ROME AD 79 - The one woman he ever loved was the one woman who betrayed him. And now, the Roman will have his revenge… Marsallas and Justina were young, beautiful and desperately in love once, until a tragic betrayal tore them apart. Six years have passed since that day and Marsallas has since thrown himself into the deadly world of chariot racing, gaining fortune, fame, and a salacious reputation throughout Rome. His bed could be kept warm by a different woman each night if he chooses, but his heart remains iced over as the memory of Justina’s betrayal continues to haunts him. The last thing he expects is to see her again, but when she steps back into his life he sees a chance to avenge his broken heart. But beneath the hurt, an attraction so intense still burns between the two, and as their fates begin to intertwine once more, their determination to resist one another starts to falter…
Marsallas pulled away from her, and Justina turned her head in mortification, not daring to look at him. She heard his ragged breathing as he stood there, the sound harsh in the stillness of the room. Once again she felt her chin being lifted, her eyes forced to meet his. Expecting to see hatred reflected there, she was taken aback when, instead, she saw torment and pain in the darkness of his eyes.
Justina felt her resistance crumble. Had he hated kissing her like that? Did he remember what it had once been like between them?
The questions flew through her mind. She wanted to ask him, but she was incapable of speech. Instead, she lifted her hand and laid it along his strong jaw bone, conveying to him without words, what she was thinking, what she was feeling.
The unspoken gesture was enough, and she closed her eyes as Marsallas’s mouth fused with hers once more.
“Justina,” he breathed, and this time he kissed her in a way that sent heat searing through her body. This time his lips weren't trying to punish – they were gentle, soft, mobile – seducing her, awakening memories of long ago when they shared such sweet kisses together.
His hands reached for her once more, gently caressing, skimming over the slimness of her shoulders, downwards, until they rested on the sides of her ribcage. Slowly, they moved inwards, cupping the fullness of her breasts, and Justina jerked, feeling the sensitive flesh swell, her nipples pebbling with desire as he rubbed them through the thinness of her silk gown. Long suppressed sensations flushed into life, as she gloried in the feel of his hands on her body once more.
“Marsallas,” she groaned against his lips, wanting so much more.
“You want me don't you?” he whispered.
“Yes. Oh yes-”
Then reality hit her, as the full implication of what she was saying, what she was doing, impinged on her passion soaked mind. And this time it was she who pulled away, and as she stared at him, time seemed suspended as Marsallas watched her, his face giving nothing away.
She felt shaken to the core by what had just happened, both of them caught up in the past and the present.
I’ve always been a dreamer, thinking up plots for books ever since I was a child. I actually started writing my first book in 2007, when my husband “popped out for a bit” on New Year’s day and returned home about three hours later with a laptop he’d bought for me in the January sales. I remember him plonking it down on my lap and saying, “Now you’ve got no excuse. Start writing that book you’ve been going on about!”
I work part time as an Environmental Health Officer, and I live on the beautiful (if slightly windy) island of Anglesey in North Wales. (Anglesey, you may recall was recently home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.) I live in a small village near the sea with my very own AlphaHero husband – Colin, and my AlphaDog – Bob.
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