100 Books in 2011 Review: A Noble Captive

I try to read as widely as possible and sometimes that means reading things I don’t think I’m going to like. Things I don’t think I’m going to like include romance novels, especially Mills & Boon. However, there is something to be learnt from reading these books, namely ‘how to create emotional intensity through internal monologue’.

A Noble Captive by Michelle Sykes is a historical romance set on the edges of the Roman Empire in 75 BC. The captive in question is a Roman tribune, a contemporary of Julius Caesar, who is captured by pirates in the Mediterranean and taken to the island temple of Kybele. The story is inspired by the capture of the young Caesar by pirates although the ending is significantly less bloody.

The heroine is the assistant priestess, struggling to keep the temple going financially and spiritually while the sibyl is unwell. She is trying to walk a tightrope between political factions she doesn’t really understand.

Actually, there’s a good deal more plot in this than in the other Mills & Boon I’ve read. Although that doesn’t mean there’s a lot of plot. There’s a sprinkling of solid historical detail but this is undermined by a lack of rigour in other areas. For example, tribune was a very high office but in this book it comes across as not much more than a centurion.

So, yeah, there’s not much to say about this. It was fairly fluffy and not as annoying as previous Mills & Boon have been (does that mean I’m getting indoctrinated??), but there’s little to recommend it.  

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