After Boudicca's armies were defeated, Iceni warror Taranis was captured and enslaved by the Romans, and shipped from Brittania to Rome... Seeing the Romans baying for blood in the gladiator matches, and witnessing their pleasure obsessed culture and amoral behavior, makes Taranis hate them even more. His status as a slave means that he has no opportunity to get back home, or even to spill Roman blood. After a win in a gladiatorial battle, Nero gifts him with a Roman wife, Lavinia. It becomes a two edged curse for both of them, Lavinia is relieved to know that she won't have to be a wife of a man who has a reputation for brutality against his previous wives, and is older than her father. Taranis finds a lot more than mere sexual release in his wife's arms. He never believed that he could feel anything but contempt and hatred for any Roman, but Lavinia is nothing like the average Roman with her compassion and innate decency. Emperor Nero's moods are notoriously unpredictable and they both suspect that at any time, Nero will tear Lavinia away from him. Taranis's ultimate aim of escaping and finding his way home is hampered by his love for Lavinia, a Roman citizen.
Taranis's feelings towards his enslavement is understandable, and Lavinia shows that though she is young, she's has a strength that makes her a worthy mate for a warrior. This is an engrossing historical novel.
Taranis had one thing on his mind since the Romans enslaved him. Revenge. Until he laid eyes on the innocent beauty of Lavina, a daughter of his enemy. It was then that he knew how to wreak revenge against those who’d wronged him—by taking one of Rome’s daughters, over and over again.
Lavina is humiliated by the decadence, greed and violence of Rome. When she meets the gaze of the condemned gladiator across the Circus Maximus, he stirs a deep yearning in her heart, but it is not meant to be. She is destined to marry a man who’s soul is as black as night.
On a whim, Emperor Nero grants Taranis freedom with his choice of a wife. Taranis chooses Lavina, much to the horror of her parents. Only Lavina is not disgusted by this prospect and revels in Taranis’ touch. He finds himself caring for and falling in love with the little Roman.
Yet, a shadow falls on their happiness and soon Lavina will have to choose between her home and her heart.