97 books like Brides of Rome

By Debra May Macleod,

Here are 97 books that Brides of Rome fans have personally recommended if you like Brides of Rome. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Flower Boat Girl

By Larry Feign,

Book cover of The Flower Boat Girl

Reni Stankova Author Of Sirma: A historical fiction novel about a woman Haiduk

From the list on extraordinary women from history.

Who am I?

I'm a hybrid author from Bulgaria, and my work mostly focuses on historical fiction and fantasy. History has always been mainly centered around the male point of view. But many female heroes would also like to tell us their stories. My fascination started with the women Haiduks of Bulgaria, which gave birth to my first book Sirma. And the more I researched, the more I realized countless historical female figures worldwide deserve just as much attention. I hope this list is enriching to all readers and helps them see their captivating point of view.

Reni's book list on extraordinary women from history

Why did Reni love this book?

The Flower Boat Girl is a historical novel about the life of Zheng Yi Sao, the most successful pirate in history (and, yes, a woman). Sold as a child to a floating brothel, at 26 she buys her freedom, but then is kidnapped and forced to marry a pirate. From there, she uses her strength and cunning mind to carve her destiny and practically make history. I loved this book, because it gives us an honest portrayal of a pirate's life and how a woman has no place in it, yet one woman makes it against all odds.

By Larry Feign,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Flower Boat Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Her father traded away her youth.
Sea bandits stole her freedom.
She has one way to get them back:
Become the most powerful pirate in the world.

South China coast, 1801. Sold as a child to a floating brothel, 26-year-old Yang has finally bought her freedom, only to be kidnapped by a brutal pirate gang and forced to marry their leader.

Dragged through stormy seas and lawless bandit havens, Yang must stay scrappy to survive. She embeds herself in the dark business of piracy, carving out her role against the resistance of powerful pirate leaders and Cheung Po Tsai, her…


Far Away Bird

By Douglas A. Burton,

Book cover of Far Away Bird

Reni Stankova Author Of Sirma: A historical fiction novel about a woman Haiduk

From the list on extraordinary women from history.

Who am I?

I'm a hybrid author from Bulgaria, and my work mostly focuses on historical fiction and fantasy. History has always been mainly centered around the male point of view. But many female heroes would also like to tell us their stories. My fascination started with the women Haiduks of Bulgaria, which gave birth to my first book Sirma. And the more I researched, the more I realized countless historical female figures worldwide deserve just as much attention. I hope this list is enriching to all readers and helps them see their captivating point of view.

Reni's book list on extraordinary women from history

Why did Reni love this book?

This is a historical novel about the life of Theodora, Empress of Byzantium. She was born in the sixth century and worked as a prostitute, but eventually became the most powerful woman in the Byzantine Empire. The book is very introspective and we learn a lot about Theodora's inner world. Even though the world throws the worst at her, she still finds the strength to continue onward and keep a sense of justice and positivity.

By Douglas A. Burton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Far Away Bird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Multi-award winning novel including gold medals in the Readers' Favorite Historical Personage, IBPA's Best New Voice Fiction, eLit's Best eBook in Historical Fiction, Montaigne Medal finalist (Eric Hoffer Book Award) and Screencraft's Cinematic Book competition.

Inspired by true events, Far Away Bird delves into the complex mind of Byzantine Empress Theodora. This intimate biographical account follows the extraordinary transformation of a poor young woman in a rigid medieval society. From the brothels to the bathhouses, from the theaters to the palaces, Theodora learns to let go of the people she loves most and embrace her own exploitation. But when Theodora…


The Sekhmet Bed

By Libbie Hawker,

Book cover of The Sekhmet Bed

Reni Stankova Author Of Sirma: A historical fiction novel about a woman Haiduk

From the list on extraordinary women from history.

Who am I?

