Captives of Desire — a short story collection

Rape, pillage, plunder. Those were the bywords of life in the British Isles from the time of the Romans in 50 AD until the Norman invasion in 1066. Captives of Desire includes stories drawn from each phase of these invasions, women who in one way or another found themselves caught up by men of conquering armies, women who met such invaders with courage, fear, and not a small amount of pleasure. One woman, one man, the blood of battle forgotten… worlds meshed and new generations sprang up from true love.

Five works of historical fiction in one tidy bundle! Buy at Amazon or Smashwords

Excerpt: TRIGGER WARNING Dubious Consent

The latch on the heavy cottage door rattled. Nefyn’s neck hair rose. She turned from her churning, thinking of the other villagers who, like her, had lingered in spite of the threat. Were they all caught off guard? Her ears strained. No shouts of warning rang out. But she knew the invading Saxons sometimes emerged from the forest like silent ghosts.

Another rattle, and the door yielded to his shoulder. His eyes, black as winter night, locked with hers. His round shield bore the image of a red dragon and a longsword glinted in his fist. Blood roared in her ears as she stood momentarily paralyzed in fear.

How foolish she’d been to wait! Loath to remove the last of their belongings from the home of her family, she’d clung to the comfortable place where her children were born, where her beloved Bedwyr might return for a brief time and she could touch his face and know that he still lived. One more day, she promised herself, before she burdened the cow with bundles of bedclothes and meager portions of foodstuffs and drove the beast up into the mountains to join the others.

Too late. Her heart pounded in her ears in the brief moments she surveyed his dangerous presence.

Luminous morning mist layered through the greening valley, and against that brightness, this man’s tall form loomed dark in the opening. Supple leather marked with dents and scrapes of battle clad his broad chest and girded loins. A baldric ornamented with gold medallions draped from his muscled shoulder, a gold torque encircled his neck. Every inch of him bristled with menacing strength. After an instant frozen in his stare, Nefyn dropped the plunger into the half-churned butter and turned for her escape.

The whole of southern Britain bled. Whatever the people did, however fiercely their strong men fought, the Saxons kept coming. By land, by sea, the horde of invaders drove west through the forests beyond the standing stones. Women, children, old and young died on their long knives and brutal axes. The ruthless bastards torched homes, barns screaming with precious livestock, whole villages.

Weary and scarred, the brave men of Briton stood to fight. They marched, fought, won, lost, fell back, regrouped, marched again. The rest of the people—families, villages, the old and infirm—fled before the invaders like hares from burning fields.

Clearly she had tempted fate too long. This morning, postponing her departure yet another day, she had set a fresh stew over the fire pit and turned to her tasks. Yet something of the day already pricked her nerves, whether the heat of summer or the long quiet wait for news. A premonition, she knew now.

His long sword and heavy shield clattered to the worn boards of the table and in two steps, his strong hands seized her, locking her breath in her lungs. Gooseflesh raced up her arms as he pulled her back against him. She felt his arousal hard against her buttocks as his iron muscled arms captured her waist and hips. In moments, he had torn away the cloak fastened at her shoulder and ripped open her linen robe, exposing her breasts to air.

“I mean to have you,” his dark voice rasped at her ear. “In every way.”

Shudders of trepidation plunged from her dry throat to her quivering belly. She swallowed, unable to form words as his rough hands bruised over her sensitive skin. The flesh of her breasts burned under his touch and swelled against his palms. Her body’s quick compliance enraged her.

“Mercy,” she gasped, struggling to free herself.

“No mercy,” he growled, yanking at the lower parts of her garments.

His fingers plowed into the thick curls between her thighs as she fought. She swallowed roughly, afraid to cry out.

“You resist,” he said, whispering in her ear as he fingered her. “But a man is what you need.”

His scarred fingers strummed the moist crevice, pausing over the stiff pleasure knot to circle and press until her hips responded in involuntary thrusts. One big finger slid inside, and she moaned.

“Oh! No, please.”

“Yes, sweet flower,” he muttered. “Cry for me.”

The width of his hand spread her legs. His fingers stroked inside her, teasing out the growing tide of fluids, thumbing over the stiffened morsel so that Nefyn jerked and begged. Lunged and twisting, she grappled with his arm that clasped her tight against his hard chest. He held with iron strength, his hot breath gusting against her ear.

With a growl, he shoved her forward over the table and threw her skirt up and over her back. One hand gripped her hair, causing her eyes to leak tears. As he squeezed her buttocks, his thumb found her center, drew her moisture as he spread her open. She heard the shift of his clothing as his baldric fell aside, and then the hard knob of his hot cockhead probed between her trembling legs.

“Oh, please!” she cried.

“Quiet, woman,” he grunted in a hoarse voice. “I will have you.”

He shoved hard and drew in sharp breath as he entered her. Thick and long, his rigid organ drove deep into her belly. With her waist in the firm grip of his hands, she steeled herself to his plundering as he drew back for another thrust.

Freebie Time!

Free full-length historical romance novel, Caerwin and the Roman Dog! This special offer ends June 30, 2017. To get in on this deal, sign up for Liz’s Hot News, a free monthly newsletter. Each month’s issue includes free short and sexy fiction, hints and factoids, and lots of fun! Sign up this week at http://eepurl.com/bHOyS9 and get our Super Hot July Freebie Novel!

