LOVE IN TIMES OF WAR
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How hard would you fight for a chance at impossible love?
“Epic.” ~ Drue’s Random Chatter Reviews.
From the critically acclaimed, award-winning pen of Kim Iverson Headlee comes the thrilling, poignant tale of love across a vast social divide.
WINNER, 2015 BooksGoSocial Best Book.
Betrayed by her father and sold as payment of a Roman tax debt to fight in Londinium’s arena, gladiatrix-slave Rhyddes feels like a wild beast in a gilded cage. Celtic warrior blood flows in her veins, but Roman masters own her body. She clings to her vow that no man shall claim her soul, though Marcus Calpurnius Aquila, son of the Roman governor, makes her yearn for a love she believes impossible.
Groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps and trapped in a politically advantageous betrothal, Aquila prefers the purity of combat on the amphitheater sands to the sinister intrigues of imperial politics, and the raw power and athletic grace of the flame-haired Libertas to the adoring deference of Rome’s noblewomen.
When a plot to overthrow Caesar ensnares them as pawns in the dark design, Aquila must choose between the Celtic slave who has won his heart and the empire to which they both owe allegiance. Trusting no man and knowing the opposite of obedience is death, the only liberty offered to any slave, Rhyddes must embrace her arena name, Libertas—and the love of a man willing to sacrifice everything to forge a future with her.
Marcus Calpurnius Aquila sprawled on his belly across the cushioned and linen-draped marble massage table, his head, arms, shins, and feet jutting over the table’s padded edges. As the male slave worked eucalyptus-scented unguent into the aching muscles, Marcus could feel the tensions of combat seep away.
Too bad the man couldn’t work out the knots in Marcus’s relationship with his father, Sextus Calpurnius Agricola, governor of Britannia province.
Citing “official business” yet again, Agricola had declined to witness Marcus’s gladiatorial bout in Londinium’s amphitheater this afternoon. His opponent had fought well, causing Marcus in his scanty armor to work up a sweat that, judging by the reverberating high-pitched cheers, had all the women swooning with delight.
Never mind that Marcus, who fought under his cognomen, Aquila, the Eagle, remained a perennial favorite with the crowd. Agricola never missed an opportunity to point out that his arena exhibitions—and the resulting private liaisons with adoring female spectators—flirted with the precipice of social acceptability and could damage Marcus’s political aspirations.
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. She has been an award-winning novelist since 1999 (Dawnflight first edition, Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian Legends for nigh on half a century.
MY HIGHLANDER HUSBAND
Lady Juliet Kingston did not expect to find love in the Scottish Highlands. Sent by the king to marry a laird’s son, she had no expectations until she met the strong and stubborn Ross MacLaren. He won her heart, erasing her feelings for the man she left behind. Her happiness is short-lived as the threat of war becomes real, and she is reclaimed by her former love.
“In two days, we will be wed.” He took her hand. “Do ye think ye may come to love me?”
Love? No one had ever spoken so directly to her. “Um.” She sank her teeth into her bottom lip. “I just met you.”
“Aye, I ken.” He placed his hand around the back of her neck. “And so, I ask permission to kiss ye.”
“Kiss me?” Juliet’s mouth went dry. She wished she still had the glass of sweet wine in her hand. You are going to marry him. You have kissed John. You know what it is like. “Yes, you may.”
He leaned in closer. The other hand went around her waist, bringing her to him. She felt his breath on her cheek, and the scent of ale was pleasant. His lips touched her face so lightly she jumped.
“I willna hurt ye,” he whispered.
Juliet’s heart fluttered as she looked into his eyes. Green pools of summer, ones she could dive into and never come out. She nodded and placed her hand on his chest, feeling the hard muscle beneath the coat. She opened her mouth slightly to tell him she was all right, but instead found his lips on hers.
