Ancient Ties - Time Travel Romance


 

I'm so happy to finally have this book out there again. 
Yes, it's a republish, but it's the first book of mine ever published,
and I'm very proud of it.
The love story is timeless.

BLURB

Nursing a broken heart, Janney Forrester flies to England for a much needed vacation. She gets one—and much more. A drive through the countryside and the sight of a mysterious heavy gold bracelet found nestled against ruined walls draw her across the crumbling stone threshold of an ancient villa where she beholds a Roman room in perfect historical detail. To add to the unreality, there's the most gorgeous, masculine man she's ever seen, her every sensual fantasy personified. Confusion by what's happening to her vies with attraction when Janney is thrust two thousand years into the past.
 
Roman soldier Marek Benin Verus considers the woman suddenly appearing before him as a gift from the gods. Zeus knows he needs one! Battle fatigued and emotionally scarred after fifteen years in the army, he's on a leave of absence, and he has all the time in the world to devote to seducing this beautiful woman into his bed. He doesn't plan on the powerful and dangerous emotions she inspires in him.
 
Marek's hard, muscular body is too luscious to resist. Janney decides to risk the comfort of her safe life and carpe diem—seize the day. Marek seizes her body and takes her to the edge—and over—to an ecstasy she never knew existed. Can a new world for her, timeless desire, and a loving exploration of each other's bodies forge a passion that survives centuries of separation?

~~~

Reviews for Ancient Ties

4 ½ Stars and Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine - "Marek and Janney have a sizzling attraction, and that is where Quinn turns up the heat and intensity. This story has a wonderful balance between sensitivity and sensuality, with humor from the gods on the side. A terrific book."

5 Angels and Recommended Read from Fallen Angel Reviews - " Ancient Ties is one of the best time travel romances I have read in a long while. I absolutely loved it! Ms. Quinn’s graceful style of writing is a perfect compliment to the erotic elements of the storyline. I also appreciated the unusual setting of the Roman occupation of ancient Britain. I highly recommend this touching, emotional and incredibly erotic love story."

5 Stars from Just Erotic Romance Reviews - "These sex scenes are explosively intense, often depicting the powerful and luscious connection that they have. Their romance is profoundly inspiring, leaving me feeling warm and sorrowful throughout the novel. Ancient Ties is an absolutely gripping and satisfying read, leaving me looking forward to more novels by this tremendously talented author.

 
~~~


Chapter One

The Roman Museum, Bath, England, Present Day

Goose bumps pebbled her arms when Janney Forrester felt a nudge against her shoulder by someone in the crowds swimming around her. Swearing silently, she stood her ground to take a photo. The golden rock—tombstone of a Roman soldier the sign at its base said—rose tall and solid before her. Latin letters, undoubtedly deeply carved at one time, had softer lines now, worn smooth over the centuries. But steadily, she held her camera and snapped a shot. Before she could even check it, she had to move along.

The museum was an amazing place. Ordinary, modern athletic shoes seemed almost sacrilegious, wrong to be wearing them to stroll along the ancient, smooth stone walkways. Mosaic floors and painted wall coverings, stone statues and pediment fragments hanging on the wall had been lovingly kept safe over the centuries since the Romans first appeared in Britain. She was just out-and-out thrilled to be here to see these treasures.

Finally, outside in the sunlight at the edge of the Great Bath, she took a quick look at the photo of the tombstone. "Oh, damn!" She pulled a face, edging back toward the doorway to the interior of the museum. The edges of the tombstone were clear and sharp, but the center where the carvings had been, was all hazy. Her hands must have jiggled. "Damn!" she repeated. She wanted to retake the photo. It was important.

"Okay, people, lets move along," the tour guide urged.

There were more sights to see and more people coming along behind her. She'd have to take the tour again tomorrow and make sure she got the photo right.

Meanwhile, she continued taking shots of the steaming, green waters of the bathing pool. It was currently open to the sky, but she'd read it had originally been covered by a domed ceiling. She couldn't explain her sense of foreboding while walking in the footsteps of the ancients. Goosebumps had popped up again, the feeling almost like a breath across her skin.

