Elizabeth Crane is looking for professional acclaim and a man better than her philandering ex. When she goes looking for the Basilica di Fano, she finds both – after falling through time and landing in the arms of Marcus Vitruvius himself!
I’m the kind of famous professor that the university loves and that my colleagues love to hate – younger, more famous (my books have hit the NYT bestseller list), and capable of attracting far more money to my research. It helps that I can go to fundraising galas in gowns that leave nothing to the imagination. I’ve wanted to pursue research on Marcus Vitruvius and his Basilica did Fano for years. Finally, it’s time to cut ties with my philandering ex and go to Fano – to find what’s left of the First Architect’s legacy.
Inventor. Designer. Architect and builder. There are many words to describe me. I left Julius Caesar’s campaign to resume my life as a builder but find myself in tiny Fano, far from the center of the Empire. And my heart is captured by this village, my work on the Basilica here, and the strange woman who appears from nowhere and captures my heart even as her tales of the future convince me she and I will be parted forever when she returns to her own time.
The Voyage: Elizabeth Crane has finally had enough of her phalidering ex – she’s left her London townhouse for Oxford and is planning to spend her time working on a passion poject – searching for what’s left of Maracus Vitruvius’ Basilica in Fano. The fact that her friend, work partner, and bedmate Rory will be joining her on the trip to provide his horizontal and vertical expertise is just icing on the cake! But Liz ends up in Ancient Rome, speaking to – and falling for – Vitruvius himself!
The Fall: Liz is living with Marcus in his own house, learning everything there is to know about the Basilica that is being constructed down the hill from them. And she finds herself desperately wanting the man – they consummate their relationship and begin a wild passionate sexual romp that satisfies them both. Until Marcus is called to Rome – she isn’t the only one of Marcus’ lovers. The Empress Livia expects to be waited on as well!
The Return: Liz returns from Rome, and then without meaning to, she arrives back in the present day, leaving Marcus behind. She is overcome by grief. She returns first to find and older and worn out Vitruvius mourning her loss from years before. And then after returning to the present day once more, she hopes to find her love again – and instead finds herself back facing a Marcus Vitruvius who has never met her. She attempts to seduce him into coming back to her age with her, but fails.
The Retreat: Just as Liz returns to the present era, she appears to capture Marcus somehow and transport him with her – but her hopes that he decided to join her in her own time are quickly dashed. He doesn’t love her and his arrival here was accidental. She returns to England, trying to decide how she will move forward when the man she loves doesn’t love her. Rory and Marcus stay behind in Fano – though Marcus didn’t deliberately arrive Rory convinces him to stay for awhile – and go after Liz!
The Conquering: Rory and Marcus arrive to find Liz sulking and staying in bed – it’s time for a grand gesture, Rory thinks. After a grand night of fucking, Liz agrees that Marcus can have the time he needs to decide if he wants to stay with her or not – and that includes the two of them sleeping together. With mixed feelings, Liz moves to find Marcus something he can do to earn his keep in the modern world, and harnesses his expertise as a designer of Roman seige weapons as his in to the academic world.
The Feint: Marcus is now in his element creating the kind of lecture (complete with 3D printed functioning seige machine miniatures) he needs to convince the university to fund him on a lecture circuit – which he does easily. Rory and the 3D expert Aimee hit it off and he finally pairs up with someone permanently, but that leaves Liz working on her book and pining for permanence. She’s afraid that one bad lecture will result in Marcus deciding to return to ancient Fano permanently – and when the invite arrives to revisit the modern city, should she be worried?
The Victory: Marcus and Liz arrive back in Fano to place a permanent installation of Vitruvian seige weapons in the hall dating back to the Roman Empire. But is that the only reason why the couple is here? Liz is frantic that her time with Marcus is coming to an end, but Marcus does have an ulterior motive – a proposal!
Ancient Rome is filled with characters and stories – Shakespeare wrote about several of them. I didn’t want to go there. What I was looking for instead was a notable figure that history had forgotten.
Marcus Vitruvius fit the bill. He designed seige engines for Julius Caesar during the Gallic Wars, and later went on to become the Father of Architecture with his book, De Architectura. He was not necessarily well known during his time, but his book was copied later and this is how significant amounts of information regarding Roman technology survive to the modern day.
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