Praise for Banished
"Another gem of a romance! [...] Once again this author played my emotions like the proverbial violin and at several points during the read I was moved to tears. [...] Highly recommended for lovers of historical romance."
~ Tina Williams, areadersreviewblog
"Roman Centurions! What a nice change of pace from the usual historical romances being published ad nauseam these days. [...] Marcus had my heart going pitter patter! He's sexy, and honorable, willing to sacrifice all for the woman he loves."
~ Julie Whiteley, Goodreads review
"Set during the Roman expansion into Brittania (we’re talking 1st century), this amazingly detailed historical setting is about as far from a 19th century London ballroom as you can get. It’s a fresh take on the class-conflict / forbidden romance you often find in your favorite regency/victorian romances and a compelling change from the lords and ladies of that time period. [...] The story was completely engrossing and the scene-building and history were fantastic."
~ Veronica Douglas, Wallflowers & Rakes
"I wish more romance authors would venture outside the Regency England, and write romances like this, where the reader feels immersed in the era. I’m looking forward to the next in this series. Well done, Ms Schwab!"
~ Jill, Romantic Historical Reviews
Six weeks later Marcus presented himself to Flavius Gannius, prefect of the 10th Cohort of Batavians at Vindulum. Gannius was a broad-shouldered, bulky man, his hair liberally sprinkled with gray, his grayish green eyes piercing as he studied Marcus from head to toe. He was not the kind of man with whom you wanted to fall into displeasure.
“You are rather later, centurion,” he finally said. “Is it a habit of the Eleventh Pia Claudia Fidelis to let her men move about at a snail’s pace?”
Marcus stiffened. He forced himself to take a calming breath before he answered, “I apologize for my late arrival. My ship was delayed by storms in Gaul. I assure you it was by no fault of my training at the Eleventh that I’ve arrived this late at Vindulum.”
“Hm.” The other man glanced down at the tablets on the table in front of him. “You gave your name as Marcus Florius, but this report I have here from the senior tribune of the Eleventh gives your name as Marcus Florius Corvus.”
Of course. It had to.
“A name I acquired from the men serving with me.”
Gannius stared at him, prompting Marcus to elaborate, not without an internal sigh. “A small joke on account of my nose, sir.”
One of the dark, bushy brows rose. “Corvus?”
“The men didn’t think ‘Aquila’ would do it proper justice, sir,” Marcus said drily. “Hence, Corvus.” Raven.
Gannius read through another section of the report. “It says here that you were popular with the men under your command; fair and strict; that you received your vine-staff at the tender age of 28 upon the retirement and explicit recommendation of your former centurion Gaius Loreius Sylla, who had made you his optio when you were just 23 and had served in the Eleventh for a mere six years. In addition” — he flipped to the next tablet — “the tribune takes great pains to point out your excellent fighting abilities as well as the outstanding quality of your unflinching leadership of your men in battle.”
Closing the report and shoving the bound tablets to the side, Gannius looked up. “So tell me, Centurion Marcus Florius Corvus, what exactly did you do?”
“Heavens, man, you must have done something to get demoted to a centuria in a mere auxilia.”
“Ah,” Marcus said slowly.
“Yes, ah. And I want to know what it is and whether it’s going to bite my cohort in the arse one of those days."
Marcus's mouth twitched wrily. "I assure you I did nothing to endanger the safety or honor of the Eleventh and I did nothing to endanger the safety and honor of the 10th Cohort. I merely garnered my father's displeasure."
"A man doesn't get demoted for that," the prefect remarked mildly.
Just as mildly, Marcus answered, "He does when his father makes a point of knowing influential people and, more importantly, making these selfsame influential people beholden to him."
"So what did you do?"
Marcus hesitated a moment longer, yet he was aware that the prefect's question didn't stem from personal curiosity. Gannius simply needed to make sure that the discipline in his troops would not be affected by Marcus's misdemeanors. Again, Marcus's mouth twisted. "I fell in love with the wrong woman - at least in my father's estimation."