Beast of Caledonia by Kate Poole

Story: 9
Presentation: 9
Total: 18
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
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Blurb: In an ancient time, in an ancient land, their worlds collided. Can their love survive? Can they?

Sara is the daughter of the emperor’s legate in Caledonia, the Roman name for Scotland. Annachie is a Pictish warrior captured by her father’s soldiers and made a slave. Their friendship grows into a love neither of them can even acknowledge, much less consummate.

When her father finds them in what he thinks is a compromising position, he gives Annachie to a notorious slave trader and takes Sara back to Rome. Thinking that she will never see Annachie again, Sara agrees to become a Vestal Virgin. But six years later, her world is turned upside down when the games in the Coliseum feature the renowned gladiator, the “Beast of Caledonia”. Annachie!

Only for him would Sara forsake her vow of chastity and risk her life. And when she faces the ultimate price for loving him, only Annachie may be able to save her.

Review: I loved every word of this amazing story. The characters, the setting, the flavor, the sex, on my gosh the pain and betrayal. While reading I forgot about the words and simply existed within the pages. I was swept back in time and I didn’t want to return to the real world but wanted to stay with Sara and Annachie. I don’t want to give away the story in my review because the brilliance in this story was in the way each scene, each encounter intensified the experience for me, the reader. You’ll be hooked from the opening scenes, you’ll be breathless during the battles and you’ll swoon with the passionate love scenes. And just when you begin to believe the story was heading in one direction, Ms. Poole twisted the story—and my stomach—with her words and images. You’ll cry for the injustices then celebrate the victories. I didn’t believe two people could suffer—and love so deeply. By the end of the book I was breathless and exhilarated. The story is intense, gut-wrenching, hot, and a book that will stay in my reader so that I can read it again and again.

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