He was a master of seduction--but no match for the magical allure of the woman he wanted most...***
Carys knew from the moment she first spied on Maximus in his naked barbarian glory that he was a dangerous Roman centurion--his taut, battle-scarred flesh marking him as a fearless warrior. But her desire for him was as undeniable as it was illicit.
Charged by his emperor to eliminate a clan of powerful Druids in Britain, Maximus never expects his mission to be thwarted by the clan's ethereal princess, Carys, his daring voyeur. Falling under her spell, he doesn't realize her true heritage--until he captures her heart as well as her body.
As Carys's loyalties are twisted, and freedom is no longer her single-minded obsession, an avenging former lover threatens to crush Maximus's people into oblivion. Now Carys and Maximus must overcome the devastation of war and face the ultimate sacrifice if their forbidden love is to survive.
Carys held her breath as her secret lover entered the sparkling waterfall, buried deep within the leafy shadows of the forest.
She pressed her fingers against the rough bark of the tree, and inched a little farther along the branch where she lay hidden from his sight.
From this angle she had a perfect view of his magnificent naked body. Even from this distance she could see the numerous battle scars that marred his tawny skin, but they marked him as a warrior. A hero who faced death without reservation and emerged triumphant.
He was the enemy of her people. And yet she couldn't tear her fascinated gaze from him.
They had never met. They would never meet. Such a catastrophe didn't bear thinking about. Yet she thought of this tough, brutal warrior constantly. Ever since she had first stumbled across his irregular bathing ritual three moons ago.
He turned within the shimmering rainbows of the waterfall, fingers raking through his short black hair. Carys released her breath in a shaky gasp and her body moved restlessly against her perilous ledge. The men of Cymru had long, flowing hair. How would it feel to touch such severely cropped hair? Sharp, like the points of reeds? Or--not? She couldn't imagine. And yet she imagined endlessly.
His hands massaged his broad shoulders, and Carys's fingers dug into woody crevices as she fantasized rubbing her own fingers over his knotted muscles. It had been fifteen days since he had last been to the waterfall. She knew because she had waited here, each morning.
But the wait had been worth it, and her imagination hadn't enhanced his powerful muscles, his commanding height or his dark, exotic beauty. Her breath shortened as her heart rate accelerated, and her thighs tightened around the branch in reaction.
Slowly his hands slid over wet skin, fingers trailing through the sprinkling of dark hair that dusted his impressive chest. Her only lover, whose possessive grip she had finally escaped three years ago, possessed no body hair aside from on his head. How would it feel to press against a masculine form so unlike any she had previously seen?
The tip of her tongue slid over her lips as her secret lover sluiced water over his rigid stomach. Carys stretched to the very edge of her branch, risking safety and the threat of discovery, but temptation was too great.
Sweet Cerridwen, she had never wanted a man so much as she wanted this one. But she knew better than to ask her goddess to intervene, for intervention would cause untold suffering to her people.
But still, she wanted this man. With all that she was.