Fans of TV's Rome and Spartacus will enjoy Quinn's look at the intrigue and lust of first-century Rome, during Emperor Domitian's reign. Quinn tempers her regaling
of the emperor's decadence and ruthlessness with a tender and passionate romance.
This novel will satisfy both historical fiction fans and romance readers.

Thea, a slave from Judea, is sold to wealthy heiress Lepida Pollia. The lovely, musically talented Thea struggles to maintain some semblance of independence. Though her mistress has chosen the city's latest gladiator, Arius the Barbarian, as a lover, it is Thea he adores.

When Lepida's jealousy drives Thea and Arius apart, Thea reinvents herself as an entertainer sought after by the nobles, attracting the unwanted attention of Domitian. The impulsive and unpredictable ruler is dangerous and Thea must carefully wind her way through the labyrinth of his court. As he reveals his ruthless nature, she struggles to maintain her life -- and her sanity. Though many have tried to undermine Domitian's hold on Rome, it will be this one-time slave who has the opportunity to end his rule and free herself and her beloved. (BERKLEY, Apr., 470 pp., $15.00)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin