Saturday, 1 March 2014

THE ROMAN by Caroline Storer

As a lover of historical fiction, I was thrilled when I discovered my writing colleague Caroline Storer had released a work in this genre.  And I was curious too.  Well, I wasn’t disappointed.

Caroline has a perfect voice for the historical genre and has the unique ability to create authentic historical characters to whom the modern reader can relate.  Not at all easy.

The ancient Roman empire was renowned for making advances in western civilization, carrying on from the legacy of the ancient Greeks.  But unfortunately, compassion and tolerance seem to have been virtues foreign to the Roman way of thinking, which celebrated glory, victory, success and achievement.  Marsallas and Justina, the two main characters in this romance, are high achievers.  She in the area of art, creating beautiful images and he in the area of sport, becoming a celebrated sportsman, gaining wealth enough to become a businessman/farmer.  When they lost each other, they both threw themselves into developing their talents and both achieved measures of success.  But their innocent, teenage affair, so pure and intense, had been spoiled by Marsallas’ evil uncle Quintus had inflicted terrible cruelty on the two of them.  But after the death of their enemy, they find themselves face to face again.  The question is, has everything been ruined between the two of them?  Or can their love be rescued from the damage which has been inflicted upon it?

I was very happy to see that Christianity in the Roman Empire was depicted as a force for healing and hope.
Marsallas and Justina have a strong chemistry and things get a little hot around them at times – so if you like it hot when it comes to romance, you won’t be disappointed with this one.  But honestly speaking, the story was so well written and interesting that even if it had been ‘sweet’ (i.e. no sex scenes) I don’t think any reader could possibly feel disappointed.

I want to read more and more from this talented author.  It’s hard to believe this is only her first published novel.

I received a review copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.