes averted, trying to remember what hed looked like. After all, you climbed all the way up to see him on our first voyage. His name fails me, but his look of astonishment when he rushed down the rope to complain about your presence will stay with me for a lifetime. Then again, the captains expression was also quite remarkable. 

Bella stared at her. Come now. You fell for him, but you dont even remember his name? Something tells me youre not being completely honest, Chloe. 

Her mistress tugged on a tendril of red hair playfully before changing the subject. Gregory promised we could make a quick visit with Lily and the baby before we sail next week. They say Jillian is the very image of her mother, you know. Including her red hair. But if the baby has her disposition, I doubt Lord Darby will have much rest. Keeping Lily in line must exhaust him, as it is. And Rebekah, her ladys maid, is planning to quit and is looking for a position as a governess. Lilys quite disappointed about that. 

Couldnt she be governess of baby Jillian? 

That seems the obvious answer, doesnt it? But Lily plans on traveling on ship with her, and Rebekah is terribly prone to vertigo. Voyages are out of the question for her. Be still, Chloe. Im trying to get this last comb to stay in place. 

But Bellas voice was concerned as she continued. I wish you would join us tonight. My fathers disposition concerns me, Chloe. As I was explaining earlier, when you were daydreaming about your hero from the crows nest, even my mother says something serious is afoot. She is worried that hes deep in debt again. But if he is, he wont talk about it. 

I still have some packing to do before our voyage. I have a few letters to Sarah I was planning to ask the captain to deliver before I found out we would be allowed to sail with him this time. I want to reread them, since I will be able to talk to her about their contents in person now. 

Bella reluctantly accepted Chloes decision and rushed to the meal. Her husband, Captain Gregory Smythe, frowned upon being late, especially for meals. He was a man of order, running a tight schedule both on ship and at home. Back in her own quarters, Chloe pulled out a handful of missives and pondered their contents. Sarah and Benny had taken her under their protective wing when she had been betrayed by her stepmother and sold into slavery. Bitter at being forced into a life of servitude instead of enjoying the once pampered existence shed had when her father was alive, Chloe had been thankful for the couple she now referred to as her parents. 

Sarah, especially, had taken the time to get to know her, listen to her concerns, and help her face her future instead of living in the past. They were close, so close, in fact, that Chloe often referred to Sarah as her mother. There were few secrets between them. The letters she clutched to her chest now were filled with thoughts and desires she had never spoken aloud before, even to her friends Bella or Lily. Embarrassed by her feelings, she could only express them to Sarah, and then only because miles separated them. 

Now she was going to see dear Sarah again. Should she tell her about the images that lingered in her mind constantly? Of the deep brown eyes, strong jaw, and dark hair that belonged to a man she could never kiss, never touch? Oh, dear God, she thought. Probably not. Sarah might think she had lost her mind. She walked to the fire and knelt in front of it, reading each page one more time before tossing it into the flames and watching as it was reduced to ashes. 

But she could not bring herself to burn the last letter. Destroying it would mean admitting her dreams were never to be fulfilled. She was not ready to give up on them. Not yet. Walking to her wardrobe, she tucked the remaining letter into her coat pocket, where she could pull it out and share her imaginings, if only with herself. 

 

* * * 

 

Hints… 

The meal is surprisingly delicious, Bellas father announced. The shipping business no doubt affords you the opportunity and funds necessary to employ the best. 

Gregory raised his glass. Ill convey your appreciation to the cook. 

I understand you have a slave, the older man continued, ignoring the sharp intake of breath from his daughter. Might she be the person who prepared the meal? 

There are no slaves here, sir. The staff is paid and serve here of their own accord. Gregorys voice left little doubt of his feelings at the subject. 

While her skin is more caramel than black, you cannot expect me to believe Bellas ladys maid is not of mixed race. How did she come into your employment? 

Arabella replied before Gregory could respond. The ladys maid you hired last year to accompany me on my journey to Louisiana did not show up before we departed. Gregory returned your funds for her passage, if you will remember. Chloe came back from America with us. 

Originally, Chloe, a stowaway on Gregorys ship, had been masqueraded as the missing servant, but there was no need for her father to know such delicate information. Ignoring her husbands warning glance, she continued. She is not a slave, father. She is free and more of a friend than a servant. She is also very talented and quite an asset to us. 

Talented? Her father took a sip of his wine. What talents could the chit possibly possess? 

In her haste to defend her friend, Bella started tripping over herself as she listed Chloes many gifts. She is a healer. She has a lovely garden with all kinds of herbs and spices, which she uses to ease all kinds of ailments from a headache to a sick stomach. Her talent with needlework knows no equal, either. Isnt that so, Gregory? 

So, the child specializes in all kinds of services? You are indeed lucky to employ such a person. Her fathers smile earned him another glare. 

Gregory did not seem inclined to even acknowledge the rude comment, but Bella felt obliged to defend her friends honor. Chloe plays the piano better than any lady of the ton I have met. Turning to her mother, Bella continued. She plays flawlessly, Mama. You should hear her. 

Wiping his lips with his napkin, her fathers eyes seemed to widen. I am sure your mother would enjoy such a performance. I, myself, would love to spend more time with this pagan of virtue. Would you kindly call for her and ask her to play for us? 

Gregory stood up and moved out into the hallway, motioning for Bella to come to him. Invite Chloe down to play, he whispered to her. But tell her to select a short piece and excuse herself the moment shes finished. 

You suspect Father knows Chloe is a runaway? Bella fretted, wishing she had not ignored her husbands earlier signal to stop talking so much. 

Something is troubling your father, and I dont trust him. I have heard rumors he was having trouble meeting his debts. I have been waiting for him to ask me for funds, but now, I fear hes planning to secure money in a more sinister way. I dont want you or Chloe anywhere near him in his current, desperate state. 

I understand your concern about Chloe, but surely, I am safe in his company. Bellas hands settled unconsciously on her rounding belly. 

He tried to marry you off to a scoundrel across the ocean so he could benefit financially. Have your forgotten that? 

Obviously, you havent, Bella said, pressing her lips together. He didnt know the man he was marrying me off to planned to kill me, Gregory. 

That has yet to be proven. He turned her in the direction of the staircase and planted a sharp smack to her backside. And try not to tell him where we keep the family jewels and fortune. 

Unlike her mistress, Chloe never second-guessed the captains orders. She joined them in the parlor and executed a perfect curtsy before settling in at the piano bench. Her fingers gracefully moved about the keys as she shared a tune her father had taught her when she was a young child. 

Bellas father did not take his eyes off her. The haunting distress troubling him seemed to slowly melt away, replaced by a sly grin. 

He walked over to kiss her hand as she stood up to take her leave. My daughter was indeed, correct. I know of no one who can challenge your skill at playing. I am sure there are even fewer who rival your beauty. Your lovely red hair and wide blue eyes are becoming. So is your flawless complexion. He chuckled. You appear more the lady of the manor than a servant…almost as if you were once born to wealth. 

Gregory decided it was necessary to get both his wife and Chloe back on board his ship as soon as possible. On the Arabella, he was the law and protecting the women would be an easier task. 

 

 

Kitty Ranma on 09/16/2018 02:21pm
Funny kidnapping tale.
You need to read at least the first book.
I tried to read this a couple of times but this is the third book in the series and I got confused. I then found that I have the first book. After reading the first book I went back to this one and I had no problem reading this one. I want to say more about this story but I absolutely hate spoilers, so I won't go into details.
Reasons I enjoyed this book:
Happily Ever After, Witty, Wonderful characters, Page-turner, Great world building, Unpredictable, Original, Realistic, Easy-to-read, Entertaining, Action-packed, Steamy, Funny.
Bookshelves/tags:
adult, britain, domestic-discipline, favorite, historical, humorous, kidnap, multiple-couples, romance, series, ships, spanking, suspense.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
DONNA L on 06/05/2018 11:44pm
4.0 out of 5 starsReturn From The Dead
ByDonna Lon June 5, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition
This series has been an epic adventure from beginning to end.This story focuses on Chloe and
the ghost who for all purposes was lost at sea.Chloe grieved for a lost love that was never even
given a chance,she keeps his spirit alive by writing letters of love.Ezra's Miller returned to his home
in time for his own funeral,he now has a home full of misfits helping him to get ready for his own
adventure at sea.Ezra can not believe the evil a stepmother will go to for money, after he overheard
a conversation to kidnap and harm the beautiful Chloe who plagues his dreams.Ezra act quickly
and snatched Chloe away from certain death.Chloe does not appreciate his help,not knowing
his true identity and fights him at every turn.Once safe in his home, Its a race to find the people who
are out to arm Chloe and bring them to justice.Chloe has picked up some bad habits and swears like
a sailor,Ezra hard hand is at the ready with a painful reminder to speak like a lady.Chloe is overjoyed
when the love of her life turns up safe and sound,she feels safe and protected.Chloe certainly is not
the quiet little mouse of the past and mischief follows her.This story has mystery,danger,secrets,action,
romance,humor,a drunken vicar,a mangy cat,an evil stepmother and a great cast of characters.Chloe's
innocence was hilarious when it came to her first sexual experience in the carriage with Ezra.I enjoyed
the inclusion of the characters from the previous books.This story was unique,mesmerizing,sinister and
just plain entertaining.Conquered bt the ghost was a great title for this book as it encapsulates what
it was about,a lost love returned from the depth of the seas
Jf12574 on 05/30/2018 06:17pm
I love this series! Great plot in each book. Something new that keeps your attention and you reading. Grisly great!
Redrabbitt on 05/26/2018 08:58pm
The story takes the reader on a journey of how far an evil woman is willing to go to rob another of their rightful inheritance. One man and his ragtag misfits of pirates will become kidnappers and protectors. Two people who met under trying circumstances will once again come face to face and be able to fall in love in person, not just have memories.

