Tuesday! Teaser Tuesday! Sandra Schwab! You know what’s up!
In just a few days I’m going to launch an exciting new series of steamy historical romances set during the time of the Roman Empire. Eagles’s Honor will follow the story of one family across 300 years, from Caesar’s Gallic Wars to the fall of the Germanic Limes. In Eagles’s Honor: Banished you will meet Lia and Marcus:
A brave woman.
A forbidden love that is tested by the intrigues of ancient Rome and the hostilities at the northernmost edge of the empire.
Centurion Marcus Florius Corvus has a splendid career in the legions ahead of him. Yet a visit to Rome and a chance encounter with an old friend change his whole life: He falls in love with one of his friend’s pleasure slaves and thus becomes entrapped in an evil scheme designed to destroy him. And yet—he cannot help risking everything for the woman he loves, even if it means he will be banished to one of the most dangerous places in the Roman Empire: the northern frontier of Britannia.
“What I have been wondering, centurion,” she whispered against his ear, each word a warm, slightly damp puff against his skin.
“Yes?” He was almost certain that she was now performing again, falling back into her role as a pleasure slave. Regret sliced through him.
He wished he could have the woman back.
Indeed, he was surprised by the intensity of his regret, the depth of his yearning.
“I’ve been wondering…” She licked his ear.
“If you’ve ever fucked a girl with your vine staff.”
“What?” He reared back and stared at her.
She threw him an innocent look from underneath her lashes, biting her lip. “It is entirely possible, I assure you.”
“Oh, I’m sure.” Marcus chuckled, then as the absurdity of the whole situation struck him, he burst out laughing. “I swear half of the time the things you say are either meant to shock or provoke.”
The mask slipped. She frowned.
Marcus noted it with satisfaction. He did not want the damn pleasure slave.
He wanted her.
But the next moment, she pursued her role. Hands on his chest, she leaned forward and licked his ear. Again. “Hmm. And you are not a man easily shocked or provoked?”
“No,” he said firmly. “Except by lice. I am extremely provoked by lice.
This time it was her who reared back.
At her incredulous expression, Marcus grinned and cheerfully proceeded to tell her of that time when he had been a young recruit and his whole legion had become infected by lice—centuria by centuria and cohort by cohort. The legate, losing his patience with the lice and his men, had ordered everybody to shave their heads. When that hadn’t helped all that much, he had brought in the epilators from the bath houses near the fort and from the town and gave them orders to denude the legion.
Marcus chuckled. “For days, the fort rang with the screams and yells and obscenities of us poor sods who got every last hair on our bodies cruelly ripped out.”
He looked at the woman who now sat beside him on the daybed. Her slender frame was shaking with helpless giggles.
“The whole legion—as smooth and nude as babes,” he said reflectively.
Her giggles became louder.
He added gently, “And as red as lobsters.”
She threw her head back, giving in to full-blown laughter—and Marcus’s heart turned.
What a silly thing, a heart, to focus all its striving and all its yearning on the most unlikely woman.
His chest expanded on a deep breath. He reached out a hand to cup her cheek, to brush a stray strand of hair out of her face.
“What a beautiful laugh you have,” he said softly.
He was a fool, of course, for nothing was more designed to make her laughter die.
She stared at him, her eyes so very, very blue.
Despite the dart of pain in his heart, he made himself smile. “It is a delight.”
Frowning, she shook her head. “My laugh?” she asked in mocking disbelief.
“Yes. That…” He smiled a little, his hand stroking over her hair. He loved touching her hair, loved touching her.
His eyes sought her gaze. “And you, of course,” he told her matter-of-factly. “You are a true delight.” His hand slid over her shoulder, down her arm until he could thread his fingers through hers.
He looked at their intertwined fingers—his large and blunt and burnished by the sun, hers dark and slender, a fine tremor running through them.
The latter made him quickly glance up.
There was a vulnerability in her expression that cut into his heart. “May I kiss you?” he asked and gently squeezed her fingers.
The question seemed to steady her, for her mouth twisted into a taunting smile. “You didn’t ask the last time.”
He tugged a little at her hand. “I’m asking you now.”
The smile vanished. She stared at him.
He rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand. Such delicate skin. He could still feel the slight trembling of her fingers, and he wanted nothing more than the wrap her in his arms and protect her from the world outside this room.
You can buy a copy here.