Marcus, a gladiator in my father’s ludus, was compelled to my presence to learn of Rome’s gods, her legends. When first he came, fear consumed me – fear of this silent, resentful slave who burned with his anger.
Time, though, changes much. Marcus softened and I grew unafraid. As we became closer, I grew more than merely unafraid – I grew to love him. Never did I think we would be separated.
I was wrong.
I forced myself to forget. Forget Marcus, forget the almost-smile he gave to me alone, forget everything but my life as it was now. Then, one day, I wandered into a market and spied Marcus, and the truth I had always hidden, thought to forget, was thrust upon me.
I had never ceased to love my slave.
~ Excerpt ~
Rubbing my arm, I took breath and turned.
The slave yet stood in the middle of my chamber, his eyes ahead and his posture still. I forced myself to take a step toward him, and then another, and then I stood before him. By the gods, he was tall, and bigger, so much bigger. His hands, they could crush me, the muscles of his arm screaming of his strength. He could rush at me, he was trained for such, and I would be broken before any could stop him.
Why would my father do this to me?
My voice, when it came, betrayed my fear. “I—I am Lucia. I shall be teaching you. Do you…” I swallowed and tried again. “Do you know much of our legends?”
My fingers shook as I tucked an errant curl behind my ear. “Yes. Well. If you do not know, we should start with Saturn. He was once ruler of the gods and their father. He—” Taking a breath that shook, I gestured. “Will you come to my desk?”
A flicker of expression, quickly gone. He complied with my request, the clink of the chains he bore loud in the silence of my chamber.Once he reached position, he stood with gaze ever forward and waited.
Hesitant, I moved also to the desk and slid in to my chair. I fussed with the scrolls under the pretence of finding the right one, though I could quote the story and pantheon by heart.
These lessons would bear disaster. I knew it already.
~ Reviews ~
If we could give this a 6[out of 5], we would. It’s our humble opinion that Dean’s got imagination and that special touch with crafting a compelling story. It would be an understatement to say that she put Lucia and Marcus through hell and then dragged them back to finally make it right.
– Pink Owl Reviews
I […] enjoyed and savored every page, every moment, every word – and I desperately wanted to see more.
Good characters (Oh Marcus! *fans self*), a great location and time period, and a wonderful romance – put this book on your to-read list right away!
– Siren’s Song Reviews
The plot develops smoothly, nothing is rushed, and it feels completely believable[…] This is by far, one of the more unique [romance novels] I’ve read and I can easily recommend it for lovers of romance but also of historical fiction.
– You Gotta Read Reviews
[Enslaved] is atmospheric… and filled with exquisitely rendered emotion that makes you feel every awful thing [the heroine] endures […] The writing, on the whole, is impressive. It manages to be both finely crafted, nuanced, and spare. In fact, some of the restraint used in the prose is breathtaking. It’s tense, understated and incredibly sexy. […] I’ve read really well-researched novels that are also dry and dull, but “Enslaved” was compelling, moving, and rang emotionally true. I wish that more romances were like this.
– Joanne Renaud
~ Behind the Story ~
What’s in a name?
I give all my stories nicknames and Enslaved was no different. A working title is a grand thing, and thus Roman Lady was born. Why Roman Lady? Well, Curious Reader, Enslaved is set in Rome and, uh, features a lady. You are correct in thinking not much thought went into it. Darn. I’ve given my fairly simple self away, haven’t I?
The Story Behind the Story
One day, I watched this nifty new show entitled Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Rather taken with the very pretty half-naked boys contained within (as well as the super awesome story-telling), I started to daydream. Enslaved is the result. I hope you enjoy!
~ Extras ~