6581303Oh lordy what have I gotten myself into?

So my spur of the moment purchase because I was craving something Roman to read has come back and bit me in the butt.

I have had my eye on Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn for quite some time now.  I’ve always passed her up because I simply have too much sitting waiting for me to get to, hence Ja No Read Mo.  But after reading Spartacus: Morituri, I was craving Rome and couldn’t resist picking this up at long last.

Well, now I’ve found myself yet another author and series to follow.  Dammit.

Mistress of Rome was fascinating.  Focusing on the lives of two women and the people who orbit their worlds: Lapida Pollia, a spoiled, arrogant, cruel and calculating woman whose only interest is how many men she can bed in one night and the status of her next lover; and Thea, an orphaned Jew who was purchased to be Lepida’s house slave, sold to a whore house, made into a singer, and became the Emperor’s mistress all while trying to survive one of the most tumultuous times of Roman history.

We’re also introduced to a whole plethora of other characters that circle these two women like moths around a flame.  The quiet, unassuming senator that Lipida marries, and his son that she seduces.  The barbarian that steals Thea’s heart and the son that almost destroys it.  The Vestal Virgin who is more than what she seems, the weak willed empress who is stronger than she looks, Lipida’s epileptic daughter who finds her salvation in a bastard slave child, and of course the half mad emperor soldier who rules over all of them.

The only thing to be cautious of is that the chapters are split between the first person narrations of Lepida and Thea, as well as third person narration of those who surround them.  Thankfully the distinctions between narrations are clean, but for those who don’t like that sort of thing, ye be warned.

Vibrant, fascinating, intriguing, it was hard for me to put Mistress of Rome down to do anything else.

Enjoy folks.

And next time we’re going for something a little light and fluffy.  A romantic thriller by Shannon K. Butcher called Love You To Death.

6453332It’s been days since reporter Elise McBride has heard from her sister, Ashley. She’s convinced Ashley has met with some kind of foul play, especially when she learns that bodies of other missing women have surfaced in and around Chicago–all victims of a brutal serial killer. Convinced her sister is still alive, Elise vows to risk everything to save her…

The last thing ex-cop Trent Brady needs is more blood on his hands. Yet when he catches Elise breaking into her sister’s house, full of reckless determination and fear, he knows she needs his help. But just as desire ignites between them, a twisted madman sets his sights on Elise. Hell-bent on possessing her for himself, this psychopath won’t rest until he has his perfect woman.Save