Ross tightened his grip on her, pulling her so close she fought for breath, yet she did not want him to stop. His lips felt soft against hers as he pushed her mouth open wider. She felt the tip of his tongue on hers. John had never kissed her like that. John!
Juliet pulled back, head spinning. Ross did not let go, still holding her close. He rested his chin on the top of her head, nuzzling her hair. “Ye taste of summer and honey.”
“I think you should give credit to the wine.” Juliet tried to laugh but could only think of the kiss. She wanted another.
“I will take ye to yer room.” Ross offered his arm. “Because if I dinna, we may have to marry tonight.
“I feel so guilty, Eva.” Juliet looked up with tears in her eyes. “I am betraying him and our love.”
“No, you are not. John is in England. You are here, betrothed to another. I understand you love John, but you must forget him.” Eva put the finishing touches on Juliet’s hair for the wedding ceremony.
“No, you do not understand,” Juliet wailed. “I feel guilty that I could betray him so easily. I think I could fall in love with Ross. If that is true, was I ever really in love with John?” She covered her face. “I am a horrible, shallow person.”
Eva pulled Juliet’s hands away from her face. “You are kind and loving, Juliet. You would not hurt a flea.” She patted the hand she held. “Maybe Ross was meant to be. He is quite handsome if I may say so.”
“It is not just his looks. He is kind and gentle. He has made sure I have not been alone for the last two days. He spent most of that time with me, showing me the land, introducing me to the people and talking about his life.”
“That is an extraordinary man.” Eva pulled the wedding dress from the wardrobe. “You are lucky.”
“And John? What do I do about him?”
“Be grateful for the time you spent with him. He is part of your past. Ross is your future.”
After a great career in teaching, Nancy found a second calling as a writer. Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, she currently resides in Mentor, OH. Ohio is her home, but she loves to travel the U.S. Now Scotland is on her bucket list as a place she’d like to visit. Nancy is married and has one son.
Hot. Strong. No sugar. Raw sexual emotion, revenge and redemption. If you want a sugar-coated romance Savage Possession is not for you. In colonial Australia it took hard men like Martin Mulvaney to tame a harsh land.
A sweeping tale of love’s triumph over tragedy and treachery in frontier Australia.
A mistaken identity opens the door for Martin Mulvaney to take his revenge on the granddaughter of his mortal enemy.
An old Scottish feud, a love that should never have happened, and a series of extraordinary coincidences trap two lovers in a family vendetta that threatens to destroy their love, if not their lives.
Australia – North Eastern Victoria 1870’s.
Alistair was in trouble. With the powerful bond she shared with her twin, fear coursed through Beth’s body. She drew in a shuddering breath and tried to still her trembling hands by twisting an escaped tendril of hair from her plait. How many warnings did her brother need before he stopped consorting with outlaws?
Standing in the doorway of their split log cabin, she squinted into the distance. A lone horseman flashed into her line of vision. With a hammering heart, she waited. Was it friend or foe? Should she dash inside and grab grandfather’s gun?
The rider drew near. It was Alistair. Running to the track snaking along the side paddock, she struggled to lower the slip rails so the horse could pass through.
“Quick, Beth!” He leapt from the saddle. “Get the mare out of sight.”
“What happened?” Dread clawed at her throat with cruel fingers. Her stomach knotted up. What had her brother been up to now?
Without a word, he dashed off.
Her hand trembled as she picked up the trailing rein and led the sweating, foam-flecked mare into the barn. Something terrible must have happened. One of their best horses ridden to the point of exhaustion. She unsaddled the mare and turned her loose before sprinting back to their cabin.
Rushing to the kitchen, she found Alistair stuffing a sack with bags of flour, salt and sugar.
Frantically, she grabbed his arm. “What’s wrong?”
Pale and agitated, he stared out the window. “I have to get out of here. The mounted police are after me.”
“The police? You’re in trouble with the law?”
After he filled the sack, he dropped it on the floor and paced up and down, banging a fist against his open hand.