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Military traitors are flogged, branded, and left for the outlaws….
Disgraced ex-sniper Oriel finds herself falling for her rescuer, the dangerously handsome Daamen trader, Jase. But no one is as they seem, a dark plot draws her ever inward, the law is closing in – and she’s neck-deep in treason.
They led her from the room. Out on the sidewalk, she saw a squad of four soldiers waiting to escort her to her punishment. The heavy beat of music from a tavern sounded in the background, and dimly she thought it was almost fitting, setting the atmosphere for what was to come.
Her gaze swept over the squad waiting for her, and she saw a myriad of expressions hastily hidden behind their stoic expressions. Sadness, horror, disbelief, anger. Anger at her, anger at what was going to be done. Her gaze lifted, and she saw the rest of her squad standing silently to attention on the left, slightly apart from the gawking crowd that had gathered in the street, lining it on each side, all straining to get a look at the punishment of a traitor. Her squad mates kept their gazes expressionless. She was grateful that Freeman, Yatla and Marly weren’t there. She didn’t care where they were, as long as they weren’t there to witness her disgrace.
But it was the iron bucket with the coals smoldering red inside that made her gut clench in fear. The handle of the branding iron stood upright in it. Beside the bucket stood a soldier, back ramrod stiff, his profile hard and unreadable. Behind him rose the structure for the continuance of her punishment.
But she was a soldier. Fear might rule her insides, but she refused to give the settlers, or anyone else, the chance to see her fear. She’d done what she had for a reason, knowing that if she was caught there would be no mercy. There was no way her pride would allow her to scream, to plead, to beg. No, she’d chosen the moment when she’d made her mind up to help Reema, to help him for the sake of another. Now she was going to pay for her decision.
The four soldiers fell in behind her and she was led forward.
The settlers buzzed with curiosity, their excited murmuring filling the air. It wasn’t that they cared that the outlaw had escaped--who the hell gave a damn about that?--but that a soldier was going to be punished for it--that drew their morbid curiosity, their thirst for blood shed.
Oriel was brought to a standstill before the bucket. Clenching her jaw, she refused to look into the bucket of red-hot coals. Instead, she unfocused her eyes and stared into the distance, not looking at anyone.
“You have all heard that one of our soldiers was caught aiding an outlaw to escape, an outlaw we’d spent time hunting!” Captain Beuafra’s voice boomed out.
The settlers immediately fell silent, a hushed expectancy filling the air.
“The death penalty is for traitors. The death penalty by hanging--or by survival!”
A shocked hush filled the town square. Then someone cheered, and it was quickly followed by several more, and someone else laughed.
“Survival has been chosen for this soldier... if she can survive!”
Oriel couldn’t stop the blood from draining from her face, even as she heard the snapped out order for silence. The settlers fell silent once more, but now she felt the eagerness of those eager to see punishment carried out... and to carry out their own. They would be watching, she Jase led her into a spare cabin halfway Jase led her into a spare cabin halfway hovering for their meat.
The interest was sharper now, not just mere curiosity, and it chilled her to her bones, more than anything she’d ever known. On several faces she saw puzzlement, and knew that some didn’t know. But the lust and cruelty on others spoke volumes.
Oh, my God, let me survive. Let me survive this, and what is to come.
Hands on her shoulders pushed her to her knees on the ground. The soldier before her bent and laid his heavily gloved hand on the branding iron.
“A soldier was this woman, one of our best.” Captain Beuafra’s words came out heavily, emotionless, cold. He didn’t yell, but his words rang out clear in the morning hush. “A traitor she became. A traitor she will be known as by all who see her from this day forward.”
Born in Victoria, Australia, my childhood was spent in a variety of places, both in towns and the outback. Now settled in Western Australia, I work as a nurse. A love of animals has me involved in animal welfare, and certainly explains why the cats hog my bed and the hot water bottle!