Ezra Miller redeemed himself, saving the lives of others, and will return to England to witness his own funeral. He will reinvent himself and be known as the Ghost. Having the estate given to him previously by his father, a Duke, he will take in a group of misfit former seaman and pirates. But when he learns of the plot to kidnap and kill a young woman, he can%u2019t ignore the threat, especially when he discovers it is none other than Chloe Cates.

Chloe Cates is going by Chloe Tucker, and after her father%u2019s death, her stepmother sold her into slavery. She is now living with Gregory and Arabella, and acting as her lady%u2019s maid, but is also her friend. They are ready to all set sail for another voyage when she is kidnapped from the docks and taken away in a carriage to a private estate.

The plot will have Chloe wondering why she was kidnapped, and why is her kidnapper keeping himself out of her sight? Over time, she will learn who he is, and more about the people living at his home with him. Each person is a unique character that has formed an unusual family bond. But why does someone want to harm Chloe?

The story will take on a life and death situation as those desperate enough to kidnap Chloe will continue to come after her. But they aren%u2019t alone, is everyone looking to get a piece of the action and make a tidy sum off of her demise? When the truth is revealed, several people will be shocked at what comes to light. Greed leads to downfall. In the end, the truth will come to light, the good, the bad, and the ugly will each find their places, and in the end, several will shine brighter for what is in their heart and soul.
Ajjmb on 05/25/2018 05:16pm
Conquered by the Ghost isn%u2019t a ghost story but it certainly has it share of mystery and adventure in it. Ghost or rather should I say Ezra and his crew of retired pirates are determined to keep Chloe safe from her evil step-mother. Chloe is a sweet girl who really just wants to be loved and she is really pulled towards Ghost. The pirates are too funny and lend a wonderful sense of humor toward the story. Of course, I love that the characters from the previous two stories make short appearances as well. This is a sweet but heroic story that I truly enjoyed. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
Southern Lady on 05/25/2018 09:54am
Here we have a real romance sizzler. A smart mouth women taken in hand in a tried and true manner that deals with their brat-like tantrums in a most effective way. That%u2019s right, a promise to paddle their bottoms which Ghost makes and the ladies with fiery personalities find his threat to bare their bottoms and fire up their back porches. Old fashioned spankings are given liberally to several deserving lasses with their skirts up and their petticoats down. Ghost illustrates he is not all show as he gets to work on bared squirming backsides with his hand.

In the end %u2026 is perplexed why %u2026 had spanked her, often. Suddenly, as He kissed Chloe%u2019s face, nose and the nape of her neck his paddling her bottom was to make her a better girl. Yet, another fantastic relationship that began with a spanking. A rich tapestry of well-thought our characters that sings to the reader. Romance mixed with rear heat adds up to a sizzling couple in this hot novel.
LuCinda Beebe on 05/22/2018 11:25am
Another great, smoking hot story by this author. It was both professionally written and fast-paced with the many likable characters. The plot has some twists and turns with depth and was very engaging to the finish. This is the 3 book in this series but it can be read as a stand alone but you will definitely want to read all for them.
DB on 05/20/2018 01:59pm
Loved this third book in this series! If you haven't read the first two you are missing out! Chloe and "Ghost" have both loved each other since they first met and neither one knew. Now someone is planning on hurting Chloe and Ghost kidnapped her to keep her safe. Chloe is kept in the dark about who he is and why he did this. When she finds out, she is stunned and can't believe he is not dead. The story takes off from there! This is a great story with characters from the other books, mystery, laugh out loud moments, well written great dialogue, great length, spankings, fun loving pirates, dominant males, sweet sassy female and Purr. Loved it!!! 5 Big Stars

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