Part of a Fearless Women in History series
Historical fiction, Historical Romance, Gothic Romance
Published Date: April 3, 2019
The year is 1464 and young King Matthias controls Hungary, his family, and the fate of the world’s most notorious political prisoner, Prince Vlad Dracula.
Ilona Szilágy, the king’s cousin, is young and ambitious. Dracula is determined to marry into the Hunyadi family. It is love at first sight…but the king has other plans. The Impaler Prince, however, never takes no for an answer.
This begins Ilona’s journey into the treacherous world of court intrigues, family betrayals, and her husband’s dark desires. Eager to become Vlad’s trusted confidant, Ilona soon discovers that marriage to man tortured by his past comes with a price.
Woven throughout is a peek into the life and times of one of the world’s most enigmatic and maligned rulers…the man before the legend.
With Bardot’s decadent period detail and a cast of gritty evocative characters, The Impaler’s Wife offers a fierce yet sensuous glimpse into the violent 15th century.
Once again, his gaze ensnares me. I cannot look away, his eyes wolf-like with intensity. The green depths convey lust, determination, but also a hidden sorrow. My heart clenches. I want to touch his face, comfort him, understand his grief. And yet I do not move, can barely draw breath. I am captured heart, mind, and soul.
“This is boring. Shall we dance?” Margit offers her arm.
Dracula is slow to loop Margit’s arm through his. But perhaps his seeming reluctance is my own wishful thinking.
As they stroll toward the dance floor, I stand rooted to the ground, controlled breaths doing little to cool my heated annoyance at Margit. Never before have I felt a connection to a man. Never before did a man look at me with such desire. Never before have Margit and I been competitors. It is a rivalry I have no practice at.
With Margit clutching his arm, Prince Vlad stops and makes a slow pivot. “Lady Ilona, will you join us?”
Though he waits in the shadows beyond the fire basket’s radiance, I feel our connection, like a quivering string or a taut ribbon. I move forward, reeled in by a man with a dark past.
After dancing with Margit, Prince Vlad asks me to take a turn about the floor. We clap in sync with the other dancers and I circle around him, our eyes locked on one another. He makes me feel like I am the only one in the room. I blush and grin, my cheeks fevered under his gaze. Though I know every step of this dance I am unprepared for what happens next.
Prince Vlad takes my hand, his strong warm fingers enclosing mine. The jolt races up my arm and bursts like a dam through my body. My skin is washed with a sparkling sensation, skin and limbs stirred with the thrill of his touch. The next step brings us too close—kissing close—and I smell his scent. Rosemary, leather, forest, and man. Surely, he hears my heart knocking against my bodice. Prince Vlad inhales deeply and bends his head into my neck. I gasp with desire, want to feel the graze of his cheek or tickle of his moustache against my skin.
Instead he shifts about, his brazen move but a momentary disruption in the dance steps.
“Is that how they dance in Wallachia?” I ask when we next clasp hands.
“That is how I dance with a beautiful woman.” His fingers warm around mine.
About the Author
Autumn Bardot writes smart erotica and historical fiction about sassy women, spicy sex, and daring passions!
Her erotica includes Legends of Lust, ( Cleis Press )and Confessions Of A Sheba Queen ( Cleis Jan 2020). Autumn has a BA in English literature and a MaEd in curriculum and instruction. She’s been teaching writing and literary analysis for fourteen years. Autumn lives in Southern California with her hubby, rescue pooch, and ever-increasing family. Her favorite things include salty French fries, coffee, swimming, and a great book.