***

Britannia, Mensis Aprilis, AD 161

Marek Benin Verus perched atop his blooded stallion and surveyed the soon‑to‑be battlefield. He agonized, as he had through the night before, pacing the muck-mired streets of the camp, questioning once again what had happened with his life. Thirty-eight years old and what did he have to show for it? More battles? More deaths? For eighteen years he'd given his career to the emperors of Rome. Yes, he was a respected warrior and commander esteemed by his peers but who really cared whether he lived or died? Would his son care? Would he even know? He'd not seen Leonidas for many years. Fifteen years old now. A man. Did he look like Mellona? His sweet Mellona, the love of his life, dead two short years after their marriage because she wanted a child and he wanted to give her one.

Bahh! He despised these tenderhearted feelings. They distracted him from his responsibilities. From his duty. But lately, he hadn't been able to put Leonidas out of his mind and grieved over the lost years with his son. What is he like now? Do I want to be a mystery to him as my father was to me?

When had he started hating this life? He wanted to lay the blame on the damnable Britons. Although he prayed to his patron god Mars for victory, he was conflicted. He would fight two battles this day. The actual physical battle, like many he'd endured over the years, would be conducted by rote. The second battle he faced was more insidious. He was actually sorry to be killing these people. Astonishingly, he privately admired their fierceness and courage in daring to come up against the hundreds of professional seasoned men of Rome. He didn't blame them. The Britons were fighting to protect their fields and homes, their women and children, their way of life. What could be more right than that?

Malum! Damnation! Cold rain battered its way inside his cape, even inside his armor, trickling down his neck. He was cold to the bone. Desolate. How he hated giving the order to attack these people. Nevertheless, he had no choice in the matter. War wasn't personal. Killing was his profession. Infuriated at his self-doubt, fully aware that one second of inattention could mean his death or that of his men, he forced his mind back to the battle at hand.

Ignoring his personal distractions and girding himself with a deep bellow, he gave the order and charged into action. The fury of battle, the zealous passion of fighting kindled him as nothing else could. The enemy had broken through the lines of the famous Roman legions and forced hand-to-hand combat. Warriors, their faces contorted and darkened by mud, eyes wild with hatred, rushed him on all sides. Fighting became instinctive. Disciplined and automatic.

Sweat from the heat of battlefield fires combining with dust trickled down his forehead. He swiped the heel of his sword arm across his stinging eyes as he regained his momentum. Sounds of the battlefield filled the air.

Screaming men, wounded men thudding to the ground.

Horses rearing.

Swords clanking against swords.

The whir of flying arrows.

The crackle of fire.

He exploded in controlled fury. Over and over. Again and again. He plowed his sword into enemy flesh—bellies, chests—whatever presented itself. He looked into uncounted shocked eyes. Heard the last surprised gasp of each man, the viscous slurping when his blade withdrew from his bloody torso.

The dull clack of the enemy's blade struck his wooden shield. He bunched his shoulder and arm muscles to push it off, deflecting attack, felt the wrench of joint and stretch of sinew as he twisted. Powerful thighs kept his balance.

Blood flew spattering droplets on his armor, on his face, the coppery taste combining with grit and ashes in his mouth. He spat. Sweat streamed down his cheeks, dripped from his nose, his chin. Soot blinded him. He shook his head trying to free it of dirt, of blood, of sweat so he could see again.

Gripping his sword and advancing, he brandished it with sweeping strikes. From side to side. Over and over. Again and again.

The enemy kept coming, its attacks vicious.

The Roman legions pushed them back.

His sword—stuck between ribs—he kicked the already dead body off and ignored the stink of gore splattering back on him. He panted now. Gasped, dragging air into his aching lungs. Teeth ground down on each other.

He jerked back to avoid being struck again. Exhausted, his feet slipped in the slimy bloody mire beneath.

The rage of battle won. No time for weakness.

Three! Three at once! He fended off the first attacker then dispatched the next with a bloody savage stroke. The third fiercely struck out, more passionate than skilled, and dealt him a blow to the elbow and slashed his thigh.

