♥ She’s a powerful Celtic woman. He’s a Roman captive in her village. When their passion for each other grows, can they find a way to be together? Or will the conflicts between the Celts and Romans drive them apart? ♥
In the Caledonii village, Riana is the chieftain’s oldest daughter and accustomed to position and authority. Until the day a Roman soldier is brought in and made a slave.
Despite her moral objections, she is directed by her father to tend to the Roman, to bring him back to health and make sure he’s fed.
At first, he’s nothing more than a curiosity for her, but as they spend time together during her duties to him, they forge a camaraderie that quickly becomes something more.
Something passionate and forbidden.
Horatio is a confident Roman soldier brought low after a night of missteps. Bound to slavery for the Caledonii tribe, he spends every waking moment biding his time and planning his escape. What he doesn’t plan is the desire he feels for the very woman directed to keep him in chains.
His desire grows, as does his love for the red northern woman.
As their passions rise, Riana decides that she cannot see the man she loves enslaved. They concoct an escape that is successful at first but leads to disastrous results when the tables are turned.
Just when they think all is lost, their love for each other gives them one chance for survival. Will their love overcome the obstacles that would tear them apart?
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
A passion for stories about the ancient Celts and Romans!
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I had an idea for a powerful family of sisters.
Northern Scotland, north of Antoine’s Wall, Caledonii Tribe, 209 AD
Rumors circulated of Roman Centauriae extending their patrols north beyond Antoine’s wall, what they referred to disdainfully as cnap-starra. And her father’s tribe watched from their secluded positions as those soldiers behaved in stupid, overly confident ways. If they wouldn’t have risked giving away their positions, the painted men might have laughed at the ill-mannered soldiering of these weighted-down Romans.
Ru was chieftain of his tribe, a remote relative of the great King Gartnaith Blogh who himself managed to run the Roman fools from the Caledonii Highlands. ‘Twas said the king laughed with zeal as the Latin devils, in their flaying and rusted Roman armor, scrambled over the low stone wall. As though a minor cnap-starra could stop the mighty Caledonii warriors from striking fear into the heart of their Centauriae. Fools.
But speculation blossomed of rogue Roman soldiers venturing far north of the wall, a reckless endeavor if Ru’s daughter, Riana, ever heard one. Warriors from her father’s tribe and other nearby tribes traveled across the mountainous countryside, through the wide glen to meet them.
Thus far, the soldiers had remained close to the wall, fearing to leave the false security it provided. Ru’s warriors had struck down one or two that meandered away from that security, wounding them, perchance fatally, with a well-aimed throw of a spear. The diminutive Roman soldiers, even clad in their hopeful leather and metal armor, were no match for the powerful throw of a Caledonii spear.
This most recent Roman soldier, however, appeared less resilient, less aggressive than his previous counterparts. Though clad in full Roman military garb, he wasn’t paying attention to his surroundings — distracted as he was. The Centauriae had traversed the low mountains and lochs to their hidden land. And he was alone. Ru noted his lean-muscled build and made an abrupt decision.
“Dinna kill this lad,” he whispered to Dunbraith, his military adviser and old friend. “We should keep him, enslave him. Melt his iron and armor into weapons. And use his knowledge against these pissants. Give them a bit of their own medicine.”
Dunbraith’s face, blue woad paint lines mixed with blood red, was fearsome and thoughtful. “Severus is defeated,” his growling voice responded. “The Roman lines are scattered. ‘Tis a safe assumption they will not even try to retrieve the lad.”
A frightening smile crossed his face, one that Ru knew well. A cruel smile that didn’t reach his eyes.
Ru nodded his agreement and waved his hand at his Imannae, a young Caledonii eager to prove his worth. The young man positioned himself just beyond the leaves of the scrub bush in which he hid, narrowed his eyes at his prey, and launched a strong-armed throw of his sharpened spear.
The Imannae’s throw was perfect, catching the young Roman’s upper arm in a sharp drive. The lad cried out and dropped to his knees in pain and shock. Ru and his warriors moved in as silent as nightfall.
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