I bought this book thinking it would be a romance novel and although there are some moments of that, it is more of an account of the persecution of Christians in the late 200s AD. Well written and researched and you will learn much about that era, but it's not so much a heartwarming romance.
I love ancient Roman history, and Valeria's Cross seemed like a perfect novel! Beautiful, adolescent, Valeria is the only daughter of the Mighty Roman Emperor. Raised a pagan amidst the uprising of Christianity, Valeria and her Mother slowly die to their former selves and become Christians. Valeria instantly falls in love with Godly, Roman Captain Mauritius, but their romance is short lived as he's purposely murdered by a lustful Galerius to Valeria. Galerius quickly divorces his wife and forces Valeria to marry him.
While I enjoyed the history, I was disappointed with the characters. Valeria hates Galerius yet moments later she desperately wants his affection? Galerius seems like a lustful brute one minute, then tender and understanding the next? The book is quite lengthy which wasn't a problem, if only the characters weren't rushing in and out of emotions, one would suspect they are a little bipolar. Overall I didn't want to knock the book, because it had a good message of faith and courage. it's an easy read. At the beginning of the book Valeria started reminded me of Esther from the Bible, and then a few passages later, her maid says, "Be as an Esther".
*I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest, unbiased, non-profit review.*
I don't normally do negative reviews, but this one was soooo bad that I just had to say something! The heroine of the story is a fourteen year old girl, who is quite suddenly overcome with deep, abiding love for a young man and she wants to marry him. But after he is murdered, she is forced to marry the man who had him killed. She flits back and forth between hating and loving her husband, and often considers being unfaithful to him. The dialog is tedious and slow, and words and terms are used that are not historically correct! This could have been an excellent book--I like to premise--but it was so poorly written!