We were all taught that thirteen colonies united against the British in the American Revolution—nothing is ever mentioned of the fourteenth colony, the one that went loyalist, fought against the Revolution, and paid a devastating price: Florida.
Coquina Hard opens amidst the true story of the British military crushing the rebellion of thousands of Catholics who’d been tricked into slavery by a British aristocrat, Dr. Turnbull, sailed to Florida, and forced to build a town (New Smyrna, which exists to this day).
One of those enslaved is orphan Toria Brighton who escapes and falls in love with a handsome Georgia patriot who gives her the chance of returning home. Instead, Toria chooses to return to New Smyrna to lead survivors to freedom in St. Augustine (the daring escape is true and well documented historically) while the American Revolution explodes around her.
Young, adventurous and widowed in a new land, Cassandra Courtney Brooks found her dream of raising a superior breed of saddle horse slipping away with the death of her husband. Left with four horses, living in a tavern attic and her scant savings depleted, she resolved to see her vision to fruition by accepting the scandalous position of steward at Varina Farms. Cassandra is soon forced to question the wisdom of her decision when she finds herself enamored with the lusty and dangerous owner.
Born in the image of his dark-skinned ancestor, Pocahontas, it was rumored Colton Rolfe carried the savagery of his Indian heritage. Scorned by his father, Colt grew into a man of ill temperament who’s only true love was the wild equine beasts on his Virginian tobacco plantation. His desire to breed his horses with the superior Saddlebreds of the newly widowed Cassandra Brooks led him to abandon societal rules.
Their story unfolds with Colt’s growing resentment toward the crown and his assistance to Sons of Liberty missions, complicated by the discovery that Cassandra’s father is a titled Englishman. Does he dare trust her?
A fiery passion grows between them through gunfire, treachery, and danger, culminating in a kidnapping. Cassandra realizes her own spirit of independence, love of the land, and the savage man who is so much a part of it. Will he ever trust her enough to love her as she longed to be loved?