Hi, book lovers. Most friends know I have fairly eclectic taste in books, but my love of loves are the genres urban fantasy, paranormal and historical romance. So today, I’m sharing one of those I reread from time to time just because it’s so–damn–good. MISTRESS OF ROME isn’t actually categorized as a “romance” but it’s one of those sweeping epic sagas with a love story that transpires over decades. I can’t tell you how much I adore this book.
The heroine is a slave girl from Judaea who falls in love with a gladiator. When they are cruelly separated, she uses her musical gift to entertain the Roman patricians until she catches the eye of the emperor. So not a good thing for her. I believe it’s my love of the unlikely heroine and the die-hard alpha hero that captivates me so much. If you like authentic historical fiction with betrayal and gladiators and blood and political intrigue and the most kickass, epic ending of just about any book I’ve ever read, then yeah, this is for you. Read on for the full description.
Thea is a slave girl from Judaea, passionate, musical, and guarded. Purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia, Thea will become her mistress’s rival for the love of Arius the Barbarian, Rome’s newest and most savage gladiator. His love brings Thea the first happiness of her life-that is quickly ended when a jealous Lepida tears them apart.
As Lepida goes on to wreak havoc in the life of a new husband and his family, Thea remakes herself as a polished singer for Rome’s aristocrats. Unwittingly, she attracts another admirer in the charismatic Emperor of Rome. But Domitian’s games have a darker side, and Thea finds herself fighting for both soul and sanity. Many have tried to destroy the Emperor: a vengeful gladiator, an upright senator, a tormented soldier, a Vestal Virgin. But in the end, the life of the brilliant and paranoid Domitian lies in the hands of one woman: the Emperor’s mistress.