Candles & Honey Cookies: A Tale of Hanukkah
by Shari Elder
GENRE: Historical Romance
Tamara is trapped. Her father betrothed her to a man she does not like, let alone love. And she can't forget the brazen shepherd who dared to look in her eyes.
Natan fell in love with Tamara the first moment he saw her. But the daughter of the high priest cannot marry a shepherd.
When Natan is arrested for practicing their religion, forbidden by the new king, he escapes and asks Tamara to hide him. After stealing a night with him, she helps him escape to join the brewing rebellion fighting for their freedom to worship. Tamara leaves a candle in her window to light his way home and sneaks honey cookies to him to sweeten his burden, her own small rebellion to her arranged marriage.
Only a miracle can save the rag-tag rebels from the conquering army and change a culture to allow Natan and Tamara to be together.
After leaving the cleaning items in the hallway, Tamara glided back to the bed and sat down next to Natan, who still stared at the wall. As if her hands had a mind of their own, she stroked along his ravaged back. His skin was warm to her touch, the muscles hard. “Why do you stay turned away from me? I like the way you look at me,” she said.
“The same reason you continue to touch me, although you have finished caring for the wounds.”
She jerked her hands away as if burnt by fire. “I don’t understand.”
“Yes, you do. You fear the reason. As do I.” He spoke gently but still did not turn toward her.
“My heart beats faster around you, my belly churns, and my body tightens,” she said to his back.
“You have a similar effect on me. To sleep in the same room with such feelings is dangerous. I would never do anything to put you in harm’s way.”
She knew that. The respect he showed her was one reason she struggled for breath when he was near. Only around him, did she feel light and free and seen.
“Why do you allow me to look in your eyes? No other man would permit such a thing.”
“No other man you know.” He shifted on the bed. His leg brushed her thigh sending sparks through her blood. “I like it when a woman looks at me, challenges me, desires me as I desire her.” His voice dipped at the end.
“My wish is to know such men.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Hello, I’m Shari. By day, I crawl out of bed, mainline coffee, walk the dog, miss my kid who has gone off to college, and save cities within the four walls of my office. Usually by email.
At night, the other Shari emerges. With a glass of wine by side, I curl up on the couch with my computer nestled in my lap and let my imagination play until stories take shape. I also periodically text my kid, just to make sure myself she’s not plotting world domination, then I pull out my alter ego, who definitely is. As my alter ego, I save cities in a cape and spangled tights, wander space and time on a surfboard, fly over the Himalayas on feathered wings, make six-toed footprints in indigo talc snow on the sixth planet in the Andromeda galaxy or eavesdrop on Olympian gods while pretending to whip up a bowl of ambrosia.
In all these wondrous worlds, romance and passion blossom. I can't resist a happy ending. And I am particularly prone to writing happy endings for those who have given up on ever getting one.
Twitter @ShariElderBooks or https://twitter.com/sharielderbooks
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