I'm a hybrid author from Bulgaria, and my work mostly focuses on historical fiction and fantasy. History has always been mainly centered around the male point of view. But many female heroes would also like to tell us their stories. My fascination started with the women Haiduks of Bulgaria, which gave birth to my first book Sirma. And the more I researched, the more I realized countless historical female figures worldwide deserve just as much attention. I hope this list is enriching to all readers and helps them see their captivating point of view.

Reni's book list on extraordinary women from history

Why did Reni love this book?

The Sekhmet Bed is only the first book of the story of the only female pharaoh of Egypt Hatshepsut. Note that she was not a queen, but a pharaoh. The first book mainly focuses on the life of her mother and the familial and religious perils she went through until she gave birth to the future female pharaoh. By the last few chapters, we will see Hatshepsut as a child and will be compelled to follow her story through the series. Ancient Egypt is a culture that had a place in my heart ever since I was a child, so reading a story about one of its great women rulers was an absolute treat.

By Libbie Hawker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sekhmet Bed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don't miss the second book in this series, The Crook and Flail, at a special price for a limited time!

Is Ahmose's divine gift a blessing or a curse? The second daughter of the Pharaoh, Ahmose has always dreamed of a quiet life as a priestess, serving Egypt's gods, ministering to the people of the Two Lands. But when the Pharaoh dies without an heir, she is given instead as Great Royal Wife to the new king – a soldier of common birth. For Ahmose is god-chosen, gifted with the ability to read dreams, and it is her connection to…


Peacemaker's Dream

By Sue Wright,

Book cover of Peacemaker's Dream

Reni Stankova Author Of Sirma: A historical fiction novel about a woman Haiduk

From the list on extraordinary women from history.

Who am I?

I'm a hybrid author from Bulgaria, and my work mostly focuses on historical fiction and fantasy. History has always been mainly centered around the male point of view. But many female heroes would also like to tell us their stories. My fascination started with the women Haiduks of Bulgaria, which gave birth to my first book Sirma. And the more I researched, the more I realized countless historical female figures worldwide deserve just as much attention. I hope this list is enriching to all readers and helps them see their captivating point of view.

Reni's book list on extraordinary women from history

Why did Reni love this book?

This historical novel centers around the life of a young girl called Pocahontas, who bears witness to the colonization of Jamestown. And unlike the popular Disney version, Peacemaker's Dream shows us the real life of this amazing heroine. We see her transition from a child to an adult, while getting involved with the colonists, and find out how heavy the price of peace can be. Truly, an eye-opening experience.

By Sue Wright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Peacemaker's Dream as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you like fast paced historical fiction… this hidden gem will have you burning the midnight oil! She was young, smart and principled. They were out to get her. She never gave up… and neither did they… In a story based on fact, you will discover the heart wrenching account of the struggles of a nation under siege unprepared for the sophistication of its invader. Their most effective weapon was a young girl who has mistakenly been portrayed as a cartoon character in modern culture… The record is now being put straight.

You will cry at her loves and losses,…


Book cover of The History of the Vestal Virgins of Rome

Suzanne Tyrpak Author Of Vestal Virgin: Suspense in Ancient Rome

From the list on ancient Rome at the time of Nero.

Who am I?

Having been an actor and a dancer, in college I became interested in the origins of those arts. Curiosity led me to study Greek theater and ancient religions. In the early 2000s, I traveled to Rome with a group of writers, including Terry Brooks, Dorothy Allison, Elizabeth Engstrom, and John Saul. As soon as I set foot in Rome, I fell in love with that magnificent city’s history—in particular Vestal Virgins, the most powerful women in the ancient world. That trip inspired me to write Vestal Virgin—suspense in ancient Rome, a bestseller in many categories on Amazon.

Suzanne's book list on ancient Rome at the time of Nero

Why did Suzanne love this book?

When I wrote, Vestal Virgin—suspense in ancient Rome, this was the only book I found specifically about the Vestals. Written in 1934, it covers topics including: religious duties, civil duties, dress, and discipline. The Virgins were sworn to chastity on penalty of death, understanding their duties and how they were disciplined was essential to my story. I couldn’t have written my historical novel without help from this book.

