Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: May 14th 2019
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
Based on a true story.
When her homeland is conquered by the mighty Alexander the Great, Roxana—the daughter of a mere chieftain—is torn from her simple life and thrown into a world of war and intrigue.
Terrified, the sixteen-year-old girl of renowned beauty is brought before the greatest ruler the world has ever known. Her life is in his hands; her future his to decide.
Without formal education or noble blood, Roxana is chosen by the Greek conqueror to be his bride. Soon she comes to know profound happiness and unyielding desire in her warrior’s arms.
However, being the king’s consort comes at a heavy price. To survive her husband’s treacherous kingdom, she must endure continuous warfare, deadly plots, jealous rivals, victory-hungry generals, and the stigma of being a barbarian. Persian blood will keep her from claiming the grandest title of all—queen—but her reign will seal the fate of an empire.
History tells his story. This is hers.
Alexander stood in front of her, his lips pulled back in a sneer. “I’ve had horses easier to tame than you.”
Roxana had heard enough about the pain men inflicted when they beat their wives, but she could not let fear silence her.
“I’m sure you spent more time breaking them than you have ever spent with me!”
“Is that what this is about?” Alexander’s voice thundered around her. “You’re angry with me because you feel you have been ignored.”
“Feel I have been ignored?” She met his obstinate gaze with her own. “I haven’t seen you in weeks. The only news I get about you is when I overhear my servants. You have sent me no messages, no news if you are well or hurt, or sending me away.”
Alexander balled his hands into fists. “I will have your servants replaced in the morning. There will be no more tongues wagging around you, I promise.” He made his way toward the entrance.
Suddenly she didn’t want him to go. Her anger retreated like a flock of birds turning as one in the sky, and she wished nothing more than to have him hold her. Why? How could a man who infuriated her so weaken her resolve against him?
“There’s no use getting rid of the servants,” she said when he yanked aside the curtain. “It’s not only the servants who talk. You can’t silence the whole camp. You may be the king of the land, but you don’t have power over the minds of men or women.”
He stopped and relaxed his hands before glancing back at her. “I will not have my wife the subject of idle gossip.”
Roxana stooped and gathered up the lovely gold fabric. “Gossip I can live with. I have always lived with, but it’s not the gossip that hurts.” She carried it to the bed. “What hurts is knowing that I’m not what you want.” She set the material down and ran her fingers over the delicate material. “I’m sure such a beautiful cloth will make a fine outfit for your banquet.”
He approached the bed. “Roxana, I only wish to make you happy.”
She moved the silk aside and sat. “I would have been happy left in my family’s camp.”
“That would not have made me happy.” He lifted her chin. “You’re what I want, what I’ve always wanted in a woman.”
She retreated from his touch. “What’s so special about me?”
He knelt before her, placing his hands on her knees and gazing up at her with a warmth she had not seen since their wedding day.
“When you first danced for me, I fell in love with the way you moved, how you carried yourself. But the moment that made me want you was when you walked out on me. I knew then you had courage, and to be the wife of a king, you will need a great deal of it.” He sat next to her. “Did you know coming to Persia was my father’s plan? Philip wanted this more than anything. After he was assassinated, it became my plan. So much of being a king is doing what others want, being what they expect. Part of those expectations will be marrying other wives. I know what watching your husband take others to his bed can do. My mother went through it. It made her bitter and created a great divide between my parents which lasted most of my life. I swore I would never do the same to my wife, but when I became king, I knew I couldn’t keep that vow. I need sons to live on after me, and political marriages to seal pacts, acquire armies, and attain land. I wondered if I would ever find a woman strong enough, brave enough, loving enough to be able to stick by me as king, and grow old with me long after my other wives have left. That’s what I see in you. I did not marry you for my kingdom, my alliance with Persia, my army, my generals, or even my mother. I married you for me.”
The walls around her heart built up by weeks of loneliness and anger crumbled. She never envisioned being any man’s passion.“I think I understand a little better now.” She gripped his hand, squeezing it tight. “I never expected love in a marriage, but to be the woman you chose is some consolation.”
Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author of over twenty-seven novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.
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