**REVIEW** ~ Eagle’s Honor: Banished, by Sandra Schwab

Erotic Historical Romance set in Ancient Rome and Britain

18+/Adult Read

Book Blurb

Sandra ScwabA proud warrior.
A brave woman.
A forbidden love that is tested by the intrigues of ancient Rome and the hostilities at the northernmost edge of the empire.Centurion Marcus Florius Corvus has a splendid career in the legions ahead of him. Yet a visit to Rome and a chance encounter with an old friend change his whole life: He falls in love with one of his friend’s pleasure slaves and becomes entrapped in an evil scheme designed to destroy him. And yet—he cannot help risking everything for Lia, the woman he has given his heart to, even if it means he will be banished to one of the most dangerous places in the Roman Empire: the northern frontier of Britannia.

My Review

Another Gem of a Romance *****

Eagle’s Honor: Banished is the second book I have read by Sandra Schwab, the first being Devil’s Return (Allen’s Miscellany #4). Once again this author played my emotions like the proverbial violin and at several points during the read I was moved to tears.

Romances set in the time of the Roman Empire are few and far between and I jumped at the chance to read and review it. I am fascinated by this time period, in particular the dichotomy between the civilized nature of the Romans and their assumed right to rule over others, be they slaves or their enemies, a right which can sometimes manifest itself in acts of great cruelty. I enjoyed how Ms Schwab takes the reader on a journey of forbidden love in this novel and at the same time explores these aspects of Roman life in the capital Rome and on the fringes of the Empire.

The heroine Lia is a pleasure slave and dancer in the home of Titus, a wily Roman. It is there she meets the Centurion Marcus, a guest of Titus, when she is instructed to ‘entertain’ him. Marcus has recently returned to Rome after spending time in the legions. Their ensuing love affair sets off a chain of events that will change their lives forever as Marcus vows to make Lia his, unaware of the malicious plot of others. I loved how Marcus courts her mind and her body, focusing on her wellbeing and pleasure, this woman whose sole existence has hitherto been to serve others. It is a romantic and page turning read with many sensual and erotic scenes, but don’t be fooled, Ms Schwab makes the couple work incredibly hard for their HEA!

Lia, bred to be a slave, knows no other life other than to obey and is an expert at masking her true feelings. I just loved how Marcus makes her feel like a woman of worth. Marcus is a true man of honour, disliking the often heartless and cruel excesses of Rome and has no love of many of its values. Yet the fates do not smile kindly on a love affair between a Roman Centurion from a distinguished family and a mere plaything, and the couple face the repercussions of their actions as a plot to discredit Marcus unravels. Honour is important to Marcus and he has to fight hard to balance his allegiance to Rome, his family honour and his love for Lia.

The story is first and foremost a romance but it also explores the themes of family and friendship – I hugely enjoyed the character of Alaric in particular, and also how the author depicted life amongst the Roman military. Ms Schwab has clearly carried out a great deal of research into the time period and this added to my enjoyment of the read.

Highly recommended for lovers of historical romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

http://www.sandraschwab.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sandraschwab

https://twitter.com/ScribblingSandy

 

Tainted, #4 in the Forbidden Series, by Christina Phillips

tainted_msr-001Historical Erotic Romance 18+

Lush Eroticism and a Riveting Romance

Tainted is bursting with lush eroticism and riveting romance. The tale is set in ancient Britain and features a love between a sexy Celtic warrior and a Roman aristocrat, whose combination of strength and vulnerability melts his heart. The novel, published by Ellora’s Cave, also has paranormal elements, befitting of a time when both Romans and Druids communed with their respective gods.

The patrician Antonia, recently divorced, has left Rome and journeys to Britain with her merchant father. Antonia is relieved to have left her brutal marriage far behind her. As soon as she catches sight of Gawain, whom has featured in earlier novels in the series, instant mutual attraction flares between them. Gawain blatantly parades his lust for Antonia and his intention to bed her, whilst at the same time making known his disdain for Rome and all it represents. Although Antonia tries to hide her attraction, she finds it impossible to maintain her apparent disinterest. She decides that there is no reason not to encourage this man, whom she is very much attracted to, and embark on a short term affair, where she can hopefully put the bad memories of her marriage behind her.

For Gawain’s part he is determined to possess this woman, just as he has the bodies of many a Roman aristocrat. However, Antonia is different – she has no husband with her whose secrets he wishes to uncover in his quest to bring down the Roman oppressors as a good Druid warrior should. Nevertheless he determines to slake his lust on her before moving to pastures new.

Gawain, well practised in the erotic arts, inducts Antonia into sensual pleasures beyond her wildest dreams, a far cry from her experience of the marriage bed. His seduction includes sexual acts that she has only heard spoken of in whispers by her erstwhile friends in Rome. The lovemaking scenes are very hot indeed! The couple very soon begin to share more than physical pleasure and develop strong emotional bonds, which grow into mutual respect and a deep love.  As with all of Christina Phillips’ novels that I have read in this series, their developing romance is beautiful to behold. Both Gawain and Antonia however have their own secrets and when a figure from Antonia’s past reappears in her life and Rome’s determination to destroy the Druids comes to the fore, their budding romance is threatened by violence and treachery. There is also an unexpected plot twist, which i did not see coming, which added to the pleasure of the read.

I loved the characters of both Gawain and Antonia. Gawain is portrayed as a strong and honourable individual, committed to the path of the Druid warrior, to repel and destroy the Roman invaders, whom he despises. He feels as if he has failed his Celtic God Lugus, as he was unable to prevent the treachery which resulted in the King Caratacus being captured and taken to Rome, an episode which also resulted in the execution of the other Druid warriors loyal to the king. Gawain feels less honourable because he managed to escape their fate. He is a considerate and inventive lover and I found him to be a irresistible, just as Antonia does!

On the surface Antonia is the perfect reserved Roman aristocrat, but she has been made to feel wanting by virtue of her merchant father’s heritage which is not considered good enough for her mother’s patician blood. She has therefore suffered whilst in Rome. However, Antonia has an inner strength, which Gawain comes to respect. Gawain helps to heal her sexually and their relationship is also full of humorous and lively banter. Neither individual wishes to see the other hurt by their own actions or those of another.

Other characters include Carys and Maximus, the hero and heroine of book 1, Forbidden, who play a key role in the novel. There is also Antonia’s father, who has his own secrets and the Praetor who does not have the best interests of Antonia and Gawain at heart.  The tale is set against the backdrop of the Roman objective to annihilate the Druids and the power and influence they wield over the populace, by whatever means possible. Author Christina Phillips is in the Premier League when it comes to historical erotic Romance. Her novels have the perfect balance between erotic lovemaking and an exciting, credible and well crafted plot.

I recommend the novel to romance lovers who like to read erotic romance, set within an historical context.

Reviwed by Tina Williams

A copy of this novel was given to me by the publisher for the purpose of a fair an honest review.

http://christinaphillips.blogspot.co.uk/

Publisher Ellora’s Cave site