A 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.
Publisher and Release Date: Sandra Schwab 5 June, 2015
Time and Setting: Roman Empire, Rome and Brittania
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4 stars
Review by Jill
Centurion Marcus Florius Corvus is a career soldier and has spent the past fourteen years of his life in the service of the Roman army. Posted at Moesia, a province in the Balkans, and now on leave in Rome for his brother’s wedding, he meets up with a boyhood acquaintance, Titus. Joining Titus for dinner, Marcus is taken by his exotic dancer and slave, Nubia.
Bought from a brothel in Alexandria, Lia (Nubia is her slave name) entrances Marcus, and with each visit to Titus’s house, he and Lia become closer. But loving a slave and wanting to marry her is not deemed suitable for a man of Marcus’s standing. When he refuses to give up Lia, influential people in Rome will see that they are separated: Marcus will be banished to the edge of the empire in Britannia, and Lia sold.
This is definitely one of the better romances set in Roman times, with the setting and era described particularly well. Sandra Schwab has obviously done her research, with the customs and descriptions lending an authentic feel to the story, in both settings in Rome and Brittania. Her descriptions of life as a Roman soldier for Marcus and a slave for Lia, are convincing.
Their romance is satisfying and believable given the stark contrast between the protagonists’ stations in life. Since Lia is a pleasure slave, given to Marcus for an evening of sex, their relationship begins on a sexual level, progressing towards love as they spend time together. Marcus is a man of honour, faithful to Rome and his men, the Eagles. An ideal hero, he can be both tender and tough.
I thoroughly enjoyed this historical romance, but I did have some small issues. There were a number of early sex scenes, though given that Lia is a pleasure slave, this is entirely in keeping with her life. However, it did give me that feeling (initially) this was going to be a boring sex-fest, more an erotic tale than romance. It wasn’t. I also would have liked to be told what year the story was set in. From the information given about the emperors, and the building of the wall in Britannia, then the era would be circa AD 122. There is also some repetition of words, phrases and information.
At 217 pages, this is a shortish novel, but still manages a captivating story and sweet romance. All-in-all Eagle’s Honor: Banished is a particularly well-written Roman story that I enjoyed mostly for the detailed, descriptive settings. I wish more romance authors would venture outside the Regency England, and write romances like this, where the reader feels immersed in the era. I’m looking forward to the next in this series. Well done, Ms Schwab!