He gave her pleasure, the like of which she had never known before.
Loss. Passion. Sacrifice.
It’s the worst day of Laryssa’s life when bandits snatch her beloved daughter Sofiya, carrying her away to places unknown. Vowing to save her, come what may, Laryssa sets off on a long and difficult journey to find the eighteen-year-old.
When she stumbles across a half ruined castle in the middle of a forest, she realizes she’s found the very place where Sofiya is being held by four men. In desperation, Laryssa begs to be allowed to stay with them, to cook and clean, and even offers her body for use to the leader of the gang, a man called Bhodan. Not knowing who she really is, he grudgingly accepts.
Bhodan is a dark man with a troubled past. With livid scars marring his otherwise handsome features, he is gruff, ruthless, and cold. Somehow Laryssa, the woman he has employed to cook and clean for himself and his men, and to service him sexually whenever he desires it, manages to see past his harsh exterior. Her growing attraction to him is undeniable, and no one is more surprised than Bhodan himself to discover that he is beginning to reciprocate those feelings.
Sofiya is not the only girl to have been captured by the gang; Hanna, a girl close to her in age, was already being held when Sofiya arrived. Laryssa is desperate to rescue them both, but knows she must bide her time until the moment is right.
When the four men decide to leave the women alone to go thieving, Laryssa sees her chance. However, she is unprepared for the emotional dilemma she will face when only one of the men – Bhodan – returns. He is badly wounded, and she finds herself unable to leave him alone, as he will undoubtedly die.
Torn between the love of her daughter and the passion Bhodan has awakened in her, Laryssa faces a tough choice. Should she send Sofiya and Hanna back to their village alone to face their demons, or should she accompany them and risk losing what could well be her last chance of experiencing boundless passion and love after years spent alone? Can she forgive Bhodan for what he has done in the past, or will she decide that her daughter’s happiness is more important than her own?
Publisher’s Note: This tale, set in Eastern Europe in the mid 19th century, is one of passion, sacrifice and hope, in an age where poverty made life a daily struggle to survive. It contains some explicit sexual scenes, including spanking, as well as erotic horror themes. If such material is likely to offend you, please do not purchase this book.
This is a newly edited and greatly revised and expanded version of a book previously released under the same title.
The icy wind penetrated the woman’s flimsy cloak and deep into her aching bones. It was almost dark and the dense forest on either side of the track was gloomy and menacing. The trees made a creaking, moaning noise as the wind howled through them, and there came a sound of a distant wolf, but she tried not to be afraid. She had been walking for nearly three days and her body was so weary that she was scared that it would let her down and that she would collapse here in this lonely and desolate place. Sheer willpower and thoughts of her precious Sofiya were the only things forcing her to keep placing one foot after another.
Sofiya was her joy and her reason for living. She was her vibrant and beautiful eighteen-year-old daughter and since her husband’s death, with Sofiya no more than an infant, there had been just the two of them, together against the harsh and unforgiving world. She would walk to the ends of the earth for her child and right now she felt as though she was walking to the ends of the earth, but she had no choice since the night that the men came and took her child.
She had only been away from the house for a few hours taking care of a sick old man at the other side of the village, but it was long enough for them to gallop to her home and snatch her precious daughter. A neighbour came running to tell her that Sofiya had been taken, that four men on horseback and with daggers tucked into their waistbands had entered her house and dragged her daughter screaming to one of the horses. They had flung her over the saddle in front of one of the riders, and within minutes, had galloped away. When the woman heard the news she sank to the floor and screamed so much that people came running from far and wide to find out what evil had occurred that someone should cry out with such pain and anguish.
One of the men, new to the village, said he was afraid that Sofiya had been taken by a band of criminals known for stealing cattle and treasure from wherever they could find it, and they also took away pretty young women who caught their eye. He had heard of such events from people in his previous village, and the women they took were not heard from again. Some said that they were sold into slavery in far away places.
On hearing this, the woman fainted.
When she recovered consciousness she knew that she must find Sofiya and rescue her from whatever terror and degradation that would come from being with such men. Life without her daughter could not be contemplated. She collected some food and her cloak and set out to find Sofiya, uncertain where to go and how far she must travel.
I write erotic romances as Juliette Banks, but some of you may also know me as the author Rachel de Vine. I am British and live in a beautiful rural part of England. However, I also like travelling to remote and unusual parts of the world, and have visited places as diverse as Tibet, Bhutan, Peru, Namibia and China. Our world is so beautiful and I hope that it will always remain so, and I see myself as being so lucky to have the freedom to travel that was denied many previous generations. I hope I never take it for granted.
I write mainly romances, because I am an incurable romantic, and I write erotic romances because I am always attracted to the sexuality and sensuality that is within so many of us. I like to write about interesting characters who often have to survive life’s challenges before they can reach the happy ending they deserve.
Website www.racheldevineauthor.com (a site for both Rachel and Juliette)