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Publisher's Summary

She has an uncertain future. He has a hidden past. Can a forbidden romance set them free?

In the shadows of pagan Rome, Laelia Ricarri's recent blindness destroys her hopes of a betrothal to escape her abusive father. For Drusus, his new mistress is more capable, and beautiful, than she knows. Still tormented by the sins of his past, the only thing he fears more than falling in love with his mistress is failing her in his task. But his newfound faith has made him an enemy of Rome, and the reemergence of an old feud with a calculating rival threatens to ensnare Laelia within its dark grasp. As Drusus reawakens Laelia's inner strength, his patient encouragement is awakening her heart. She's learning to trust, as Drusus must also learn to trust in his God. When the indiscriminate tide of tragedy sweeps through Rome, Drusus and Laelia will have to put their faith in each other to survive. Even if that means being parted forever.

©2016 Nancy J Kaplan (P)2017 Nancy J Kaplan

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

For me: a surprisingly beautiful story

I love history, but not so much of a romance fan, but this book turned out to be such a beautiful listen I had trouble putting it down. Set in Rome, the main character (Laelia) wants to escape her father's abusive home by marrying, but she has to find a man her father will approve of. Her slave (Drusus) wants to be free, but his duty is to God, who requires him to be faithful to Laelia and her wicked father. When Laelia and Drusus form a friendship that leads to much more, they both feel trapped, knowing their relationship is forbidden by Roman law. This book is realistic, seems to have been well researched as to the societal norms, and thus has a bit of gritty side to it as well as the aspect of Christian persecution. The descriptions of the living areas, streets, and marketplaces give the listener the sense of being there; one can almost feel and smell the scene. Despite the trials and tribulations of the main characters, this is ultimately a story of submission, perseverance, hope, and redemption all done in honoring God in a time and place where that was a challenge.

The narration was excellent in the varying voices, but it did take me a little bit to get used to the cadence of the narrator. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a historical, Christian-based, novel set in Roman times; even more so if one is also looking for the romance genre. A review copy of this audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in return for this unbiased review. My hope is that this review helps in your decision to obtain this book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

If You Love Roman Era Historical Fiction

What did you love best about Unseen Love?

Laelia and Drusus are such complex characters with an intriguing cast of supporting characters, both villains and protagonists. Also, the descriptions of life in Rome from the fuller's shop (think urine-based dry cleaners) to the bathhouses and Colosseum.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Unseen Love?

When Drusus teaches Laelia to serve and feed herself, and how he makes himself at home cleaning up Laelia's house and repairing the fountain.The ending - no details because, spoilers!

Which scene was your favorite?

Where Laelia, Drusus, and Naomi go to the market and bathhouse. The details are so rich. Same with the visit to the fuller's.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Bought to teach her how to live. He taught her how to love.

Any additional comments?

This book lends itself to audio book. There is something about listening to his book that immerses the reader into Laelia's sightless world.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A beautiful slow building romance

This story gives a glimpse into the lives of those living in Rome in the first century including the early Christians and the persecution they faced. Religion plays a fairly large part in the story because it was central to life in that time.
The characters are meticulously constructed to create realistic interactions and a thrilling story line.

As long as this book is I listened to it in one session because I couldn't bring myself to stop.

The romance woven into the story is slow to build and emotionally compelling.

The narration was well done with good character voices although emotions were conveyed by making the voice quaver and this was a bit annoying at times. The overall delivery was enjoyable with a smooth natural tone and pace.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and/or author and/or narrator in exchange for an honest review.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A captivating read with superb narration

This was the first book from Nancy Kimball that I've had the pleasure to read but after finishing I immediately purchased Chasing the Lion. Her writing is flowing and set me right in the middle of the Roman Empire. The narrator did a fantastic job! Her pacing was great and she good job distinguishing different characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

So glad I went ahead and got it.

I was almost scared off by the comments on the narrator, but got it anyway and was very glad I did. The narrator was pretty bad it’s true but the story was good enough to totally make up for it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful story

Overall I enjoyed this story. It is a beautiful tale of faith, love and trust in the unknown. I did not particularly care for the narrator, however I recommend this book.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not at all similar to "Chasing the Lion"

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The characters were flat and insipid. The narration was ok, but the voice changes annoying. There was a lack of depth throughout the story and it's telling.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kimberly
  • Jonesborough, TN, United States
  • 04-20-18

Horrible narrator

I think the story was pretty good, but I was so distracted by the horrible narrator that I couldn’t quite tell.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

narrator drove me crazy

struggled to finish. nearly every word of the story, as it was read sounded like most of the characters were constantly ready to cry. it was wierd.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story but found the narration annoying

The story was intriguing and kept my attention, and the narrator did a decent job of portraying voices and had a pleasant tone. However, the cadence or rhythm or style (not sure what to call it) that she used throughout the entire book was SO annoying! It was unnatural and predictable and distracted from enjoying the book fully. I really liked the book, but in this case, it’s one I wish I’d read myself.