Title: I Will Follow To Eternity and Beyond
Author: Ju Ephraime
Published: January 31st, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance
Recommended Age: 18+
Synopsis: Catherine is living a dream life, rescued from an orphanage and married to her best friend. Life couldn’t get any better. She is the envy of everyone in the little town where she lives. But it turns into a nightmare the day she is given the news that will change her life forever… Her fairy tale life becomes a living hell on earth.
For two years she exists, barely acknowledging one day from the next. Suddenly, without any warning, a stranger walks into her life, and found her in bed wearing nothing but her deceased husband shirt. And suddenly, everything is about to change. Is Catherine ready for the change, or is she still only living to die?
Titus is only visiting the home of his brother-in-law’s distant cousin. He isn’t looking for a relationship; neither is he searching for love. Yet, they both find him, with no advanced warning. Titus is not one to succumb without a fight, and boy does he fight, but it seems the harder he fights, the more the force pushing him into Catherine’s waiting arms fights back.
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Excerpt from I Will Follow To Eternity and Beyond
Titus wandered back into his room after seeing Catherine was back in control. Closing his eyes, he leaned his forehead against the door and expelled a controlled sigh.
God…he wanted her like he’d never wanted anything before. He turned and sat down on the edge of the mattress as he struggled to understand what was happening to him. An enthralled, catastrophic feeling had taken hold of him. Somehow, he had a feeling, deep in his gut, that his life would never be the same again, that he’d irrevocably crossed a line. What line, he didn’t know, but there had to have been a line to feel as differently as he did about Lady Catherine.
He hated seeing her cry. He couldn’t stand it when women cried. In normal circumstances, he would have bolted, but being a guest in her home, he found himself running to her rescue, and what he’d found had left him shaken to the core. He had responded to her more powerfully than he’d reacted to some of his most torrid sexual encounters.
His thoughts were in turmoil, and his body still smoldering from the feeling of Catherine’s warm silken flesh beneath his fingers as he’d accidently brushed the underside of her breast while buttoning her shirt. He didn’t think he would ever forget the picture she made; lying on that bed, her hair spread out around her in total disarray, her shirt undone, exposing all her feminine glory to his hungry gaze. She was the most exotic creature he’d ever seen, and he’d seen his share of beautiful women.
It was one of the most difficult things he’d ever had to do, attempting to keep his body under control while trying to be chivalrous. He was thankful Catherine had been too distraught to look at him properly because she would have seen the evidence of her effect on him.
What a damnable situation, he thought savagely, as he tried to get his thoughts back under control so he could return to bed. He doubted he’d be doing any sleeping for the rest of the night. He would be counting the hours until dawn so he could take his leave of Lady Wellesley. She didn’t have to concern herself with making him feel welcome in her home. She made it very clear by her reaction to his genuine offer of help that she found him repulsive.
The unfortunate thing was, although she’d made it very clear that she didn’t welcome his help and he understood her, Titus’ body was not hearing. It was as if it had a mind of its own and couldn’t wait to have her, out of that shirt and exhausted in his arms.
With thoughts like these, he just didn’t trust himself around her, so the sooner he left Chatterwoods, the better it would be for his peace of mind. He never thought when he’d agreed to accompany his sister and brother-in-law to this rural village; he would find the woman who would capture his heart.
Titus had been looking to escape his last bit of fun; she was becoming a bore. Louisa was a very passionate woman who took great pleasure in cuckolding her husband, a man almost twice her age. It was no love match. He had remained with her longer than he’d intended. For one thing, he felt sorry for her. She broke into hysterics every time he brought up the subject of ending things between them. He hated the tears, so Titus had given in, but when she had begun showing up wherever he went, making a nuisance of herself, he knew it was time to end it. How she did it was beyond him, but she seemed to know where he’d be before he even knew himself.
To be honest, he’d fully expected to see her in the guest party. He had breathed a sigh of relief when he had not seen her name on the guest list. But it appeared he had a bigger problem than Louisa if the way his body refused to settle down was any indication.
He lay in the bed, awake until he heard the house beginning to stir, signaling the rising of the other guests. He took his time using the plumbing system that had been installed in the house. The water flowed at a good rate. He found it nice not to have to wait for the servants to carry buckets of hot water to pour into a tub for him to take a bath.
The tub in the washroom was huge. It would require several buckets of water to fill it. It was one of the biggest Titus had ever seen, but at the rate the water was being piped into it, the tub was filled in no time. When he tested the temperature, the water was not very hot. He hadn’t figured out the temperature control correctly. He stepped in and out of the tub almost immediately. It could hardly be called a bath, but it worked to quiet his body. He was able to dress without his irritated appendage getting in the way.
I really enjoyed reading this historical romance. The story kept my interest all the way to the end. The author has a unique voice; sentences are straight-forward, sometimes terse. This is a tale without a lot of flowery descriptions that still manages to convey a spooky, Gothic atmosphere. Catherine is a likable heroine who captures the heart of a charming, unconventional man who provides her with a fairy-tale marriage – until tragedy strikes.
Catherine becomes a reclusive shadow of her former vivacious self. Two years later Catherine is given another, unexpected chance at happiness when she and Titus are skillfully nudged together by fate and a spirit intent on securing Catherine’s bliss.
I would have liked the paranormal elements of this story to have been more developed, woven throughout the second part of the book more fully but, even so, I found the book refreshingly different, thought-provoking, and fun to read. This is a sensual read where the intimate scenes are tastefully written.
Reviewed by Laurie-J
About the Author:
Ju Ephraime writes steamy high heat romances, packed with emotions and strong alpha characters and always a wonderful, happy ever after. She has won several awards for her writing, and had even seconded in Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest, with her White Magic Woman. When not writing romance novels, Ju could be found writing children’s books, which includes her, Too-Clever series, a collection of ten children stories. Ju writes her children’s stories under, Dr. Julia E. Antoine. These days she stays busy helping in the community and donating her services to a not-for-profit organization, which she helped establish. Presently, she resides in CT where she has lived with her family for the past thirty years. She still misses her time on the sunny Caribbean islands, but takes pleasure in using them as backdrops to some of her stories.
What others are saying about Ju’s books:
“…steamy, provocative and fresh…” ~Midwest Book review
“a new level of heat!” ~Readers’ Favorite
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