Humphrey has been getting his grump on, and the click, click, click of his bear claws as he ventures down the hall drives me nuts. He says a bear worth his salt never wears slippers. I remind him gently that he is a stuffed bear, and he lives in comfort in a house with no other animals (except for me) and not in the wilds of Alaska. There is nobody to attack, and no salmon to swipe from freezing waters. Sheesh.
“I do apologize for being grumpy,” Humphrey said. “I need something of substance to read.”
“I’ve got just the thing.” I quickly produce the Kindle, scroll down and find Maximus, a historical romance set in Ancient Rome, and written by fellow Wild Rose Press author, Christine Elaine Black.
Humphrey stands close by swishing his whiskey on the rocks, and looking rather skeptical.
“You’ll enjoy this one. Lots of history but no big info dumps, because the author does a great job of weaving the history cleverly throughout the story, and there’s an interesting romance. Oh, and a great kid—”
“Trust me you’ll like him. He’s an important part of the hero and heroine’s past, but doesn’t get in the way of the romance. And there’s another fabulous secondary character, the father of the heroine. ”
Humphrey scans a few pages. “Hmmm. Ancient Rome. I do believe I will enjoy reading about this.” He tucks the kindle underneath one arm. Click, click, click.
“May I put socks on your feet? I’ll let you sit in the recliner, but no smoking.”
“Fine. I’ll just chew on one.” He glances at his legs as I roll on the socks. “Ho, ho, ho? It’s April!”
“They look cute. Besides, you’re always complaining about how cold the air-conditioning is.”
Later that afternoon, I hear him muttering. “Socks! Damn socks.” He’d skidded along the hall, and I jumped up and grabbed him just in time.
“Got no traction. Nearly ended up on my, ah…behind.”
“Sorry, Humph.” I smoothed his ruffled fur. “You finished the book. What do you think?”
“I give it five paws, and I enjoyed it immensely. Does Ms. Black have any more books out?”
“This is the first of her Imperial Desire series. Next up is Taurus.”
“Excellent. I think I’ll pour another drink. Reading is thirsty business.”
A few words about Maximus:
Carissa Valeria distrusts the handsome soldier who rescues her reckless son from plunging to an early death. Recalling the man’s heartless treatment of her from years ago, she itches to even the score, but her son hails the rescuer as a hero. When he becomes her neighbor, her son’s friendship with the soldier threatens to uncover old secrets and place her family and her heart in danger.
Exiled to the countryside by the Roman emperor, Maximus Octavius is confounded by the brittle countenance of the woman he’s willing to befriend. She’s afraid, and he’s determined to find out why. But helping Carissa and her son means confronting the guilt of his long-forgotten past and stirring the silenced passion in his heart.
Can Maximus win Carissa before fear and revenge tear them apart forever?
Christine Elaine Black was born in Scotland, and currently resides in Ontario, Canada. Her favorite stories to write are romantic fiction with an ancient Roman theme, filled with heart-stopping and page-turning situations to make you fall in love with the past again and again.