Betrayed by her father and sold as payment for a Roman tax debt to fight in Londinium’s arena, gladiatrix-slave Rhyddes feels like a wild beast in a gilded cage. She clings to her vow that no man will claim her soul, though Marcus Calpurnius Aquila, son of the Roman governor, makes her yearn for an impossible love. Groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps and trapped in a political betrothal, Aquila prefers the purity of arena combat to the intrigues of politics. But when they are ensnared in a plot to overthrow Caesar, Aquila must choose between the slave who owns his heart and the empire they both owe allegiance. Knowing the opposite of obedience is death, Rhyddes must embrace her arena name and the love of a man who would sacrifice everything for her.
About the author
Award-winning author Kim Headlee lives on a farm in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia with her family & animals, a cave, and the remains of a 250-year-old house that was occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century.
Rhyddes ferch Rudd is a member of an ancient Celtic tribe who had been dominated by the Romans. Hated and abused by her father for reasons unknown, Rhyddes is sold to Roman tax collectors as payment to settle the farm debts of her father. While Roman law states that a person acquired via tax collections must remain in the same condition in which they were purchased, the soldiers who bought Rhyddes torture her in vile ways. The woman that arrives at the Londinium slave market is not the young girl that unwillingly left her home weeks before. Bought by the owner of Londinium’s gladiator school, Rhyddes has one lesson to learn – obey or die. This is a bitter lesson for Rhyddes who wants nothing more than the return of her freedom. The only bright spot in her entire existence is Aquila, the man she loves but will never be able to have.
Marcus Calpurnis Aquila is the son of a Roman governor as well as a highly prized and famous gladiator. Aquila, or “the Eagle” as his fans chant, hasn’t the stomach for political office much to his father’s dismay and ire. He would rather be performing and outshining opponents in combat in front of cheering crowds in the amphitheater. However, Aquila’s father has other plans for his son and they don’t include his risking his life for entertainment. Restless and opposed to his father’s wishes, Aquila remains loyal to the gladiator motto – obey or die. That motto will haunt Aquila more often than he knows because against all odds and defying all laws, Aquila has fallen in love with Rhyddes, the Celtic gladiatrix slave know as Libertas.
LIBERTY is an epic historical romance with many facets. Not only was I treated to a thrilling story, but I learned important aspects of early Roman culture and customs. Read more ›
5.0 out of 5 stars An epic love story December 17, 2014
Rhyddes ferch Rudd is a young woman about 18 years old. She is Celtic, part of the Votadini tribe. They had been conquered by the Romans. She has always felt like a slave, her father beats her, never showing an ounce of love for her. Her name means freedom, and this reason becomes clear in the story. When the Picts attack her village, she fights with her brothers- and finds herself fighting a female warrior. This became the beginning to her life as a warrior.
Marcus Calpernius Aquila is the son of the Governor of Britannia province, Sextus Calpernius Agricola. Marcus’ relationship with his father is strained at best. He likes to fight as a gladiator, whereas his father wants him to work toward politics, not associating with the lower class. He has his life decided for him when his father decides he is to marry Senator Falco’s daughter, Lady Messiena.The story is set about 160 A.D. The Romans rule is far reaching, have conquered most everywhere in what is now Europe and Great Brittian. Rhyddes has no love loss for the Romans. They take and tax everyone to support Rome. Her father decides to sell her into slavery to get rid of her and pay his tax debt. Although her virginity had to be maintained, that did not keep the Roman guards from brutally assaulting her. This was the pattern her life would seem to be taking, everyone hurting her.