USA Today–bestselling author Nan Ryan delivers the intensely passionate, spellbinding story of a man driven by revenge, a woman consumed by desire, and a love that transcends the enmity dividing them
The Indian stood naked in the sunlight.
To the world, he is the half-breed Luiz Quintano. But to Amy Sullivan, he is Tonatiuh, the magnificent son of a Spanish grandee and an Aztec princess—and she has worshipped him since girlhood. After five years at a New Orleans finishing school, Amy is finally coming home to her family’s sprawling Texas ranch—and the man she loves. Until a night of passionate reunion erupts in shattering violence, forcing them to part as bitter enemies.
Tonatiuh has waited a decade to take his revenge on the family who almost succeeded in destroying him. His triumphant return as the feared military commander El Capitán is only the first step in his plan. But after he makes Amy his captive, he once again falls prey to her sensual charms. As passion reignites, Tonatiuh is consumed by the need to reclaim the woman who betrayed him, the woman he will hate—and love—for the rest of his life.
The Texas desert is an apt setting for Ryan's ( Silken Bondage ) arid 19th-century romance with its cartoon villains and mystical tricks. Amy Sullivan and Luiz Quintano are exploring the delights of first love when their fathers, joint owners of a prosperous ranch, die within days of each other. Amy's brothers, unwilling to share the wealth with an ``uppity half-breed'' (Luiz is half-Aztec), whip him and leave him in the desert to die. Luiz's mother, however, is a goddess, who takes revenge by drying up the spring supplying the ranch's water. He returns triumphantly 10 years later as El Capitan and billets his Mexican soldiers on the ranch. Believing she had been complicit in his earlier torture, this ``master of loving'' makes Amy a ``sexual captive in her own home'' as they play out sexual domination/submission scenes (usually in a bedroom, but once in the stables, where they tie themselves together and mate like horses). Eventually, Luiz and Amy rediscover the affection buried under their considerable lust, and Amy reveals the secret she has kept for a decade. Doubleday Book Club selection.