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Monday, June 8, 2009

The Centurion and the Queen by Minnette Meador

The Centurion and the Queen by Minnette Meador
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing, LLC
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: Full (165 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Lavender

Marius has been stationed on the island of 60AD Britannia for sixteen years, his demotion from the famous Praetorian Guard to Centurion brought about when he was suspected of involvement in the assassination of Caligula. He is intimately aware of his duty, even when it clashes against the natural compassion he tries to subdue, and he secretly wants nothing more than to get off this accursed island so he can return to his home. Once a celebrated Roman hero, Marius still clings to the old traditions as a fair but tough leader to his men. When Delia enters his life, she challenges everything he believes, effortlessly strips away years of Roman conditioning, and angers him to the point of betraying his training--and his oaths. He simply cannot resist her.

Delia is sister to an indolent Celtic king, but that role has turned to nothing more than another surrender. All she can do now is help her people survive the gradual conquest by Rome and their suicidal pride as so many throw themselves against the unstoppable Roman machine. Fighting desperately to save as many as she can, Delia knows there is no hope for her future. Her training as a warrior and a queen means very little in the wake of a declining civilization, and this beautiful, proud woman has to struggle for every joy. The last thing she expected was to find herself craving the touch of an enemy.
This ancient historical, adventurous romance was so good that I read it in two sittings. Britannia of two thousand years ago comes vividly to life as the reader becomes immersed in the lives of heroic characters.

The disciplined Centurion Marius meets his match in the beautiful, fiercely intelligent and battle-trained Breton queen Delia who only wants to save the people she loves.

For years, Marius has done his duty and earned the admiration and respect of his men. When Delia breaks Roman law, committing treason, which requires the harshest of punishment, all eyes fall on the cold Centurion to do what he must. He’s shaken to the core, thinking of the Breton beauty who has already begun to get inside his heart with her cleverness and vulnerability. In the first of several interesting twists and turns in this brilliantly written book, Marius “knows what he has to do” and does it.

It’s a fast-mover, one gripping scene after the next, with a powerful love story plaited throughout. In the last part of the book, Delia’s people face off with Marius’s Romans in a battle that will resonate throughout history.

Some books keep you turning pages until the end then leave you cold on the last page. Not this one. The end was so satisfying that it justified the entire exciting story. Now I want to go out and buy the paperback version. I highly recommend this memorable tale.

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