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Gods and Daemons

Ratings:
366 pages5 hours

Summary

An anthology of three historical novellas, comprising Blessed Isle, The Crimson Outlaw and Labyrinth.

Blessed Isle:

1790 British Age of Sail

For Captain Harry Thompson, the command of the prison transport ship HMS Banshee is his opportunity to prove his worth, working-class origins be damned. But his criminal attraction to his upper-crust First Lieutenant, Garnet Littleton, threatens to overturn all he's ever worked for.

Lust quickly proves to be the least of his problems, however. The deadly combination of typhus, rioting convicts, and a monstrous storm destroys his prospects . . . and shipwrecks him and Garnet on their own private island. After months of solitary paradise, the journey back to civilization—surviving mutineers, exposure, and desertion—is the ultimate test of their feelings for each other.

These two very different men each record their story for an unfathomable future in which the tale of their love—a love punishable by death in their own time—can finally be told. Today, dear reader, it is at last safe for you to hear it all.

The Crimson Outlaw

When Vali Florescu runs from his father's cruelty, leaving their castle to seek his fortune in the untamed Carpathian forests, he expects to have to fight ferocious bandits and woo fair maidens before he can prove himself worthy to return and depose the tyrant. But when he is ambushed by Mihai Roscat, the fearsome crimson outlaw, he discovers he is more than happy to have it turn out the other way around.

 Mihai, once an honoured knight, has long been waiting for revenge against Vali's father – who killed his lord and left him to a life of banditry. He's sure that Vali would make an excellent hostage to hold over Wadim's head, if only the boy wasn't quite so enthusiastic over being captured and debauched.

Labyrinth

Kikeru, the child of a priestess at the sacred temple of Knossos in ancient Crete, believes that the goddesses are laughing at him. They expect him to choose whether he is a man or a woman, when he's both. They expect him to choose whether to be a husband to a wife, or a celibate priestess in the temple, when all he wants to do is invent things and be with the person he loves.

Unfortunately, that person is Rusa, the handsome ship owner who is most decidedly a man and therefore off-limits no matter what he chooses. And did he mention that the goddesses also expect him to avert war with the Greeks?

The Greeks have an army. Kikeru has his mother, Maja, who is pressuring him to give her grandchildren; Jadikira, Rusa's pregnant daughter; and superstitious Rusa, who is terrified of what the goddesses will think of him being in love with one of their chosen ones.

It's a tall order to save Crete from conquest, win his love, and keep both halves of himself. Luckily, at least the daemons are on his side.

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