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Valeria's Cross

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Valeria's Cross by Susan Wales & Kathi Macias

Reviewed by Lisa Lickel

"...readers who are comfortable with a slim measure of brutality and Roman-era historical romance based on the call of faith and duty will lose themselves in the spellbinding tale."

From the publisher: Lost Love, Torn Loyalties and a Dangerous Faith. After her first love is martyred, Valeria, the daughter of Roman Emperor Diocletian, is forced to marry his murderer. Can her marriage survive if it's built on religious opposition…will she?

Based around the early church during the end of the classic Roman era, Macias and Wales set out to tell the story of the spread of faith. Somewhat graphically they share the triumphs, losses and commitment to faith unimaginable to the faithful in American society today.

Valeria, daughter of the insane emperor Diocletian, lives a sheltered and pampered life. When she and her mother are exposed to the Christian faith, they embrace it even though the emperor fights to wipe out the fledgling religion. She has a very brief love affair with the captain of a regiment of Christian soldiers whose battle victories outrage a higher ranking and favored general who also happens to desire the emperor's daughter. When the inevitable happens, Valeria must choose how to honor her new faith and hope to draw her new family to the side of the cross.

Macias shares that the story of the Theban Legion, a segment of the Roman army made up of Christians, was a foundation for the story. I cannot recommend Valeria's Cross for those geeky historians who prefer vocabulary and terminology true to period; nevertheless, readers who are comfortable with a slim measure of brutality and Roman-era historical romance based on the call of faith and duty will lose themselves in the spellbinding tale.

Lisa J. LickelLisa Lickel lives in Wisconsin with her high school teacher husband in a 150-year-old Great Lakes ship captain's house. She is active in more than one historical society, belongs to writing and reading clubs and is the editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin, the magazine of Wisconsin Regional Writers. A graduate of the Christian Writer's Guild, she has written newspaper features and magazine articles, radio theater, and authored several inspirational novels. Find her online at http://lisalickel.com, http://wisconsinauthorreview.blogspot.com, http://reflectionsinhindsight.wordpress.com, and Facebook.