Daughter of a slave…
…wedded to the warrior!
Livia Valeria is furious when she’s ruthlessly gambled away by her intended bridegroom. Luckily, it’s tall, muscled and darkly handsome Roman centurion Marius Varro who wins her as his bride! Livia must hide her Caledonian roots, but when Marius faces a barbarian rebellion at Hadrian’s Wall she must make a choice: her heritage or the husband she’s falling for…
Well, what a book!! As soon as I heard that Jenni Fletcher was writing a romance set in the Roman era, I couldn’t wait to read it. After I read my first Roman romance earlier this year I was instantly hooked, now have a love of this era. I knew that this would be good as Ms Fletcher has a real gift at story-telling, at entwining history and romance to create an enchanting story, but this surpasses all my expectations. As always Ms Fletcher has woven a historically accurate, sensual and evocative romance.
After the death of her abusive and malicious husband Livia’s equally horrendous brother, forces another marriage on to her, one that will benefit him and his greed. This time to a spoilt tribune with a gambling debt owed to her brother. Livia is basically destitute, she doesn’t have a penny to her name, no home, nothing after her cruel first husband cut her and her daughter; Julia off she was forced back to her brother’s protection. Now she is yet again a pawn in her brother’s game for power and money.
Which is when she meets dark and brooding, yet dazzlingly handsome Centurion Marius while on her way to meet her soon to be husband. She is instantly enthralled by the intelligent and protective man, who treats her like a proper lady and charms her little daughter. I love that moment when Marius meets little Julia, his stern countenance disappears and his light playfulness shines through all to make a little girl smile.
Livia is tough, she has had to be after all she has seen and experienced. She is like a she-wolf always ready to rip apart any who would harm her young cub. She may have been treated despicably, but she is fierce and passionate with ingrained values that have made her the marvellous woman she is. Marius sees that fierce and slightly wild side to her as soon as he meets her, it is really that part of her persona that really impresses Marius and make him want her all the more. At first when they meet it is a simple lust that sizzles between them, they are both inexplicably drawn to the other. Yet once they learn more about each, that rampant lust turns into mutual respect and affection.
Marius cannot bare to think of Livia and Julia in the clutches of such a bully, a man who doesn’t care about hurting even a child with his malicious words. Even if he and Livia hadn’t shared the most earth-shattering romantic kiss, he would do anything for her. So when the opportunity arises that he can help get Livia away from the tribune, Marius takes it, even though it does mean career suicide. Once married their troubles are for from over as pasts and secrets soon rear their heads, tough choices must be made all in the midst of a rebellion.
Marius, oh, Marius! What a gloriously strong yet vulnerable man he is, he is a man who believes strongly in right and wrong, he lives by a code of honour that he believes all men should live by, no matter their rank. I love that he is so principled, he is a thinker and he has strong opinion’s of how thing’s should be done. He is charming in his own stern way, he wants nothing more than to rebuild and regain that family honour that was cruelly taken from his father all those years ago, but the one thing that made me go weak at the knee’s was the way he accepts Livia for who she is, he admires her for her strength and treats her with up most respect, and you can see that Livia is quite taken back by him – which is not surprising, you would probably have to pick me up of the floor if I saw this rock of a man walking towards me in his centurion armour. 😉
I am so in love with everything about this story, there is something very special about this book. The story is wonderful in-depth, an emotional roller-coaster ride through Roman Britain that will keep the reader turning the page. The descriptions of life during the time, especially once Livia and Marius reach Hadrian’s wall is astounding, it is rich in history and the scenery is so vivid and real. Then there is the chemistry between Marius and Livia, which is ablaze with mutual passion and desire. Jenni Fletcher is going from strength to strength, she is such a wonderfully adaptive author who tackles many different era’s and with each book her skill, dedication, research and passion shine through. I personally hope that she writes more Roman as there is so very few authors out there willing to take on this era.
A mesmerising romance!
This was an ARC copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Warrior’s Bride Prize is to be released 4th October and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.