Ella fled England once her lover betrayed her to marry another. After shedding her tears, she rebuilds a home in an atmosphere unsuitable for any lady; the archaeological expedition her father commands. But Ella is no lady, and the desert sands of Egypt suit her free spirit. Julian never stopped loving Ella, even when he said “I do” to another woman. The marriage of convenience ends with his wife’s death, thus freeing him from the bonds of marriage. Julian hunts Ella down in Egypt. She wants nothing to do with him, but when trapped in a pharaoh's tomb could a passion be rekindled?
God, this cannot be happening! I thought I left Julian behind in England two years ago, thought Ella.
Dread poisoned her to the very core, for Julian’s face was the very last she wished to see. If there was a choice in the matter, she would rather lay eyes on Satan’s hideous being than the man that trampled all over her heart.
Old emotions came raging into her, emotions she believed she conquered years ago. Passion. Ardor. Tears. And love. Confounded, blasted love. Julian had cast ill treatment upon her, tossing her aside like a used rag when another woman came along! Yet, every thread of her soul still screamed for him.
I have to leave this tent before he comes.
“I shall leave you to your visitor,” Ella heard herself say. “If you have need of me, I shall be scouting the surrounding desert for possible sites that need to be unburied.”
“Why must you go?” asked her father, clearly taken aback by her sudden yearning to escape.
“The details do not concern you,” was her reply as she strode past him. Glancing over her shoulder, she added, “And do not worry about me causing trouble for Mr. Dalton. I am determined to stay as far away from him as possible.”
As Ella approached the entrance to the tent, she bumped into a wall of muscle. Ella momentarily faltered from the collision. Two hands, familiar hands from ages ago, clutched her shoulders to balance her.
Glancing through her heavy lashes, her gaze touched the face of Julian Dalton, for it seemed Satan had no wish to make an appearance. Her breath caught in her throat, for he was more handsome than the memories that had accompanied her across the years. His hair was the color of wheat, which was tousled from the strong winds. Blue eyes, the color of an Egyptian sky on a day where the sun’s rays beat down on its victims, were set in a handsomely chiseled face. Those eyes, as relentless as the fiery sun, searched her every angle and feature as if he were as enthralled as she.
His searching eyes reminded her of a time long past, of the time they had first met. The memory hit her with a brutality that caused her to gasp…
Ella was traipsing down a hall in the home of the Marquis of Hebertson in an attempt to escape the dull ball her mother had forced her to attend. She strode with a determination to find a sanctuary, any sanctuary, to acquire a bout of peace. While rounding a corner, she ran right into the arms of a man. Right into the arms of what would plague her future. Peering upwards, blue eyes as deep as the sea studied her, rendering her speechless. A roguish smile crossed the gentleman’s lips, giving him a refreshing air of youth.
“Why is a beautiful lady such as yourself wandering around unaccompanied?” inquired the man.
Ella could not speak, for the intensity of this encounter was too overpowering.
He arched a quizzical brow. “Do you speak or are you a mute?”
Finding her voice, she snapped, “Yes. And seeing that you are not my maid or my mother, it is none of your concern as to what I am doing alone.”
Instead of being misled, the man chuckled. “Feisty girl!” Releasing her from his hold, he held two reconciling hands in the air. “My apologies. I shall assume you were hunting down a place of solitude, for someone with your tongue must find this high society tiring.”
An unwilling smile stretched the corners of her mouth. “It as if you can hear my very thoughts.”
“Mayhap I am a sorcerer,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows.
She chuckled at that. “Perhaps!”
“And you, my dear, are a siren. Or even an Isis.”
Her laughter was cut short by the mention of Isis, an Egyptian goddess. “You are acquainted with Egyptology?”
“Why, yes. It is something I study in my leisure time,” he said with curiosity.
Ella tilted her head to the side, considering this man. “My name is Ella Hadley.”
“Ah.” The man nodded thoughtfully. “You are the Earl of Javenshire’s daughter.”
“I am, but please disperse of calling me Lady Ella. I despise such airs.”
He seemed intrigued by her request. “Am I to call you by your Christian name?” With pretend shock, he said, “What a scandal that shall cause!”
Ella giggled. “What shall I call you by?”
“I am known as Julian Dalton, but I do not possess lofty titles.” Eyeing her with something unknown to her, he added, “But to you I am Julian.”
“Julian,” she whispered, letting the name roll off of her tongue…
She was recalled from the depths of her memories to the present day when Julian slid his hands down her shoulders. Down her arms and to her hands, until he was entwining their fingers.
“Ella,” he murmured, his voice hoarse. “It has been far too long.”
Red Sage Publishing, Inc. © 2015 All Rights Reserved
Katherine Givens is a museum employee with a secret. Few know the truth of her greatest passion, but those closest to her know she loves to write historical romances… All right, maybe more than a few people know she is a writer. Anyone who will listen to her can glean this from a conversation.
So, Katherine Givens is a museum employee who wishes she had a devilish secret or a jaw-dropping double life, but the characters in her manuscripts often do. From the withdrawn duke mesmerized by his quiet maid or the savage Viking eager to ravish a Christian girl, her heroes are always bound to have a secret or two. It is often up to the headstrong heroine to unravel the mysteries surrounding the man that has captured her heart.
Katherine is a member of the Romance Writers of America and New Jersey Romance Writers. Her short stories and poetry have been published in The Copperfield Review, The Enchanted File Cabinet, Tipton Poetry Journal, Nazar Look, West Ward Quarterly, MUSED – the Bella Online Literary Review Magazine, and several other magazines she cannot name off of the top of her head.
AUTHOR WEBSITE/BLOG: http://katherinegivens1.wordpress.com/
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