Six months ago, Helle Madsen would have described herself as normal. Now she no longer knows if that terms applies, not after her entire life has been turned upside down by the reappearance of not one, but two, men from her very, very distant past.
Helle Madsen never believed in mumbo-jumbo stuff like reincarnation—until she came face to face with Jason Morris, a man who purportedly had spent fifty lives looking for her. Coping with being reunited with the lover from her ancient past was one thing. Having Sam Woolf, her vindictive nemesis from that same ancient past join the party was a bit too much. Suddenly, Helle finds herself the reluctant heroine of a far-flung, time-transcending epic story, one in which pain and loss seem to play a very big part.
This time round, Jason and Helle are determined to make it to the happily ever after. Unfortunately, Sam Woolf will stop at nothing to crush them. That ride into the golden sunset seems awfully far away at times…
Halfway through their meal, Nigel rang.
“We’re eating. Can I call you back?” Jason had the phone on loudspeaker.
“No. Turn on the telly. Now!” Nigel uttered a string of invectives that made Helle gape. Jason stretched for the remote; moments later, the TV lit up.
“…as we reported earlier, the London businessman Percy Wilkinson was found dead this morning. Mr Wilkinson was currently on vacation when the bungalow he shared with his family burst into flames.”
“Accident, you think?” Nigel asked sarcastically. Helle stared at the screen, trying to make sense of the words “unexpected blockage to the door”, “restrained” and “inexplicable”. The spokesperson went on to say that Mr Wilkinson’s wife was shocked but alive, as was their daughter.
“Do you think…” Helle swallowed back the rest of the question. People didn’t end up tied to chairs while their bungalow burnt to ashes by accident. “Woolf?” she said instead. Poor, poor Percy! Her stomach heaved, as she imagined Percy in his favourite pin-striped suit, peering at his attacker over his bifocals while begging for his life.
“Who else?” Jason replied. “Punishment for selling him out.”
“Oh my God,” Helle groaned, covering her face with her hands. “This is my fault! If I hadn’t—”
“No.” Jason cut her off. “This is not your fault, lioness. Percy knew Woolf, knew he was taking a risk. He took the decision to make a deal with us, not you.”
“That’s not all,” Nigel interrupted. “I’ve just sent you a link.”
Sam Woolf had finally broken his silence. In a black suit, a crisp shirt and black tie, he looked sombre, his dark hair framing a pale face in which the eyes looked darker than normal. He’d lost weight, Helle concluded, and those beautifully sculpted lips were set in a tight line, as if he was gritting his teeth. He turned to face the journalist, and the four parallel grooves she’d marked him with glowed an angry red. She couldn’t tear her eyes away from the claw marks, surprised that they should still be so unhealed, several months after their confrontation at Netley Abbey.
Helle curled her fingers and stared down at her hand. She’d done that, even if she had no memory of doing so. Her fingers, her nails, had left Woolf looking as if he’d confronted a big cat.
“Apt,” Jason muttered, pulling her down to sit in his lap. “In that first life, one of your tame lions marked him just like that—the night you fled from him.” The night Woolf had tried to take her by force, laughing as he told her that in spite of her royal father, Samion of Kolchis had no intention of making Helle his consort but she’d serve him well as an obedient concubine.
“So you’re saying all these accusations are unfounded?” The journalist sounded polite and remote, eyes intent on Woolf who was sitting on a bright red sofa.
“Of course.” Woolf’s voice was as smooth as always—velvet with a rasp. “I don’t know how, but someone has planted all this so called incriminating evidence in my computer system.”
“You’ll excuse me for saying that sounds like a very weak explanation,” the journalist said, shuffling his papers. “Photos, lists of girls, of their…umm…talents, records of expected deliveries, of meetings in the middle of the night…”
“None of it has anything to do with me,” Woolf snapped.
“No?” The journalist held up a photo, showing a male hand wearing a ring stamped with a wolf’s head. The hand was covering a girl’s mouth.
Woolf laughed. “Really, Henry,” he said, smoothing the fabric of his pants. “I don’t have to resort to violence to get laid.” He sat back, arms spread out along the sofa’s back, and Helle could imagine thousands of women nodding in agreement, eyes feasting on this perfect specimen of the human male. Even the ugly scars enhanced the sheer physicality of him.
“So you’ve never had violent sex?” Henry asked.
Woolf’s angular brows rose slightly. “I didn’t say that, did I? But I can assure you my partners have never said no.”
“I bet they never got the chance to do so,” Nigel muttered, his voice tinny on the phone.
“So what will your next step be?” Henry asked.
“To prove my innocence.” Woolf turned the full force of his eyes on the camera. Helle’s head began to ring, her throat narrowing until it became difficult to breathe. Those eyes, eating into her…Woolf raised two fingers to his ruined face. “And to punish the bastards who’ve torn my reputation to shreds.”
Helle gulped. Jason’s arms tightened round her waist.
“Punish, Mr Woolf?” Henry drawled.
“A figure of speech,” Woolf said with a shrug. He spread his legs and smiled at the camera. Sex on legs. Dangerous, destructive sex on legs, but should Woolf need to, he’d have the female members of a jury eating out of his hands in seconds. And, to judge from the pink tone of Henry’s cheeks, quite a few men.
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About the author
Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a professional time-traveller. As such a profession does not exist, she settled for second best and became a financial professional with two absorbing interests, namely history and writing. These days, Anna combines an exciting day-job with a large family and her writing endeavours. Her first series, The Graham Saga, is set in 17th century Scotland and Virginia/Maryland. It tells the story of Matthew and Alex, two people who should never have met – not when she was born three hundred years after him. With this heady blend of time-travel, romance, adventure, high drama and historical accuracy, Anna hopes to entertain and captivate, and is more than thrilled when readers tell her just how much they love her books and her characters. There are eight books in the series so far, but Anna is considering adding one or two more… Presently, Anna is hard at work with her next project, a series set in the 1320s featuring Adam de Guirande, his wife Kit, and their adventures and misfortunes in connection with Roger Mortimer’s rise to power. The King’s Greatest Enemy is a series where passion and drama play out against a complex political situation, where today’s traitor may be tomorrow’s hero, and the Wheel of Fortune never stops rolling. If you want to know more about Anna, why not visit her website, https://www.annabelfrage.com