Whoo boy, do I love a good Roman romance. Lucky that I happen to know an another author who does, too–MK Chester. MK is our special guest today and she has brought with her a tantalizing excerpt.
Take it away, MK!
I’ve got a thing for Rome!
I do. Might as well just admit it. I have a thing for a lot of historical eras, but Rome? That’s one of a kind. Let me be clear. I don’t mean modern-day Rome, or Vatican-centered Rome. I mean the Rome of Caesars, generals, gladiators, and…did I say gladiators? Oh, well, hot men in leather underpants (with miraculously little chaffing). Who can look away?
I can’t. In my latest historical romance, published by Caria Press, we take the might of Rome in the form of one of her most esteemed (fictional) generals, Marcus Decimas Cordovis. He’s fresh off a victory in the Dacian Wars and returns home only to find his household in an uproar. The cause? A new Dacian slave, Ademeni, the daughter of the slain king who has sworn to avenge her losses. Take a peek:
As she came into full view, Marcus struggled to hold on to his thoughts. Ademeni’s red dress and headscarf made her ivory skin glow, her midnight hair more lustrous. When his fingers itched to touch those long strands, he curled his hands into fists instead.
“You wished to see me, dominus?”
Marcus narrowed his gaze. Though her tone attempted to appease, her strict posture said otherwise. She wanted a fight, but only on her terms.
“Are you well?”
She offered a faint smile. “I am well.”
He circled her. “What do you teach my daughter?”
Looking straight ahead, she said, “I teach her Latin.”
“Perhaps you should help me become friends with her again.” He stopped behind Ademeni, admiring the curve of her neck. When he drew closer, she shivered.
“And you were last home…how many years ago?”
Her soft-spoken question speared his heart, and his defenses fell into place. “That matters little.”
“Such things always matter to a child.”
Marcus faced her again, scrutinizing her, hoping to find some flaw in her argument. In her skin. She held his gaze as if she knew of what she spoke. “That may be. It would not be wise to come between us.”
“Or what will happen?” She lifted her chin. “You’ll leave her again?”
“I did not ask for you.” His words slipped out before he weighed their force. She pulled her brows together, as if taken aback by the news.
She did not need long to recover. “So you would leave me in the care of your brute, Tertullian, to whatever end he chose?”
No. “He swore he harmed none on the road.”
She shook her head. “He is a liar. And what of those in his own house?” Her body tensed, ready to pounce.
She knew Tertullian had claimed her sister. A spark of danger lit the room. Marcus took a step backward. “I have no control of his house. I have control of my house.”
“It does not seem you have control of either, dominus.”
He paused. The gods mocked him. “I did not ask for you.”
“Yet here I am.”
He cut to the heart of the matter. “And you wish to kill me, to take your vengeance on my family?”
“You are my enemy.” Her bold gaze slid down his body, then upward again, where she met his eyes. She did not hide her disdain. “My father and brothers are dead, my family has been destroyed and my country is in your hands. Should I not wish to kill you?”
“Such are the fortunes of war.”
“So they are,” she agreed, crossing her arms over her chest. “For everyone.”
I want to thank the MuseTracks authors for hosting me today, and I hope to see you all in the sands of the arena J
You can find Surrender to the Roman on: