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Fallen (Paperback)

Fallen (Paperback)

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Paperback

Sara Daniels needs to change her life, so she sets out to run her late grandmother's farm. With no man at her side, and deserted by friends who can't abide her obsession with mythology, it's the perfect time to escape.

Hermes, favoured son of Zeus, has been framed by his hateful stepmother, Hera. Fleeing
Olympus with his life, he finds himself in an abandoned farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. It's the ideal place to hide from Zeus that is until the owner-- a woman with long, flaming red hair and the darkest blue eyes he's ever seen -- decides to move in.

Sara's family has divine secrets that even she's not privy to. Hermes' secrets, however, have the power to shatter their lives. And with a god as your farmhand, it's only a matter of time before those secrets are revealed in all their destructive glory. But the wild attraction that blazes between these two souls will not be denied...even if the outcome threatens to doom them both.

PAPERBACK

Paperback

144 pages

Dimensions

5 x 8 inches (127 x 203 mm)

ISBN

9780645058192

Publication Date

November 20, 2023

Publisher

Tamara Gill

 

Read a Sample

Sara looked about her apartment in Aspen Creek, Nebraska, and said goodbye to the stifling, soul crunching life she’d endured there. No longer would she have to answer the phone and hear only silence when she spoke. No longer hear Trevor, her now ex-boyfriend hastily get off the phone whenever she arrived home unexpectedly.
No more boyfriend.
She completed one final check of the house, not wanting to have to come back even one more time and meet the bastard who she’d already wasted twelve months of her life on. Twelve months that she’d never get back again.
When had she begun to allow herself to be treated like a fool?
Her new motto was going to be based on the word ‘no’. No more Sara-the-pushover, no more disrespect, no more wasting time on men who treated her like shit. Life was precious and from this point on, she intended to live every moment to the fullest.
No more assholes!
She placed her cat, Trixie, into the cat box and walked through the door. A weight seemed to lift the moment the lock clicked behind her. From now on, she would make sure her life was great, with risks taken and excitement to feed the soul.
She knew that her grandmother, had she been alive, would have been so proud of the fact that she’d chosen herself over someone else.
Sara loaded the truck and drove across town to her best friend’s coffee shop, needing to let someone know what her plans were before she left town. People milled about the street as she pulled up out front, and looking into the café window, she could see Josie chatting to customers at their tables. It was the best type of job for her friend. Josie loved meeting and mixing with people, not to mention indulging in gossip and well, more gossip.
“Sorry I haven’t been around much lately. I got caught up,” Sara collapsed into a spare booth and caught her breath. She threw her handbag on the seat bedside her, meeting her friend’s amused yet disbelieving look.
“Don’t lie. Old Mrs Waters was just in saying you were in the library all day yesterday and on your day off. Is this where you’ve been hiding yourself?” Josie sat down across from Sara and covered her friend’s hand with hers. “Please, tell me your obsession with all things mythological is finished. I don’t think I could handle another conversation about Zeus and his children.”
Sara smirked. “It’s not over, but I promise not to go into it anymore if you really can’t stand it. And I never set foot in the library today. I’m actually off to check on Grandma’s old place for a few weeks. No one’s been out there for a while, other than the farmers who lease the land around the house. A good clean-up and maintenance check is well overdue.”
Sara fiddled with the tablecloth, trying to avoid Josie’s narrowed gaze. At her friend’s silent observation, she sat back and tried to ignore Josie’s sharp piercing insight into her pathetic life.
“He’s left you again, hasn’t he? Who was it for this time? And don’t tell me it was that skanky tramp down at Bunker’s bar.”
Sara smiled. “No, actually, it wasn’t. I left him and for good, this time.” She stood. In fact,” she added, “my cat and my bags are in my truck, waiting. So I have to be quick. I just wanted to let you know where I was going and for how long. You can get me on my cell.”
“I’m sorry, Sara.”
She shrugged, noting the sun had started to drop in the western sky. “You know, I’m not. Not anymore. Our end had been a long time coming and I’m looking forward to my future, whatever it may bring. Now, I really have to go. It’s quite a drive.” She gave Josie a quick hug. “Don’t worry. I’ll be fine. Truly. I know I’m better off without him. And moving to Grandma’s for a bit will help me make the break permanent. I’m not going to be his or anyone else’s dumb girlfriend again.”
“I’m proud of you. Drive carefully, okay? Text me when you get there.”
“I will.” Sara left quickly and made her way out to the truck before pulling out into the traffic. Not that there was ever very much traffic in Aspen Creek, but still, one had to be cautious.
The trip out to her grandma’s farm was a drive that always brought back the best memories of her childhood. A time when her parents were still alive, her family was happy and looking at a bright future, with the farm doing so well. How could life have changed so much, in an instant and in the unfathomable, awful way possible?
Semi-trailer accidents had a tendency to do that to families.
Dusk was falling over the landscape as she pulled up before the old stone two storey home. A beautiful house that she knew she ought to check up on more often and certainly look after better. Her grandma would have been disappointed with her for leaving it abandoned and unused for so many months of the year.
She let the cat out and pulled her small suitcase from the truck bed then went around the side of the house and turned on the power.
A light flickered on upstairs and she started. She must have left it on the last time she’d been here.
Sara walked around the back of the house, let herself in through the kitchen door, and stopped. A glass of water sat on the counter top, the droplets still sliding down the side as if someone had just taken a sip…
Her heart thumped loud in her ears and her throat tightened with fear. Someone was in her house, somewhere, just waiting to see what she’d do next. She turned and grabbed a knife from the top drawer next to the sink. The urge to run, get back in the truck and get the hell away from here fought with the fact that some bastard had trespassed and was probably stealing stuff.
She walked toward the living room and chastised herself for pulling the blinds down before she’d left last. A creaking board sounded behind her and she turned and gasped as a hand came over her lips. Adrenalin pumped through her blood and the knife jarred across the assailants arm. He swore, pushed her away and she fell, splayed across the kitchen floor.
“What the hell did you do that for?”
Sara turned and her mouth gaped like a guppy fish. Forgetting his looks, she reached for the knife, before a foot shot out and kicked it away, lodging it under the back door.
“I asked you a question.”
His deep baritone made her shiver and she frowned. “What? And you want me to answer? You’re in my house! You should be the one telling me why you’re here!”
He paused as if the thought hadn’t occurred to him. “I didn’t t know it was your house. It was empty and abandoned. I was simply making use of it when no one else was.”
Sara stood, feeling miniscule next to this man’s overbearing height. “And that makes it okay? You need to leave. Now, before I call the police.”
“You will do no such thing and I’m not leaving. I like it here.” He walked toward the oven where an old tea towel hung and wrapped it about his bleeding arm. It was quite a long cut, although not deep enough for stitches. That this man hadn’t picked up the knife and stabbed her with it instead of kicking it away was at least some consolation. Although how she was supposed to get rid of him was another matter entirely.
“I don’t care if you like it here. This is my home. You can’t just stay uninvited.”
He walked over and stood before her. Sara swallowed. He was so tall, his muscular shoulders visible under his… She stood back and for the first time, took a good look at what he was wearing. “Is that a toga?”
“Toga? You think I am Roman. Are you insulting me?”
Sara bit her lip to stop herself from laughing. He looked ridiculous. Like some character out of the History Channel. “You look like you’re wearing a toga.” Blood dripped from his arm and splashed in front of her foot. “Here, come over to the sink and let me look at that cut.”
“It’ll be fine. I’ll heal.”
“I have no doubt you will, but until then, you’re dripping blood all over my floor. So come over to the sink so I can bandage that arm properly.”
Sara met his gaze, knowing he’d rather do anything than take orders from her. The fact that he actually did as he was told made her smile. “I’m Sara by the way.”
He bowed a little. “I’m Hermes.”
Well, that explains the toga. Perhaps he was a lover of mythology as well, except his fascination ran a lot deeper than hers. Sara ran the water for a while before placing his arm beneath the tap. Guilt pricked her that she’d cut him, before she reminded herself he was the one who’d broken into her house and thrown her across the floor. She wiped over the cut with a cloth, harder than she ought to have done.
He gasped. “Careful.” His attention snapped back to the house, his gaze taking in everything she owned. “You have a nice residence for a mortal.”
“Mortal? What are you, an alien or something?” Sara shook her head. “This was my Grandma’s home. She left it to me after she died, but I still think of it as hers.”
He huffed but didn’t reply. Sara could feel his gaze sliding over her and she refused to look at him directly. “I meant what I said before. You’re not staying here, so once I bandage you up, you need to go.” She frowned. “What are you doing wondering around like a nomad anyway? You must belong somewhere.”
“I’ve been hitchhiking across country looking for work.” He crossed his arms and studied her a moment. “Aren’t you the least bit frightened that I just might kill you and keep your home for myself? We are, after all, in the middle of nowhere.”
Sara glared at his condescending expression. “I have farming neighbors who check on this house daily, and friends who know I’m here. You’ll be found soon enough, should you try anything of the kind. And you won’t kill me.”
“What makes you so sure?”
Sara dried his arm and placed a clean towel over the cut as she went to look for the first-aid kit. “Because you would’ve done it already.” She finished cleaning the wound and wrapped clean gauze around it. He didn’t say anything but just stood there quietly. Too quietly.
Thunder rumbled in the distance and the intruder stilled. His gaze, which had, only a moment before, shown arrogance and self-assurance, now gave away a sense of fear. “Are you okay?” she asked.
He didn’t respond, but just stood there, looking outside through the window.
“Don’t tell me you’re scared of a thunder storm?” Sara grinned biting back a laugh. He was scared.
“I’m not enamored of them, no.”
She looked him over and a twinge of guilt pricked her. He really did look frightened and a little lost. It was a strange combination for a man who had initially seemed outwardly, strong, independent and wickedly handsome. “There are stables outside, with an adjoining room for the stablehand. You can stay there if you like, but on one condition.”
He adjusted his toga and frowned at a blood mark on the clean white linen. “What’s the condition?”
“The stables aren’t in the best shape and neither is the yard. If you agree to help with the outside jobs, I’ll let you stay. I may even feed you.” Sara paused when a hint of a smile flickered on his lips. “But if you prove to be untrustworthy or try and do anything to hurt me or my cat, Trixie, I’ll put a bullet in you myself. Do you understand?”
“I have to stay in the stable?”
“Yes. Well, the room attached to it. It’s part of the workers quarters.” She held out her hand. “Are we in agreement?”
He clasped her hand and shook it. “So be it.”
* * *
Hermes looked about the small room, situated on one side of the horse stables and swore. How the mighty had fallen. And he’d fallen a very long way. All the way to earth, poor and homeless. The image of his gold and jewel encrusted bed in the abode of the gods on Mount Olympus tormented him as he sat on the simple cot, pushed to one side of the tiny space.
No bedding, no servants, no-one to greet him and make him comfortable. The loss of his privileged life severed his soul in two.
It was all Hera’s fault. He should never have trusted the scheming, backstabbing queen of the gods, or her plan to teach his father Zeus a lesson after losing his two sisters. He should have been content with his life. Allowed his siblings to live their pitiful lives out with their partners if they so wished. But having been made a fool, his pride hadn’t allowed him to do so. The repercussions of his actions had not been something he’d ever wished to experience.
A small rodent skittered across the floor and he groaned. A life without Mount Olympus, the grandeur, the decadence, was forever lost to him. Hermes ran a hand through his hair, making it stand on end. Bloody stupid, idiotic deity.
“Sorry to intrude on you again, but here’s your bedding and towels. The shower works out here, and by tonight there should be plenty of hot water as I’ve turned the power back on. I’ve also brought you some soup to eat.”
Hermes watched the delectable woman, who had curves in all the right places, place the items down and shuffle her feet. Did he make her nervous? A thrill of desire shot to his groin, not to mention the urge to act on his lust. He quashed his thoughts. This sort of nonsense was the reason he’d fallen to earth in the first place. Impulsive, stupid behaviour. No! He would not repeat past mistakes.
Hermes nodded and noticed she’d changed into older looking clothes. A speckle of dust ran across her high cheekbones and he wondered what she’d been cleaning. The thought that she had to clean made a repulsive shudder run down his spine.
“Thank you.” He stood and took the items from her. She smiled and turned away and he let her go. Watched how the last rays of sunlight illuminated her face as she walked outside, making her look like a goddess from Mount Olympus.
Damn Hera to Hades! How could he be banished from Mount Olympus, like his sisters, Chloe and Caitlin? He was Hermes. Revered by all and the most loved son of Zeus.
Not anymore.
He took in his living quarters. They were pitiful, dirty and nothing like those he was accustomed to, not to mention small.
Oh yes, how the mighty fall.

Main Tropes

  • Friends to Lovers
  • Secrets
  • Mythological Romance
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