BY ANY MEANS

A binding contract…five determined nuns…and a runaway French beauty – riverboat gambler, Brennen Benedict has just been dealt a full house, and his queen of hearts holds all the cards. 

With the Mississippi River his playground, ex-Confederate Cavalry Captain now affluent gambler, BRENNEN BENEDICT lives life by his own rules – until a winning hand saddles him with the deed to a ramshackle Kentucky plantation. Refusing to be tied down, his quick sale is thwarted by Ursuline nuns who hold a lien on the property. To satisfy this obligation and rid himself of the burden, Brennen is forced to fulfill a contract made by the previous owner and provide the nuns with bricks for their new orphanage from a kiln on his property. Annoyed and unable to hornswoggle himself out of this mess, Brennen agrees to the sly Mother Superior’s terms, as well as allowing one of her ‘nun’s’ to oversee his brickmaking progress until the commitment is fulfilled.

Charged with a murder she did not commit, French-born beauty ANNABELLE SWAN is forced to flee Philadelphia. Offered safeguard by the kind-hearted Ursulines of St. Joseph, she disguises herself in their black-and-white garb and travels with them to Kentucky. On a riverboat en route, she bumps into Brennen, a gambler as charming as he is generous. However enticed she may be, his devilish nature assures her he’s a man best kept at a distance. Once they reach their destination, Annabelle hires an attorney to prove her innocence while she assists with the nuns. Her plans to keep a low profile are shattered when the abbess assigns her to oversee the brickmaker’s progress. Frustrated by the turn of events, she struggles with her ever-growing fascination for the wicked rogue who represents everything she despises in life.
From the first moment they met, Brennen is suspicious of Annabelle – for the captivating minx with soft, womanly curves and a worldly attitude is like no other nun he’s ever known. Regardless of his doubts, when her true identity is revealed, his attraction for her escalates, vexing him as much as do her dangerous secrets. He damns the draw, determined to return to the riverboat…Still, the needs both try to deny blaze ever hotter. They’re swept into a fiery passion…Until Annabelle’s greatest secret is unknowingly exposed. Can Brennen win the most-important game he’s ever played to save his little minx? Or will the gamble cost Annabelle her life?

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