This story revolves around Anniana, a young Roman girl who finds herself about to be used as a pawn for her mother’s ambitions, to be married to a wealthy man, the Emperor of all Rome. However her father doesn’t approve, since she is his favourite child and so he makes a plan to have her essentially flee and marry to another man, his plan includes an old slave who was sold on four years ago. So the adventure begins.
The plot in the blurb made me want to read this book, I was hoping for a bit of history with romance and adventure thrown into it – similar to those books about Tudor times. However I found it was not to be. There was a few grammar and spelling errors through the book, however what really took away from the book was the characters.
Anniana was so perfect. The author was trying so hard to make her seem like a girl who would want for nothing, who cares for everyone and who knew nothing about the world because she lived such a sheltered life. It really grated on my nerves to read about her, because everyone liked her, she was innocent and pure, without a mean bone in her body and yet she was abused by her brother, completely ignored by her mother, her older sister would be mean to her as well. Yet with all that we are meant to believe that she somehow retains her innocence? I don’t believe that for a second, in no way is that a believable character – even though this is a work of fiction it’s taking place in historical times, make part of it feel real.
Vali – used as a sex slave, he was also really smart with numbers and would help Anniana’s father’s accounts. Yet he was a slave, he came in to being a slave at a younger age, how would he have known how to do accounts? Not even the people he had grown up with were able to do that! As a man though he was too perfect, at the beginning he tried to keep his love/lust for Anniana/Lara (Yes, she changed her name, but the author liked to refer her to her original name at odd periods through the book, even when it was established that Anniana was not longer to be called that) but he came across as rather a stereotypical emo boy.
These two are the ‘main characters’ of the book, although over half way through we are taken away from Vali and Lara’s journey to go to Lara’s handmaiden, who is tracking down her mistress where she meets a man who is hunting Lara down, in order to bring her back to her mother. Circumstances change for them both and they go to find Lara, only to fall for each other and… It is rather unbelievable this part too. After a week of being together they have fallen in love, at least Vali and Lara lasted 17 days before they did it!
The romance between these two was rushed and obviously put in so that the reader didn’t get bored of Vali and Lara – however it would have worked better if the author spaced the romance out for both the couples more than what she did here.
The romance was rushed and were lacking in emotional impact.
The ending was rather rushed as well, it could have been brought about a lot smoother too. I also hated how four men essentially ganged up on the one who was weak and wouldn’t stand a chance against one of them. The dialogue felt rather like a bad movie, essentially:
‘This is what happens to bullies’
‘No one messes with my girl’
It was cringe worthy to say the least.
It’s every inch a chick flick though and is a quick read, something light and fluffy for a summer read at the beach I would think.