Snatched, by Juliette Banks
Loss. Passion. Sacrifice.
It's the worst day of Laryssa's life when bandits snatch her beloved daughter Sofiya, carrying her away to places unknown. Vowing to save her, come what may, Laryssa sets off on a long and difficult journey to find the nineteen-year-old.
When she stumbles across a half ruined castle in the middle of a forest, she realizes she's found the very place where Sofiya is being held by four men. In desperation, Laryssa begs to be allowed to stay with them, to cook and clean, and even offers her body for use to the leader of the gang, a man called Bhodan. Not knowing who she really is, he grudgingly accepts.
Bhodan is a dark man with a troubled past. With livid scars marring his otherwise handsome features, he is gruff, ruthless, and cold. Somehow Laryssa, the woman he has employed to cook and clean for himself and his men, and to service him sexually whenever he desires it, manages to see past his harsh exterior. Her growing attraction to him is undeniable, and no one is more surprised than Bhodan himself to discover that he is beginning to reciprocate those feelings.
Sofiya is not the only girl to have been captured by the gang; Hanna, a girl close to her in age, was already being held when Sofiya arrived. Laryssa is desperate to rescue them both, but knows she must bide her time until the moment is right.
When the four men decide to leave the women alone to go thieving, Laryssa sees her chance. However, she is unprepared for the emotional dilemma she will face when only one of the men – Bhodan – returns. He is badly wounded, and she finds herself unable to leave him alone, as he will undoubtedly die.
Torn between the love of her daughter and the passion Bhodan has awakened in her, Laryssa faces a tough choice. Should she send Sofiya and Hanna back to their village alone to face their demons, or should she accompany them and risk losing what could well be her last chance of experiencing boundless passion and love after years spent alone? Can she forgive Bhodan for what he has done in the past, or will she decide that her daughter's happiness is more important than her own?
This tale, set in Eastern Europe in the mid 19th century, is one of passion, sacrifice and hope, in an age where poverty made life a daily struggle to survive. It contains some explicit sexual scenes, including spanking, as well as erotic horror themes. If such material is likely to offend you, please do not purchase this book.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
Next morning, at breakfast, Laryssa gave Bhodan the list of supplies she wanted. At the bottom of the list, she had added soap. She also desperately wanted some clothes to change into so she could wash the ones she wore. Spare clothing had not been foremost in her mind when leaving home after Sofiya had been snatched.
"Sir, there's one more thing, if you would allow me. I need some clean clothing, before I begin to smell like those women. Perhaps you could find something from a washing line. I would be happy to wash and mend your clothing, too, if you would permit me."
Bhodan grunted but gave no reply, and within half an hour, the four men had galloped away on their horses. They were away all day, and only returned just before darkness fell.
Laryssa was cooking when she heard Bhodan's footsteps coming along the passageway. He entered the kitchen and dumped some clothing and several other items on the table.
"Dinner had better be special after the trouble I have gone to today. The food stores will be here in two days' time."
Then, without further words, he turned and left. Laryssa examined the fruits of his thieving. There were a couple of cotton shifts, a long grey skirt, some underwear; two bed sheets and a couple of men's shirts. In addition, there was a large bar of soap, a comb, and a piece of cloth that
they could use to dry themselves after washing. It wasn't a lot for three women, but would have to do, and it would be such a relief to feel clean clothes next to her skin.
That night, as she served the meal, she thanked Bhodan for the clothes. "Now that I have some soap, sir, perhaps I could wash some of your clothes too?"
Bhodan barely looked up from his food and growled. "Don't go expecting us to be stealing women's drawers from clotheslines again. Our reputation is probably shot to pieces already. Besides, you are still on trial, you know. We haven't decided yet if we will let you stay."
He was irritated with the woman, and wasn't sure why.
That night, Bhodan came for her again. But this time he didn't bother to take her back to his room. Instead, he pushed her over the kitchen table and took her roughly, urgently, from behind. Each thrust was delivered with force, and Laryssa wondered whether he was angry with her, but she couldn't think of a reason why. When he was done, he lay on top of her for a moment, panting after his exertion, before fastening his trousers and leaving without saying a word.
She climbed back under her blanket and lay awake, thinking. It seemed to her that Bhodan was embarrassed about showing some kindness to her, and this was his way of telling her not to take it for granted. Despite the way in which he had taken her, however, and the fact that she still hated him and his friends for what they had done to her daughter, there was a small part of her that felt a frisson of excitement to be taken that way. But she also felt shame that her body should respond in this manner, for this man. Did these feelings mean that she was a slut, something her mother had warned her never to become?
SNATCHED is now available from the following sites:
The Facebook page for this book is at https://www.facebook.com/Snatched-1594228304204562/
For those who don't know yet, as well as writing as Rachel de Vine, I am also writing as Juliette Banks. This was a decision made in conjunction with my publishers, as they felt that Rachel de Vine was more likely to be mis-spelt and affect the Amazon algorithms and sales. Snatched is the second book to be released under Juliette's name.
This book is, in fact, a re-write of a short novel of 17,000 words that I released two years ago under the same title. In this new version I have extended the story to 43,000 words.