Title – Once Upon a Hero
Author – C.N. Bird, Samantha Holt, Lily Magee, Em Taylor
Genre – Historical Romance
Publication Date – 1st February 2014
Length (Pages/# Words) – 50,000 words
Publisher – Indie
Cover Artist – Samantha Holt
Four tales of love throughout history.
Pompeii by C.N. Bird 69 A.D. Following the loss of her father and her mother years later, Hadriana is saved from a life of prostitution by her closest friend Victus. Through rebuilding and many loves, one night finds them unable to resist their feelings for one another any longer. With their new found affection and moving forward in their lives, the city of Pompeii seemingly doesn’t have a happy ending in store.
Hunting His Highland Lass by Samantha Holt Scotland, 1292 Rory MacPherson has returned home to find his castle overrun by the English and his timid wife missing. So when he hears of her tales of bravery, he’s just a little surprised. But his main concern is whether she is still alive or has been captured. Upon discovering her intention to run to her father’s and to leave their affectionless marriage for good, Rory realises just how much sweet Isla means to him. Can the warrior get past his fears of being too rough for her?
Though fear of capture drove Isla out, it’s the fear of returning to her marriage that keeps her travelling across the unforgiving Highlands. Not that doesn’t care for her husband, but she can no longer bear desiring a man who clearly doesn’t want her. Believing that he must be sharing his bed with another lass, Isla plans to beg her father for refuge from the English…and her husband. But the journey is dangerous and Rory is a determined man. Will he even let her go?
A Love Remembered by Em Taylor England, 1811 When Lord Benedict Mallory is lost at sea while fighting in His Majesty's Navy, Lady Cassandra Strong knows her happy ever after with the handsome duke's son will never be. That is until she spots her friend's footman. He bears a striking resemblance to the Lord who was presumed drowned.
A chance encounter with the newly restored Earl leaves Cassy with no option but to marry Lord Benedict. Can they overcome his loss of memory and forge a marriage for themselves?
An Honourable Enemy by Lily Magee Russia, 1812 War has been kind to Capitaine Amaury de Poitiers. With every victory over the Russians, Napoleon’s Grande Army brings ever greater glory to France. Highly regarded by both his superiors and his men, his career looks set to soar.
When he is tasked with guarding a prisoner of war critical to the war effort, an archduchess no less, Amaury finds himself enchanted by her. The only surviving member of her family, the proud Katinka of Viasma is overwhelmed by grief and the desire for revenge upon the French for her family’s death. Despite her initial hostility, Amaury finds himself becoming ever more drawn to this feisty, angry yet fragile young woman and is overcome by the need to protect her. Katinka in turn finds herself confused by her increasing attraction to the witty, chivalrous capitaine who refuses to give up on her despite her temper.
Their longing for each other is undeniable but both of them know that the barriers between them are great. Amaury finds himself torn between his mission, his love and his honour. Katinka is a noblewoman and he is but a common soldier. To be together could cost Katinka everything.
Can Amaury and Katinka ever overcome the barriers of war and class that separate them?
Hunting His Highland Lass by Samantha Holt
He reached the village leader’s house and dismounted, hopping down and tying his mount to the joust of the well that sat in the centre of the settlement. Before he made himself known to the man, a young lass, not much older than Isla, scurried up and dipped into a hurried curtsey.
“My laird,” she said breathlessly.
“Aye, lass, what is it? Speak quickly for I crave a word with yer leader.”
“He is out in the fields at the moment, laird. We are checking the flocks. The English were on our land last night.”
“Hellfire, in truth?”
“Aye, my laird.”
Rory swung his gaze around and frowned. “But they didnae harm ye?”
“Nay, my laird. We scared them away.” A smile flickered on the fair haired lass’s lips.
“Scared them away ye say?” He shook his head. How had a bunch of raggedy peasants scared away a troop of battle-hardened English? “Then all is well?”
“Aye, my laird. But I must tell ye…yer lady wife was here.”
He gulped. So she was alive. But that meant little now. Not until she was in his arms where she belonged. “During the attack?”
“Aye, she—the lady that is—helped us scare off the English.”
Rory rubbed a hand across his face. “Ye cannae mean Lady Isla, surely? Were ye mistaken, lass?”
“Nay, truthfully, my laird. She sought refuge with me. She said the keep had been overrun and she was to travel to her father’s. Does this mean ye have won back the castle?”
“Aye, aye.” He waved a hand. “Is she here still?”
“Nay, my laird.” The girl’s face dropped. “I tried to persuade her but she wouldnae listen. She seemed very determined to travel on.”
“God’s blood,” he whispered.
“Forgive me, my laird. I should have tried harder but we didnae know ye were on yer way. She insisted she needed to ensure the English didnae catch up with her in case they tried to use her against ye.”
“And she is unaccompanied?”
The girl bit her lip. “Aye.”
Rory groaned. The lass had fought the English twice and was now gallivanting around the Highlands all alone. It was so at odds with what he knew of his wife. It didn’t stop the fear clutching his heart. Though the lass was more a warrior than he ever realised, she was still vulnerable. And still determined to make it to her father’s. If her father agreed to protect her from him, he might never see her again. Might never get the chance to try again. To show her he had changed and could be gentle.
“What is yer name?” he asked the girl.
“Kate, my laird.” She grasped her skirts and dipped again.
“My thanks, Kate. Tell the villagers that I have claimed back the castle and will send men out to patrol the lands. We’ll no’ be threatened by the English scourge again. I will have ye a fine fat pig sent to ye in return for looking after my lady wife.”
“Oh, pray, ye dinnae need—”
“I do. Good day to ye, Kate.” Without waiting for a response, he leapt onto his mount and gripped the reins. At least he knew one thing. Isla was alive. For the moment. Determination pervaded every fragment of him, making his muscles tense. It seemed Isla was resolved to prove she was more than the sweet lass he thought she was. But could he prove to her he was more than just a rough warrior?
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