“Vows of revenge are made in Ancient Rome. The heroine is Aelia Sabina, a patrician’s daughter. Her abusive husband vows to destroy Martino Lucianus Drusus, a plebeian amidst Rome’s corrupt court where the patricians’ word is sacred, and the plebs are counted for naught. Scoundrels, pirates and devious bad men are all bound up in this tale of romance, forbidden love, and unjust lust for revenge.
The hero owns a brothel and slaves – and the author has been delightfully un-politically correct by not having him free them at some heroic point of the story, as happens in most historical fiction. The detail was well researched and the flavour of the plot highly authentic.
The characters were well developed – both the goodies and the baddies, and the author’s notes at the end were also of interest. This is a somewhat stereotypical romance, with a few of the expected romantic clichés, which might not be to everyone’s taste. It is not particularly fast-paced either, but – and this is the charm of this novel – it is about the characters, not what is going on around them; it is about people, not events. However, the events that are included are expertly research and the detail of everyday Roman life is superb. There are a few minor typo errors, but nothing too detrimental, (I have seen worse in mainstream published novels! An enjoyable, well-written read, with impressive historic accuracy.”