Reading has always been my escape, writing my dream. Horror, myths, legends, fantasy and history – there are no limits to the wonders to be found. And romance? Well, that adds the spice, hope and happiness ever after.
"...a very powerful story, full of action and feelings. You won't want to put this book down until you have finished it." Lydia Funneman, Writers Unlimited reviewer
Heart of an Outlaw is one action packed thrill-ride! New author Angela Verdenius has made quite a debut with her cast of strong characters that will have readers begging for more. If readers are fans of the futuristic genre of romance, then Heart of an Outlaw is not to be missed. The continuous action will keep readers glued to the pages. Rating: 4, Miriam van Veen, Love Romances
There is plenty to like about this book. The characters are adventurous, the world intriguing with plenty of room to expand... making this one adventure story hard to stop reading. , Janet Miller, reviewer , Science Fiction Romance
Love's Sweet Assassin: "...oozes sensuality in this epic tale of seduction and danger." -- Joanna Challis author "The Secret of the Phoenix"
Love's Sweet Assassin: "She takes you inside the heart and mind of her character's." -- Tamia Dawn Osburn author "The Guardian of Paradise
Soul Of A Hunter: “…a beautiful romance packed with adventure and a hero to die for. Simply un-putdownable!”-- Joanna Challis, Silverthorn, The Secret of the Phoenix
Soul Of A Hunter: “Once you enter the soul of the bounty hunter you do not want to leave. From the powerful Daamens to the dark magic of the Overlord, Soul of a Hunter keeps you reading and wanting more.” -- Steve Gambuti, Stone of Cordova
Soul Of A Witch: “…leap into mysticism. Her explanations of the different spiritual planes that are traveled and of the mystical battles that are fought are concise and riveting.” -- Brenda Edde, reviewer, Romance Junkies
Soul Of A Witch: “Ms. Verdenius has a way of making other worlds come alive. Once you start reading you are so into the story that everything about these worlds seems real.” -- Lydia Funneman, reviewer, Writers Unlimited
Soul Of A Witch: “This is an absolute great book to read. I didn’t want it to stop. I loved the way Ms.Verdenius makes the characters believable.” -- Lynne Latimer, author.
“Soul Of A Witch: …makes you believe in the powers of the unseen. You don’t want to miss this struggle between good and evil…” JoEllen Conger, author, Return of The Goddess
“Soul Of A Witch: …loaded with action, suspense and of course romance… combines, science fiction, fantasy and romance with a touch of humor. If I had to rate this story on a scale of one to ten, I would give it an eleven!” -- Steve Gambuti, author, Center Moon: Stone of Cordova
Heart Of a Traitor “…makes your heart pound, the blood race through your veins, and makes you hold your breath…” -- Lydia Funneman, reviewer, Writers Unlimited
Heart Of a Traitor “…an intriguing story where the black and white of right and wrong blur.” -- Brenda Edde, reviewer, Romance Junkies
Heart Of a Traitor “…fast-paced and unpredictable, leading to an exciting melee. Once again, I cannot urge readers strongly enough to read Angela Verdenius’ Heart and Soul series. It is an exciting futuristic world, one that you will want to revisit many times over.” -- Naomi, Fallen Angel Reviews.
“This is without a doubt one of the best futuristic romance series I’ve ever read and HEART OF A TRAITOR proves that Ms. Verdenius is at the top of her game.”-- Susan Biliter, eCataRomance
Heart Of a Traitor “Like a black hole, Angela’s fun-loving sojourns draw you into her ever expanding galaxy, from which there is no return.“ ~ Jemma Hipper, Intrepid Explorer ~
“If you love futuristic romance, you will probably already be familiar with Angela Verdenius’s Heart and Soul books, if you are not, Soul of the Forgotten is a perfect place to start; prepare yourself for a real treat and a new addiction!”, -- Naomi, Fallen Angel Reviews, 5 angels & RR angel
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 450
Paper Weight (lb): 18.6
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