Sunday, September 8, 2013

Feature and Giveaway: Tainted by Christina Phillips

A dangerous love that Rome will never allow…

Driven by the knowledge he failed to protect his king and embittered at losing the woman he loves, Celtic warrior Gawain despises the lust he feels for the beautiful Roman patrician, Antonia. She is everything he’s never wanted in a woman, yet she ignites his passion like no other. Despite the danger of discovery he embarks on an illicit liaison with her, determined to uncover the reason for the infinite sorrow that haunts her eyes.

Newly arrived in Britannia from Rome, Antonia is inexplicably drawn to the cold, tough Celt whose touch stirs a desire she long thought died at the hands of her brutal former husband. With Gawain she learns the pleasure of sex and his unexpected tenderness thaws her frozen heart. But she hides a deadly secret that could be her undoing, and knows her growing feelings for him can lead nowhere. Yet when a shadow from her past threatens her future Antonia is torn between the Empire of her birth and betraying Gawain, the man she’s grown to love.

Inside Scoop: This medieval romance dabbles a wee bit in the paranormal.

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“And what do you think? Does danger lurk for you at every corner?” Even as he spoke, he knew the answer. She was too fragile to defend herself against any form of attack. That was why she would never be allowed to wander the markets without her slave and, he was certain, a guarded litter to escort her through the streets.

But there were ways around such obstacles.

“Oh.” A smile tugged at her lips. “Not every corner.”

He laughed, surprising himself, but her response had been slightly deprecating and unexpectedly amusing. An intriguing combination for a Roman noblewoman.

“Do not fear. My sword is at your disposal.”

She didn’t simper or gasp in mock outrage at his words. Her smile deepened and with an odd sense of disbelief, he realized she read no sexual implication in his comment at all.

“I trust you’ll never need to use it on my account.”

Her words confirmed his suspicion. Unless this, also, was part of her seduction routine?

He leaned toward her, enough to give them an illusion of privacy but not close enough to cause heads to turn.

“I look forward to nothing more than using it on your account, my lady.”

A blush suffused her cheeks and he stared at her, transfixed. Anyone would imagine she was an untouched virgin, unused to such banter. Yet he knew that, despite their outward show of modesty, in private Roman matrons could be as earthy in matters of sex as his own countrywomen.

Unless Antonia truly was a virgin? Unease slid through his mind. He couldn’t imagine why any husband would leave a woman as desirable as Antonia a maiden. Or was this the reason for her divorce? Because her husband had no interest in women?

“In that case,” her whisper was so low he had to lean in closer to catch every word. Her elusive scent of woodland flowers teased his senses, stirred his blood and made a mockery of his vow to withdraw. Virgin or not, he wanted her. “I have no objection to encountering your,” she hesitated for a moment and her eyes no longer reminded him of winter’s ice. They smoldered like a scorching summer sky. “Weapon.”

Relief seared through him. Antonia was good, he gave her that. For a moment he’d fallen for her fa├žade of innocence.

“Then we should make haste with our introductions.” He couldn’t help but laugh aloud, both at his outrageous words and the look of bewitchment on Antonia’s face. He knew she likely practiced that enchanting expression a dozen times a day in order to snare her lovers. It didn’t matter. He had no intention of becoming ensnared but saw no reason not to enjoy her entertaining performance. “My weapon is primed to defend your honor.”

Christina loves writing dark tales of tough, sexy warriors who are brought to their knees by their heroines. A mystical touch of fantasy or paranormal usually weaves its way through her stories, although strangely enough this wasn’t her intention when she first starting writing her Roman/Druid romances. But when ancient gods and goddesses get involved, it’s best just to go with the flow 

She is published by Ellora’s Cave and Berkley Heat and has dipped her toe in the indie pub waters. She is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia, Romance Writers of America, the DarkSide Down Under Group Blog and Historical Hearts Group Blog.

Christina is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her family. She is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

Places to find Christina:

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Up For Grabs:
  • 1 eBook copy of Betrayed
  • 1 $10 Amazon Gift Card
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