Here’s an old one that I like to reread every so often when I come upon it in my book shelf. Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn is a historical fiction based in Rome that is a great, dramatic, read for fall. And did I mention that Outlander author Diana Gabaldon loves it? Because that’s a good enough reason to give it a shot.
Heat Level: ♥♥
Genre: Ancient Historical Romance
Overall Rating: 5/6 Glass Slippers
Lepida is young, beautiful, bratty, and on the marriage market as one of Rome’s eligible brides. She’s looking for a man with power and money, but will also have some fun on the side if someone catches her eye. She owns a slave named Thea, a Jewish girl with a beautiful singing voice. Lepida treats Thea terribly, something that gets even worse when Thea catches the eye of famed gladiator Arius, whom Lepida wants for herself. When Thea and Arius begin a torrid love affair, Lepida sells her, ripping them apart forever.
As time goes on, so do their lives. Thea becomes a famous singer, Lepida finally marries, and Arius continues his rise in the spotlight. But just as they all had once been sent on different paths. Rome isn’t all that small and soon they all come into contact again. And when the Emperor of Rome gets involved, more than just their reputations in society might be at stake.
If not for the sometimes confusing multiple POV issues, I would have given this book a five. The setting of this novel and the problems faced by the cast were great and the descriptions are really well done. The author really knows how to make you hate, love, and root for the characters, getting you to really feel for the story lines. It’s also a great romance without being overly erotic, so if you’re not looking for detailed descriptions of the acts, this book is one for you.