The past is only a heartbeat away
- Baronet Press, 2016
- Released 21 September 2016
- Paranormal/Time Travel erotic romance
- Approximately 80,000 words
- HEA ending
Right from the start she knew it wasn’t about love.
As the youngest daughter of a wealthy family in medieval England, Lady Jane of Acton has been betrothed to Gerard Twyfford, the son of the Earl of Roseworth, since she was a baby. A dynastic marriage such as theirs is about power and property, not love but even so Jane desperately yearns for her husband’s approval. But Gerard’s rare visits to her bed are for the sole purpose of producing an heir, and she’s even failed at that. How can Jane win Gerard over when she cannot even be the wife he needs her to be?
Would one last chance be enough? Could he make things right, even now?
Ged Twyfford doesn’t know what he’s missing in life. A powerful vampire, he’s lived for close to six hundred years and seen a lot during his time but his past still haunts him. On a whim, he purchases Roseworth castle, the keep he used to rule as lord. Mostly in ruins now, Roseworth is a shell of what it was when he was still a mortal but Ged is determined to make it his home again. Maybe this is what he’s been missing, maybe he needs a place to belong at last.
When a woman emerges from the lake beside his castle, looking and sounding a lot like the wife he lost over five centuries ago, Ged assumes she’s a witch out to dupe him. But what if she is who she claims to be? Ged finally realizes just what he had, and just how precious to him was the wife he betrayed all those hundreds of years ago.
Do they really have a second chance or is it just too late to start over?
From the author,
Resurrection is one of my favourite stories so far. It was a dream to write, and tries to present one of the most infamous anti-heroes in English history in a slightly more favourable light. Richard III is a minor character in Resurrection, but his part in the story is memorable. He was given a seriously bad press by the Tudors, not least after the hatchet-job performed by one William Skakespeare. The politics of the day were unsympathetic, and Richard ended up on the losing side in the Wars of the Roses and even though he went down fighting (he was the last English monarch to actually die in battle) he never got the chance to tell his side of the story.
In truth I’m convinced Richard was more misunderstood than evil, though I suppose we’ll never really know.
“My lord? Is there a problem?” She could surmise from his stormy countenance as he glared at her across the room that all was not well.
“You attended Norfolk’s bath. Against my express instructions.” His normally bland tone had taken on a cold edge. Jane did not care for it.
“My lord, I but—”
“Do you seek to deny it?” He did not raise his voice, but Jane found herself in no doubt as to the depth of his displeasure even so,
“No, but I—”
Her husband strolled across the room to glance out of the window then turned his head to regard her over his shoulder. “I informed you, did I not, soon after your arrival in this keep, that I did not expect my wife to perform such services. Have my wishes in this matter slipped your mind completely, my lady?”
“Of course not, my lord, and I thank you for your consideration. But I am lady here, and the Duke is an exalted guest in our house. It is expected that I should attend to his ablutions personally. It… it is my duty and my right as Lady of Roseworth.”
He turned to face her fully now, leaning back against the window sill in a posture deceptively casual. He folded his arms across his wide chest and regarded her under lowered brows. His azure eyes glittered, reminding her of icy flints. Not for the first time Jane observed him to be a most handsome man, and utterly intimidating.
Despite her trepidation Jane stood before her husband, her spine stiff and her shoulders back. Gerard might neglect her all he would, but she would not readily permit him to deprive her of her sole remaining purpose in life. She took pride in the quality of her housekeeping, and her responsibilities as lady of the hall included assisting important guests in bathing. It was not a duty she much cared for, and the knowledge that her husband would not insist upon it had been welcome enough. His rank alone was the reason she had made this exception for the Duke of Norfolk.
Her husband narrowed his eyes. Jane stepped back, her brief flash of temper dissipating. Whilst not scared of him exactly, she harboured a healthy respect for Gerard and knew him to have a temper though rarely was it directed at her. He set high store by obedience though, and it was distinctly possible that she had overstepped the mark in her defiance.
“Your right, madam? Your duty? May I remind you that your duty is to obey me. My instructions were clear and you chose to do otherwise.”
Jane’s heart sank. “But—”
“Norfolk is a lecher, as more than one hapless lady is able to testify. I would not have you alone with him, or with any man in such a situation. It is not safe.”
“He would never behave inappropriately. Not here, not in my own home.”
In truth, she had found the entire episode distasteful and Jane had no reason to doubt the accuracy of her husband’s assessment of the man. Norfolk had leered at her as he undressed, sauntering around the bedchamber with his huge, thick cock bobbing before her eyes. He was clearly aroused by her presence in his chamber and insisted upon making sure she was aware of it. Given the slightest hint of encouragement, he might well have pressed his luck further as her husband clearly suspected. She had seen no point in allowing the vile nobleman to know that despite five years of marriage to a man no one would describe as other than virile, Jane was in fact a virgin. This was the first time she had found herself in close proximity to a naked male and she struggled to conceal her revulsion. Jane did what needed to be done and made her excuses as hastily as she decently could.
The duke had seemed to her to be well enough pleased at the courtesy shown him. Jane rather resented this interference now from a husband who really ought to be more appreciative of her efforts on his behalf.
“You put yourself in danger, and I will not have it, Jane. It is my responsibility to protect you, to keep you safe.”
“I do not consider that I was in danger, my lord.”
“I do. What is more, I see in your face that you know I am right in this. Even if Norfolk were the most perfect of gentlemen, he is still a man and you are very young. Inexperienced. God’s bones, madam, you are still a virgin and men’s bathing chambers are no place for you.”
“If I am still a virgin, sir, whose fault is that?”
The moment the words were out Jane regretted them, wished she could gather up her reckless remarks and swallow them again whole. The accusation, the complaint, the implied slur hovered in the air between them as her husband’s features hardened into a stern but incredulous mask.
“I see we have much to resolve, Jane. We shall start with the matter of your wilful and dangerous flouting of my instructions.” He pushed himself away from the wall and strolled past her to sit on the side of her bed. “You will come here, Jane, and lay face down across my lap. You may keep your shift on if you wish, but you will raise it above your waist.”
Jane gaped at him, aghast. “I will not!”
“Jane, if I have to come and get you, it shall be a switch you feel across your bare arse, not merely my hand. Do not make this worse.”
“I.. I… you cannot beat me.”
“You are my wife, mine to discipline as I see fit. I will not beat you, but you have earned a thorough spanking and you shall have it, my lady. You may submit to this punishment, or not, that is your choice. It will happen anyway.”
Thanks so much for stopping by, Ashe Barker 🙂