During a time of bloody gladiator games and treacherous schemes, a secret society of lycans live amongst the Romans.
When Ulric, a lycan gladiator, meets a mysterious human woman with green eyes, he’s drawn to her fiery beauty, enraptured by her alluring aroma. Unfortunately, Ulric and the beauty are slaves. To make matters worse, he can mate only with someone marked with the sign of the wolf.
Cassia’s hidden wolf mark burns in the presence of the handsome gladiator. While her heart yearns to be near Ulric, logic warns her against it—having a slave as a mate is against the lycan society’s plans for her.
In spite of the lycan society’s rules and the emperor’s brutal plots, their love grows … but their passion just may cost them their lives.
His fangs emerged and drool pooled in his mouth. Fresh kid. People in his way quickly stepped aside lest they be caught in his blood lust. He smiled. What did it matter if he started the performance earlier with a fresh kill? Let them know the ferocity of a wolfen. His claws sprang out, and he stalked his prey. Ready to break itsneck. His low growl silenced the frozen bystanders. A woman screamed and he hesitated. He stiffened, thunderstruck at the vision of the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.
“Egidius!” The woman dressed in a fine, white gold-laced tunic and matching palla dashed from the alleyway. Her veil askew, she knelt by her goat and covered him with her arms. She glared at him with intense, captivating green eyes. A sprig of green in the dust-ridden market. “You will not eat my goat!”
He forgot his fangs were out and drool dripped from his lower lip. Realizing his beast-like state, he cupped his hand over his mouth like a bashful child. A curled strand of her rich brown hair slipped from its upswept style and hung down her exquisite long neck. Her figure, slender like a swan. Her hand gripping her goat’s rope, she stood. He did not smell fear, most unusual for a Roman woman facing the infamous wolf man. Her emerald eyes pierced through his hardened soul. He sniffed her aroma. Her divine scent made him forget his hunger, at least for food. Something about her calmed him. What manner of spell had she cast? He felt drunk with wine, not to the point of belligerence, but enough to make him relax and nap. She appeared to be upper class, a woman unavailable to him not only for his status but also because of his kind. Yet she did not look Roman. Was she from Gaul or perhaps the north? He gave her a wolfish grin. “If you are off to the butcher, I would love to share a bite of meat with you.” He gently guided her from the major thoroughfare.
She frowned and adjusted her fallen veil with her free hand. “Egidius is my pet. I brought him to have his hooves trimmed.”
He boomed a laugh. “A goat for a pet?” He glanced down at her beautiful face. He heard the loud beat of her heart even in the din of the passing crowds. The sound pleased him. Was she his mate? Not possible. She did not wear the red cloak of the wolf maiden.
Her green eyes met his. “I have heard of you, gladiator.” She scoffed. “Ulricus, wolf king of the
If only he could tell her he was not what the Romans called a monstrous wolf man but rather a lycan from the north, but she would not understand the difference. Like an adolescent boy, he boasted, flexing his biceps. “Come tonight and witness the Wolf Hunt.”
She opened her mouth as if to speak but scowled and shook her head. “I will not watch such mockery.” She huffed and pulled her goat by its rope through the crowds.
A woman alone in the narrow alleyways with thieves and violent gangs. How could such a woman be out without a guard? Never had he felt so protective of any human other than his mother. He shoved two men out of the way. “Wait!”
She stopped not for want but because she could not go through the traffic of people. She turned. Her tone was sad rather than annoyed, “Let me be.” She stuck her chin up and pushed her way along the busy street.
The woman had spirit and didn’t appear to have the blood lust of the general populace. Most curious. Ulric picked up the goat and placed him about his thick neck. “Baaa!” It protested.
She reached out. “Put him down!”
“I will guide you back to your home, lady…”
“Cassia.” She smoothed her palla and threw him a small smile that made him forget the world but her. A dimple on her cheek made her smile the most beautiful one he had ever seen. The red hues in her brown hair danced in the sunlight. With twinkling eyes, she studied him as if she looked at a strange beast. Was he the first lycan she had met?
“I live on the west bank of the Tiber River. It’s a far walk.” She glanced toward the direction of the arena. “Don’t you have to prepare for the games?”
“Cassia.” He smiled. “I have plenty of time.”
She bit her succulent lower lip. “Very well, gladiator.”
He suppressed his temptation to kiss her exquisite lips. “Please, call me Ulric.”
She blushed and cast her gaze down. “Ulric.”
He followed her through the narrow alleyways, making room with his shadowing bulk. She walked with the nubile grace of a gazelle. Was she a dancer? Her glorious scent reminded him of the expensive perfume rich noble women adorned themselves with. He had never found the aroma of a human so enticing. Why did he feel so protective of this unappreciative woman? Yet her reddened cheeks and rapid pulse indicated she found him attractive. As they made their way through the hectic marketplace, he slowed. “Cassia, slow down.” He wanted to know everything about her. But where to start?
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About the Author
I write genre bending paranormal/fantasy novels with a strong romantic element. HEA. I love to create stories that combine my passion for mythology, romance, and suspense and werewolf lore. I also write steampunk and Victorian era historical and alternative novels. Hand of Miriam, A Bayla and the Golem Novel, is book one in my gothic romance steampunk adventure. Her Majesty’s Witch, A Bayla and the Golem Novel will be book 2.
Lycan Gladiator is book 1 in my paranormal wolfish romance historical series, The Wolf Maiden Saga. Book 2, Wolf Knight in King Arthur’s Court is with my editor.
I also have two books in the After the Bane series (paranormal romance/zombie apocalypse), Apocalyptic Moon and Raven Moon.
I have a BS in Zoology and graduate studies in Biology. I have taught high school Biology, Environmental Science and Anatomy/Physiology. When not in my den writing, I enjoy world travel, steampunk conventions, hiking, raptor rehabilitation and wolf sanctuaries.
I also teach online workshops on wolf lore ancient falconry and animal lore for Romance Writers of America and other writer groups. If you are interested in my workshops, please contact me: