The Lost Valor of Love
❃ DOUBLE AWARD WINNER ❃ #3 in Historical Fiction May 22, 2017❃
Urhi-Teshub touched her face, tracing the contour of her cheekbone and jaw. "I would know your name, goddess, for you have stolen my heart."
When Istara didn't answer, he smiled at her reticence, mistaking it for shyness, his fingers drifted to her lips, tracing their outline. Catching her wrists in his grip, he lifted her hands to his lips, palm upward. He kissed them, enticing her, sending shivers up her spine.
"Let me take you to my bed tonight," he whispered against her palm. "Let me love you."
Growing up during the centuries-long conflict between the Empires of Egypt and Hatti, the young princess Istara is taken hostage by the King of Hatti to secure the loyalty of her father, the King of Kadesh to the empire. Soon her new life in Hatti's glittering capital becomes all she knows. Bound in blood before the gods to Hatti's unwilling Crown Prince, Istara, now Hatti's queen-in-waiting, learns she will never be loved.
But the drums of war beat again, and when the scheming plans of Hatti's King threatens the existence of all civilization, the gods give Istara a choice: to leave behind everything she knows to save mankind, or remain where she is, powerless, a token on the game board of kings. On the brink of one of the most brutal battles in history, she chooses to risk her life to deliver a message to the only man able to prevent the prophecy from becoming a reality--her mortal enemy, the Pharaoh Ramesses II.
Wounded, cold and hungry, she wanders in the battle's horrific aftermath, and aids a powerful Commander, who she learns protected her once, and has been bound to her ever since by a prophetic dream of his future. Despite his resistance, and Istara once more becoming a pawn of kings, they must confront an eternal love so powerful, not even kings, the gods, or death can keep them apart.
© Jeannine Pettersson 2017