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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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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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

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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

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Awe inspiring.

This plot drew me in as I listened. The narrator, Tiffany Halla Colonna did an amazing job with the differing characters. The end was no surprise, when you consider what a walk of faith looks like as God brings us through our journies. Not knowing the end had me watching for how God was going to work in the current circumstances as the story unfolded. It was like watching for God's Hand at work as we pray through our own life's circumstances.
Loved it.

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Loved it!

I loved this story. It is very hard to stop listening. I found myself sitting in my car for a half hour or more just waiting for a point where I could pause the story enough to go inside.

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A Must for lovers of Historical Romance

- A Clean Romance

This is a beautifully written story by author Nancy Kimball. This is my first of hearing of this author and definitely will not be my last. Ms. Kimball creates rich characters and transports the reader to another place and time.

Laelia is blind and has lost all hope. Her father brings home a slave, Drusus who helps her discover she is far stronger than she could ever imagine. This is a beautiful tale of love told in a time of danger and uncertainty.

Narrator, TIffany Halla Colonna's character voices are wonderful. I never once lost who was speaking. She captures Naomi's spunk and wisdom, Drusus' uncertainty and tenderness and Laelia's innocence. Unfortunately, I never quite warmed to the cadence of the narration style she chose. It was halting and choppy..not smooth like in the voice samples I heard in her other audiobooks. This was disappointing, but the writing was so beautiful and the dialogue portions were a joy, that it kept me listening.

I received a free copy via audiobook boom. I voluntarily wrote an unbiased review. Thank you.

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Beautiful Story

I got this ARC via audiobook boom and this is my voluntary review. I am not a fan of the Roman society but this book took things to a level where you are involved in the character's lives. Naomi was a hoot once she got to the point of actually helping her mistress. The father was just terrible but there has to be a villain. The narrator brought the story to life and made you see, feel, touch, smell, and taste what was going on. My favorite line is I will be your wall. He taught her to take care of herself in a world that had grown dark. The hero was also a Christian which was a hard thing to be during those times. Great story.

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Worth a listen!

Fabulous storytelling set in Rome. It's a riveting plot that will hook you with its vivid details and complex characters. Naomi's zingers had me laughing out loud. Highly recommend.

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Love this story

Nancy Kimball's writing is amazing. She write about ancient Roman with captivating characters. I loved Laelia and Drusus' story. Drusus teaches his new blind mistress how to live a fuller life and prepares her for marriage. Laelia struggles with learning skills that a sighted person take for granted. I'm struggling not to spoil the story, it's beautifully written and the narrator did a beautiful job delivering all the different voices and bring the story to life.

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Captivating!

This is the second book I've listened to by this author and I loved it. She writes the most captivating and intense stories of Christians living in ancient Rome. That ancient Roman civilization is hard for me to stomach, but the heroic characters that shine through make it impossible to put down. I highly recommend both the book and the audio book. I look forward to reading everything this lovely lady writes.