5 stars — “A great read worth 5 stars!

“5 STARS for Ashworth and her historical genius!”

5 stars — “Ms. Ashworth has created a complex tapestry of characters all set against a well-researched backdrop. I continue to applaud her ability to mix history with eroticism so aptly.”

5 stars — “This story just pulled me in. History, romance, mystery, political intrigue and just good writing. Can’t wait for the next installment!”

and many more!

The Escape

escape-cover-smallSometimes when I write a story, it keeps on living after I quit. I consider that a success as far as writing goes, but it can become quite the nag. After nearly two years, the nagging that surfaced after I finished writing “The Captive” became deafening. So I’ve written a second installment, “The Escape,” in what seems destined to become an even lengthier tale.

“The Captive” is a short story set in the late 9th century England when the Saxons and Danes were fighting over control of the land. Seeking a brief time of secret pleasure with a captured Danish warrior, Elspeth Lady of Hystead hides away in a remote cabin on her estate and has the man delivered to her. Her aging invalid husband will be none the wiser. Yet an unexpected problem arises and it has nothing to do with her husband. It has to do with this stunning man standing before her, tied and injured, his long blond hair partially hiding the disdain in his intense stare. This was not what she expected.captive-new-cover-small

Not at all.

Book 2, “The Escape,” is a novelette, available at your favorite bookseller.

Buy links for “The Captive” — Amazon, Smashwords

Buy links for “The Escape” — Amazon, Smashwords

Free — Limited Time Offer!

CaerII cover ebook
Free E-Books to THREE WINNERS!
 
For your chance to win an ebook copy of the newly released Caerwin & Marcellus PLUS an ebook copy of the first book in this two-book story, Caerwin and the Roman Dog, subscribe to Liz’s Hot News! This e-newsletter arrives in your inbox once a month full of sexy shorts, special offers, and much more. No obligation, no cost–this newsletter will quickly become one of your favorite hot spots.
 
To subscribe and enter to win, visit http://eepurl.com/bHOyS9

In one day’s time, Caerwin’s life changes forever. Everything she knows is lost in a vicious bloody battle—her family with its network of kinsmen, her home at the bustling hillfort of western Britannia, her ancient way of life as a Celt. Reeling in shock, her wrists and ankles bound, she faces the man responsible.

She spits at his greeting and vows to kill him.

Marcellus, commander of Rome’s Legion XIV Gemina, spares this fiery young beauty from the slave traders who take away survivors of her tribe. War hardened and even more inured by Imperial Rome’s dissolute ways, he’s drawn to her innocence.

He wants her. He’ll make her his no matter what it takes.

Contest ends at Midnight Saturday July 30. Adults only due to explicit and occasionally dark sexual content.

Discounted til July 20

her brother's voice

Limited Time Offer! During pre-release period for Caerwin & Marcellus (Book II), Book I Caerwin and the Roman Dog is reduced to 99¢. During the pre-release period, Book II is also discounted to $2.99. These two great novels complete Caerwin’s story at prices you won’t see again.

Your personal time travel to experience firsthand the conquest and glory of ancient Rome! Pick up these books and read your way through this breathtaking saga of brutal warfare, BDSM rough sex, and tender romance that grows in the wake of devastation.

An ambitious Roman commander captures a fiery maid of Britannia and forces her to his will. A story of conquest and love set in the glory days of empire, their struggle to meet each other’s needs and expectations exposes the underbelly of Rome’s legal system, its dependence on slavery, and sexual secrets from Marcellus’ past. Can young Caerwin survive unexpected challenges to her womanhood?

Book I
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/611102
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016LA6ZVA

Book II
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/644340
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H9EBZCQ

A Scene in the Forum

forum

Image of Rome’s Forum circa 312 AD. A rendering developed through the auspices of the University of Texas, Austin. See http://teachingwithoutpants.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-ruin-of-rome-or-something-happened.html

Once the priests had offered prayers and the sacrifices had been made, the crowd moved slowly outside. With his arm firmly wrapped around Caerwin’s waist, Marcellus stopped on the temple steps looking over the brightly garbed crowds still thronging the plaza. Surrounding the Forum, the great temples, statues, and official buildings of the Roman Empire stood like sentinels. Fountains splashed in brilliant sunlight. In the distance, the hills of Rome gleamed with their buildings, streets, and greenery.

Nothing in her life had been this overpowering. The city, the empire, all of it seemed summed up in this man standing beside her with his strength and beauty, his internal conflicts and passions. His easy use of violence. His knowledge of all things. His absolute power to conquer and hold her.

They descended the steps and walked a short distance. His head turned sharply and he looked down on her as if to speak. His face, which had become thinner in the last weeks, lightened with a tender expression. For a breathless moment, Caerwin thought he would kiss her or speak words of love.

She would say what she longed to say. “Marcellus, I…”

His gaze shifted to a person standing nearby and his face hardened. “Vedius,” he said, raising his voice over the clamor. “Yo Saturnalia!”

Excerpted from Caerwin & Marcellus, the sequel to Caerwin and the Roman Dog. Coming soon! Watch for a special offer.