Author: Kathryn Amurra
Page Length: 212
Publication Date: July 22, 2020
Synopsis: Aurelia has always valued love and happiness over titles and power. Though her kind-hearted father has allowed her to turn away suitor after suitor in pursuit of a love she cannot yet define, when he dies her choices die with him. Knowing that marrying the elderly governor of a neighboring province can secure her mentally challenged brother’s safety, she gives up on her dream of finding love in return for his protection.Cassius is the ill-fated captain of the governor’s guard tasked with escorting the Lady Aurelia and her unpleasant aunt to the governor’s estate. Since the soothsayer Tullia foretold an early death for him, Cassius wants nothing more than to keep his hands busy with labor and his heart free from any connections to the world he believes he will be leaving soon. As they work through a series of misfortunes on the road to the governor’s province, the words of the soothsayer start to make sense, and together they find the courage to allow their true destiny to unfold.
A sweet historical romance with well-developed characters and an interesting plot, Soothsayer is a quick and immersive read. The story is about Aurelia, a young woman in Ancient Rome whose father recently died. Now in charge of her brother, who has special needs, Aurelia is pressured by her nagging aunt to marry. When the Governor, an older, selfish man that repulses Aurelia, offers his hand in marriage in exchange for excusing Aurelia’s brother from the required military duty, Aurelia sees no other option and reluctantly agrees.
Weeks later, on her journey to the Governor’s town and home, a series of unfortunate events force Aurelia closer to her sole escort, the handsome warrior named Cassius. Captain of the Governor’s guard, Cassius refuses to get close to anyone, especially the woman betrothed to his boss. He swore to protect her, but how will he protect his heart from the sweet and brave Aurelia? Is there a chance for this ill-fated couple when Aurelia needs to protect her brother, and Cassius believes his life is almost over?
I enjoyed the love story between Aurelia and Cassius. Aurelia is a kind and caring woman. Her main concern is protecting her younger brother, and her selflessness is admirable. She is also a sensible and smart survivor, willing to do whatever it takes to save her brother. Her quick-thinking and adaptability serve her well throughout the story, and even when she succumbs to her fears, she still perseveres.
Cassius is selfless as well, devoting his life to serving others and his country, protecting others while putting his own life at risk, and pushing others away so that they won’t grieve his death. I love how he is described here:
He was a solitary man, that much was easy to discern. He was content with his own company-he needed no validation from others. He valued truth and honesty.
He is an honorable man who lives his life by a strict set of rules, and he is struck by the feelings he has for Aurelia. Unfortunately, because of a foreboding prophecy, Cassius has pushed anyone who cares for him away. That is, until he meets Aurelia. She gets past his defenses and shows him how fulfilling and wonderful caring for someone can be.
One of my favorite moments is when Cassius becomes jealous of the old soothsayer for spending time with Aurelia and taking her attention away from him. It’s sweet and endearing to see Cassius slowly showing a more vulnerable side as he grows fonder of Aurelia.
The romance between Aurelia and Cassius is filled with longing, fleeting glances, and sweet moments where they explore and reflect upon their feelings for each other. This slow-building romance makes my heart happy. I always love stories that have two lonely and wounded people finding each other, and Cassius and Aurelia couldn’t be a better suited pair. Aurelia believes in love and convinces Cassius that love isn’t a burden or a luxury. I rooted for an HEA for this couple and hoped they would find a way to be together while still helping Aurelia’s brother.
Messages about family, duty, and the power of love are woven beautifully throughout the story and offer hope in even the direst situations in the book. A quick and charming story, this book will appeal to readers who enjoy historical romance. Thanks so much to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
That, I think, is the ultimate kindness. To grant someone peace at the expense of your own.
You are quiet, and those who are quiet of voice are seldom quiet of thought.
That is the way of great love – there is great sadness when it is gone.
Readers who enjoy historical romance with dynamic main characters will love Soothsayer.