Livia Duronius lives in dangerous times. Her husband was named a traitor and before he was caught and killed, he abandoned his wife to fend for herself. Feeling betrayed, she sees men of high rank fear the Emperor and considers them all cowards. During a gladiator match, she finds herself drawn to the victor. Beyond lust, she feels hope and strength when she sees him. She can't help but seek him out after the match.
Senator Titus Marius is undercover as his own gladiator. His goal is to weaken the Emperor through beating his German guard. Nobody knows he is fighting as a gladiator. After his match he is approached by a veiled woman. His attraction for her is immediate and after a short exchange they give in to their lusts.
Titus is to meet his future wife that night. She is the niece of a senator who can help with plans against the Emperor. He is surprised to find his future wife is the woman he met that afternoon. He recognizes her almost right away. Livia did not see the gladiator's face completely and so does not recognize her future husband as the gladiator she met earlier that day. She is not happy her uncle has chosen another husband for her and at first acts cold towards Titus. He decides it is best to not reveal his identity until after they are married.
Ah man! I really liked this one very much. But it was way too short! Lee writes very well. Even within such a short story, she was able to present great characters and an intriguing plot. I really wish it had been a full length book.
ARC provided by NetGalley.