by Georgie Lee
Expected publication: January 30th 2012 by Carina Press
Rome, 41 AD
Livia Duronius is driven to seek out a gladiator after watching him triumph in the Colosseum. His touch arouses a sense of hope she hasn't felt since Rome fell under the tyrannical rule of Caligula—and her late husband betrayed her. Though in danger of losing more than her heart, she vows to see him again, even after she learns her uncle has arranged her marriage to a senator.
Senator Titus Marius cannot resist indulging in a passionate encounter with the veiled woman who waits for him after the games, though he faces execution if his true identity is discovered. Bound by honor to wed another, and embroiled in a plot to free Rome from madness, he never expects to see the mystery woman again.
When the fates reunite them in the marriage bed, Titus vows to protect Livia at all costs—even from the lecherous eyes of the emperor...
I really like historicals, and I've always been a sucker for the old Roman empires, so this book was a must-read for me.
Livia Duronius has been very disappointed by her ex-husband, Decius. He promised to love her and protect her, but ended up abandoning and betraying her when she needed him the most. She vowed never to marry or love again, but her uncle has different plans for her...
After watching a gladiator fight, she goes to see the winner. The strong, powerful and attractive warrior awakens in her a passion she wasn't aware she still held inside of her. But he is a slave, and she a patrician. They can never be together, and if their encounter is ever discovered, their lives could be ruined.
Titus Marius is a senator, soldier and gladiator, but the last one must be kept a secret, because it a crime punishable by death for a Roman senator to fight as a gladiator. After one of his fights, a matron comes to talk to him. Expecting the same treatment every other matron has given him: interest only on his body, he is surprised by the timid, voluptious woman who commends him on his courage and offers him money to buy his freedom. He loses himself in her purity and kindness and kisses her. They share a moment of passion and then are reminded of the place and their positions.
Titus is very sad to see her go, but he knows he must forget this mysterious woman because he is already promised to marry someone else.
This is a very short story, but also very interesting and complete. The author portrays very well some of the horrors Caligula brought to Rome, how he terrorized the population and how he came to be assassinated as the result of a conspiracy involving officers of the Praetorian Guard and members of the Roman Senate (in this case, Titus and his friends).
I liked the romance and how happy they made each other, but maybe if the book was a little longer it would have been more believable.
All in all, this is a great book for those who enjoy quick, romantic historicals with action and tension.
*I received an e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*