Sunday, 8 July 2018

Dominus by J.P. Kenwood

 Dominus #1
272 Pages
Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK


In AD 107, after a grueling campaign against Rome’s fierce enemy, the kingdom of Dacia, Gaius Fabius returns home in triumph. With the bloody battles over, the commander of the Lucky IV Legion now craves life’s simple pleasures: leisurely soaks in fragrant baths, over-flowing cups of wine, and a long holiday at his seaside villa to savor his pleasure slaves. On a whim, he purchases a spirited young Dacian captive and unwittingly sparks a fresh outbreak of the Dacian war; an intimate struggle between two sworn enemies with love and honor at stake.

Allerix survived the wars against Rome, but now he is a slave rather than a victor. Worse, the handsome general who led the destruction of his people now commands his body. When escape appears impossible, Alle struggles to find a way to preserve his dignity and exact vengeance upon the savage Romans. Revenge will be his, that is, if he doesn’t lose his heart to his lusty Roman master.

Dominus is a plot-packed erotic fantasy that transports readers back to ancient Rome during the reign of the Emperor Trajan. This is the first book in an alternate history series—a tumultuous journey filled with forbidden love, humor, sex, friendship, political intrigue, deception and murder.


And now for something completely different, which, if you know my reading preferences, is definitely a good thing. Dominus can be best described as an alternate universe historical novel set during Roman times. It is a very sexually charged and driven story, as well as an intriguing character study. The one thing I can’t call it (as yet?) is a romance. And, as far as I’m concerned, that’s a good thing.

In many ways this book reads as the setting of the stage for what is to come. I may very well be wrong, but I can’t help feeling that this story was about the reader getting to know the world in which this tale is set, the characters who are going to be pivotal in the future, and the dynamics between them, with the real action still to come.

While I’m on the topic of characters, allow me to add there are quite a few of those. As is clear from the blurb, the two main players are Gaius Fabius/Dominus and Allerix/Paulus and both of them, as well as the dynamic between them, is utterly intriguing. The Master/slave dynamic between them which Allerix can only accept once he convinces himself that submitting may be his only way to eventual freedom, is fascinating. All the more so because despite their natural animosity and the difference in status between them, they are both more attracted to each other than they care to admit, even to themselves. I have to say I can’t wait to see how this will play out.

But, there are a ton of secondary yet very important characters in this story too. In fact, it took me a chapter or four before I got my head around who was who, what their status was, and what role they played in the story. I’m still not quite sure I’ve got it all figured out. In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the author has a surprise or two up her sleeve. But I liked that most of the secondary characters are fleshed out enough for the reader to get a real idea about who they are and why they act the way they do.

There’s a lot more I could say about the actual story but I’ll refrain. I don’t want to make this review so long people give up on reading all of it and besides, I find the best way to enjoy a story is to go into it with as little prior information as possible. And far be it from me to deprive other readers of that pleasure.

I do want to add that the prologue and epilogue, both set in modern times, intrigued me almost as much as the main story. In fact, I’ve got a feeling it won’t be long before I pick up book two in this series. I can’t wait to find out what will happen next now that Gaius is on the warpath and Allerix appears to have, for the moment, resigned himself to his lot.

Long story short; With Dominus I have found myself yet another must-read series, just as J.P. Kenwood has been added to my list of not-to-be-missed authors. I know I’m late to this particular party but if you haven’t read Dominus yet, I urge you to fix that oversight ASAP.

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