To Deceive an Empire by Anne Garboczi Evans

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107 – Rome

Loving her could get him crucified.

Daughter of an elite patrician father and a Celtic woman, Gwen Paterculi chafes against the restrictions of Roman society. Her family thinks Caius Marcellus is a smuggler with the ruthless empire-wide smuggling ring, the Viri, as well as a violent lecher. But Gwen’s been kissing Marcellus behind secluded hedges for two years now.

Caius Marcellus isn’t even his real name, and the part he plays contradicts everything he believes in. Now that she’s turned eighteen, Gwen has decided it’s past time for Marcellus to marry her and she’s used to getting what she wants.

Marcellus has much too dark a secret to ever marry. Then both sides of his double life conjoin, threatening Gwen’s life. He could marry Gwen and thus save her life, but if she discovers his secret, she’ll not only despise him, he’ll hang on a cross.

What choice will he make? Either way, can Gwen ever forgive him?

When Gambling by Anne Garboczi Evans

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105 – Britain/Roman Empire

Cara of Camulodunum dreams of traveling the world, but as the daughter of a blacksmith, the height of her exploration is the plebian carpenter’s shop of her intended. Then she meets the patrician’s son, Eric Paterculi, who regales Cara with tales of Greece and Hercules.

The sons of Roman noblemen are meant to become soldiers and politicians, and Eric’s father, the Legate of Britannia has illustrious plans for Eric. However, Eric fails rhetoric class and seems more interested in training for the Olympic Games than for statesmanship.

At the training grounds, Victor Ocelli, a member of the Viri piracy ring, befriends Eric in order to use him against his father.
The more Cara learns about Eric, the more she desires to break free from the restrictive rules of her intended. But breaking the rules lands Cara in a bondage worse than she could have imagined. Only Eric can save her, but will a patrician defy his familia to rescue a plebeian?

Petra: City in Stone by T L Higley

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Petra: City in Stone
106 – Rome

Petra, the wondrous ancient city carved from the mountains of modern Jordan, is at the height of its glory in this gripping historical novel by T. L. Higley. A young widow, Cassia, and her son, Alexander, have arrived there seeking protection with her late husband’s estranged family. But when Cassia discovers the man she married was heir to the throne, the power-hungry Queen Hagiru plots to murder Alexander so that her own child will someday rule. The queen, priestess of the sun-god, Dushrat, calls on demonic powers in her quest, but Cassia is prepared for the fierce spiritual battle to save her son, joining a Roman named Julian and his community of believers in the Jewish Messiah. Together they seek a mighty movement of God far stronger than any dark heart or city made of stone.