Daughter of a slave…wedded to the warrior!
Livia Valeria is furious when she’s ruthlessly gambled away by her intended bridegroom. Luckily, it’s tall, muscled and darkly handsome Roman centurion Marius Varro who wins her as his bride! Livia must hide her Caledonian roots, but when Marius faces a barbarian rebellion at Hadrian’s Wall she must make a choice: her heritage or the husband she’s falling for…
The Warrior's Bride Prize by Jenni Fletcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Warrior’s Prize Bride by Jenni Fletcher is a 2018 Mills & Boon publication.
Livia is widowed, with a small child to care for, but does not grieve much over the loss of her cruel husband. But, no sooner is she released from one turbulent marriage, she is gambled away by her half brother into another betrothal. She must travel to Hadrians Wall where she will meet her future husband.
However, as they approach their destination, the man she mistakes for her fiancé, is Marius, a Roman Centurion. The sparks fly between them immediately! But, it looks as though poor Livia’s next marriage will be as unhappy as her first, until Marius saves the day. In a drunken game of Tabula, Olivia is gambled on yet again and this time Marius is the winner.
While Livia dodged a bullet and ended up with a good and honorable man, things become complicated between them right from the start. First of all, Livia must hide her half- Caledonian heritage in the midst of a brewing uprising. Marius must fight in the battle for Roman rule, while also seeking a coveted promotion, a goal he has spent his life working to achieve. However, as secrets and revelations come to light and the circumstances shift, Marius must decide between his lofty goals or a life with Livia.
I knew right from the start I’d enjoy this book. I love this unique time period this novel is set in, which is seldom explored in historical romance novels anymore. Roman romance has endless possibilities, and the history is very deep, and still very mysterious. The author obviously did some grunt work and dug around for accurate historical details, once again scoring points for authenticity. This is important, and I admire someone who is willing to research and create a story that remains faithful to the time and place the novel is set in.
But, of course we don’t read these novels to study history. The romance is what we came here for and the author knocks it out of the park. I loved Marius! He was so heart meltingly romantic, I felt a little lightheaded. Livia’s background amid dangerous circumstances adds some tense moments of suspense into the equation. I thought she was a strong female lead, showing resilience and bravery in uncertain circumstances.
My only wish was that this novel could have had more room to breathe, that it could have been freed from the constraints of limited word counts, because it is obvious the author had to hold back on character development and probably a wealth of intriguing historical elements, because everything had to be crammed into fewer than three hundred pages. I do wish Mills & Boon/ Harlequin had a long format for books such as this one.
Other than that, this story has a bit of everything, including danger, intrigue, a few surprising twists I didn’t see coming, interesting historical details, and a beautiful love story!
GET YOUR COPY HERE:
Jenni Fletcher was born on the north coast of Scotland and now lives in Yorkshire, where she writes Medieval, Roman and Victorian romance novels.
She studied English at Cambridge University before doing an MA on Women and Literature in English and a PhD on Victorian & Edwardian literature at Hull. After realising that she was better at writing than teaching, she worked in a number of administrative jobs whilst trying to finish her first book, which was rejected. Thinking there must have been some mistake, she then wrote another, which was fortunately accepted by Harlequin Mills & Boon.
Her favourite Jane Austen novel is Persuasion and her favourite Brontë is Anne. If she had to choose a romantic hero it would be John Thornton, but maybe that’s just because she’s Northern.
Social Media Links –