When her lover Theseus deserts her on an island, Princess Ariadne of Crete wishes to forget her betrayal-filled past. Dionysus answers her prayers, seducing her with his godly wiles and delivering mind-shattering ecstasy. However, when he reveals that she's his bride as foretold in a prophecy, she has to take a leap of faith, once more leaving her heart vulnerable to another, or live out the rest of her life on the island alone.
"...the perfect bite-sized erotic romance..." -- Black Sun Reviews
"...an erotic undertaking that revels in the lush setting of the Greek gods..." -- Some Like It Hot: Erotic Novel Reviews
Make me forget.
The pounding of the waves arching and crashing into the beach was her only answer. Ariadne clutched the tunic tighter around herself as the howling wind pushed her toward the sea. Perhaps the engulfing water would erase the memories of her foolishness.
I want to forget.
"Do you? Truly?"
She swiveled her head and turned toward the voice, which was as dulcet as honeyed nectar. The sapphire linen, damp and clinging, tangled around her ankles, robbing her of balance, but all her senses focused on the stranger.
Hair the color of the richest loam whipped in wild abandon around his perfectly chiseled face. The heat from his body beckoned her, and she gripped his arms, felt the corded strength of lean muscles. Despite the wind heavy with brine, he smelled like woods and vines, with a sweet tang of ripe grapes before harvest. Finally she registered a powerful hand supporting her back, preventing her from collapsing into the water and sand in an undignified heap.
He smiled, just a slight curve of his full lips. They looked so soft in such an unyielding face. "I can bring an end to care and worry. Make you forget." The corners of his eyes crinkled, a wicked temptation dancing in their depths. "Isn't that what you long for?"
The power radiating from him said he could give her what she'd been praying for. Ariadne swallowed, trying to keep a ready word of assent from rising. Who was this man anyway?
The name brushed over her mind, settled like a silken sheet. His mouth traced her jaw, then stopped near her ear. "Say yes, Adriane, and I'll free you from all your burdens."
Memories rolled like a series of murals. Only her intercession had enabled the hero Theseus to kill the Minotaur and find his way back from the depths of the labyrinth. Yet after achieving his victory he'd tossed her aside on this uninhabited isle like a sack of provisions gone bad. His betrayal had killed their love, but it hadn't been able to obliterate her guilt. She too had committed a betrayal; the stony face of her father as he'd gazed upon his slain pet, then banished her from Crete sliced her anew, made her bleed.
"Yes," she whispered finally. A punishing wave rushed onto the beach, slapped her on her calves before dissolving into icy foam. She gasped. "Make me forget."
Dionysus's arms tightened around her, his gaze cold on the ocean. "I will, love. I will."
He carried her away from the reach of the sea, holding her tenderly as though she were a delicate flower rather than a fully grown woman. A golden chariot drawn by four enormous leopards stood on a large slab of granite several feet away. Dionysus set her inside, her heart pounding, and signaled the beasts.
They pulled the cart toward the forest, sand puffing under their mighty paws. Dionysus leaned back and toyed with her hair and shoulders, touching her with a silent assurance of sensual pleasures to come. Blood rushed through Ariadne, and she felt warm and light despite her fear. A mortal lover had thought her lacking and turned his back on her. Could she satisfy a god? What if she couldn't be what he desired?
"Don't be afraid," Dionysus murmured against her bare shoulder, making her quiver, making her aware of the surroundings whipping past them as his mighty leopards surged into the forest. "I won't make you do anything you don't want."
She believed him. Despite his reputation for licentious madness, there was a core of honesty and clarity in him that said he was in complete control.
And even if she were to repeat the mistake of misjudging another, what would it matter? She'd at least experience the heights of ecstasy, and who would that hurt? Dionysus had a habit of destroying kingdoms on a whim, but what realm could suffer when she was no longer a princess, exiled and abandoned on this deserted island?
Hero Material dubbed this story the "Goat Story" even though there is no goat in it. I have no idea why. He even looked at the cover, scratched his head and said, "Where's the goat?" No, he's not senile, he just has this image of Dionysus as a satyr with goat legs. Needless to say, there are NO GOAT-PARTS anywhere in my romance, and thankfully Frauke didn't think the cover needed any ruminants. (That's why she gets paid to do my covers...and he doesn't. )