This man fought like a lion in the Coliseum, his face slathered in mud, head concealed by a helmet made of hide, teeth bared in ferocity. The only thing he could see for sure was the man's blue eyes passionate with hatred and with a keen sense of purpose.

Their duel took them away from the field of battle and toward a small copse of trees. The fighter leaped and darted lightly. Marek realized he was being lured away. His efficient warrior's brain signaled his body to finish and move on. Weary but still strong enough, he slashed ruthlessly. Watched for signs of fatigue, waited to strike at any weakness, confident in his victory.

The Briton's arm dropped slightly. Marek took his advantage, gripping his dagger in his left hand, struck the blade home to the chest. With a high-pitched cry his victim's body crumpled and hit the earth, his helmet spilling off and rolling away.

A boy!

The sounds of the distant battle dimmed at that moment. He stood over the body, his bloody dagger still held high and looked down into the face on the ground. Ripping off his own helmet and dropping to his knees, he ignored the gouging of sharp rocks and wooded underbrush. With his thumb he wiped the mud off the boy's face. Soft cheeks, soft mouth. He sucked in a breath. The boy couldn't be much older than his own Leonidas.

Riveted by the fierce blue eyes, a tortured groan escaped his throat as he gathered the dying body in his arms and cradled him as he had held his own son so many long years before. He probed the grisly chest wound his hand coming away red and sticky. The bloody bubbles oozing from the corner of the boy's mouth meant he was doomed.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry," he groaned, his voice hoarse and broken. Staring intently into the lad's eyes as if to will another outcome he rocked the young boy and murmured incomprehensible sounds. He heard the rattle, the fight for breath in the boy's chest and throat, the shallow gasping. He felt as if he were the one painfully straining to breathe. If only he could force air into the boy's lungs. Holding his hand atop the heart to feel its beat slowing, sluggish and weak, he prayed to his god of war to save this young fighter.

The slower the heartbeat, the more the boy struggled for breath. Eyes now closed, he gasped and labored to pull air into his lungs. The boy's groans were agonizingly painful to hear as Marek hugged him closer never minding the blood.

How much longer can this go on?

"Forgive me," he pleaded, his voice low and wretched. "Mars, let this boy live. He's someone's son. A father—and mother—will be missing him tonight." Heartsick, he knew his pleas would be futile. Mars demanded death and destruction. Time stalled. He knew no time, no movement of the sun. He had no knowledge of anything outside this grove of trees.

Groans became sobs. He couldn't distinguish any longer which of their cries were more raw. He had become one with this boy, this child, struggling for life. Tortured sounds filled the grove.

The boy's mouth opened wide struggling for air. He arched upward, his eyes flying open as if for one last look at the sky.

In the sudden silence Marek knew then he held his hand over a stilled heart. He gazed down upon the boy warrior and all he could see was the young face of his own son. It was as if he had killed his own child. A tortured-animal howl tore from his throat and could not salve his shock and grief or the horrible heart-wrenching pain.

Much later the boy had to be pried from his arms before a wounded Marek could be carried to his tent. His men were bewildered and shocked to see their commander act in such a way. They'd seen it in weaker men, in cowards. But never in Marek Benin Verus.

Later he was told, but he had no memory, of how he ended up lying on a cot in a darkened tent curled into a fetal position. In his desolation he took note of the shameful wetness of tears streaming down his cheeks and didn't care.
 
~~~
 
Come along with me for an exciting, wild ride 2,000
years into ancient times with Ancient Ties.

 
 
 
There has been a series of blog posts all with different aspects of the inspiration for the story. 
 
 
"Legends Do Come True" on Anna Markland's blog - http://www.annamarkland.com/legends-do-come-true-by-jane-leopold-quinn/
 
  
 
 
"Real Life vs. Writing Life" June 12 on Delilah Devlin's blog - http://www.delilahdevlin.com/blog/2015/06/12/jane-leopold-quinn-real-life-vs-writing-life/
 
 
On my blog -
 


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