By T. Cato Worsfold,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The History of the Vestal Virgins of Rome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a new release of the original 1934 edition.


The Mad Emperor

By Harry Sidebottom,

Book cover of The Mad Emperor: Heliogabalus and the Decadence of Rome

Alex Gough Author Of Caesar’s Soldier

From the list on biographies of powerful and important Ancient Romans.

Who am I?

I've had a passion for all things Roman since visiting various ancient Roman sites around Britain as a child with school and with my dad. Over the last fifteen years I've been writing novels set in Ancient Rome. I now have ten published Roman historical fiction novels to my name spanning three series, as well as a short story collection and a novella. My Carbo of Rome series, set in the reign of Tiberius, follows a traumatised veteran of the legion as he tries to retire in peace in Rome, but is constantly dragged into the criminal underworld of the poorest parts of the city.

Alex's book list on biographies of powerful and important Ancient Romans

Why did Alex love this book?

Heliogabalus became Emperor aged 14, manipulated into power by his mother and grandmother.

As a relative and possible illegtimate son of Caracalla, he appears in my Imperial Assassin series in the days before he rose to power. He is considered by many to be one of the worst Roman Emperors on account mainly of his outrageous lifestyle.

He married a Vestal Virgin, and a male charioteer, was reputed to have prostituted himself and to have turned the palace into a brothel, and offered a fortune to any doctor that could turn him into a woman.

He scandalised the religious Romans by replacing Jupiter as head of the gods with the eastern god Elagabal, of whom he was high Priest. But to modern eyes, a more sympathetic reading is of a teenage boy with a confused sexual orientation who unexpectedly had unlimited power and wealth thrust upon him.

Harry Sidebottom writes…

By Harry Sidebottom,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mad Emperor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Buy the book; it's very entertaining.' David Aaronovitch, The Times

A Financial Times, BBC History and Spectator Book of the Year

On 8 June 218 AD, a fourteen-year-old Syrian boy, egged on by his grandmother, led an army to battle in a Roman civil war. Against all expectations, he was victorious.

Varius Avitus Bassianus, known to the modern world as Heliogabalus, was proclaimed emperor. The next four years were to be the strangest in the history of the empire.

Heliogabalus humiliated the prestigious Senators and threw extravagant dinner parties for lower-class friends. He ousted Jupiter from his summit among the…


Mistress of Rome

By Kate Quinn,

Book cover of Mistress of Rome

KC Klein Author Of Mi Familia

From the list on heroines that won’t get nominated for sainthood.

Who am I?

I’ve been reading romance since before dirt was old—(okay, I’m not actually that old, but some days I feel like it)—and I have a deep belief that romances can be our shining light in a sometimes very dark world. Which is why when I wrote my own stories, my very first editorial letter started out with, “Wow, you really like to torture your characters.” I wanted to create genuine characters that make mistakes, mess up, and sometimes are their own worst enemy but you still want to root for them. My list of books on Heroines That Won’t Get Nominated For Sainthood will take you on a journey far more interesting than sainthood—the human experience.

KC's book list on heroines that won’t get nominated for sainthood

Why did KC love this book?

Mistress of Rome was the first book I ever read by Kate Quinn, but it wasn’t my last. Frankly, I fell in love with Thea, a slave in ancient Rome. Ms. Quinn never shied away from the hard stuff. The reality was Thea was a slave and, as a slave, had very limited choices in her life. Ms. Quinn crafted a novel full of rich characters who sometimes made poor choices, or had their choices made for them all the while set against the beautiful background of ancient Rome, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a novel.

By Kate Quinn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mistress of Rome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first in an unforgettable historical saga from the New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network and The Diamond Eye.

"So gripping, your hands are glued to the book, and so vivid it burns itself into your mind's eye and stays with you long after you turn the final page."-Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author

First-century Rome: One young woman will hold the fate of an empire in her hands.

Thea, a captive from Judaea, is a clever and determined survivor hiding behind a slave's docile mask. Purchased as a toy for the spoiled heiress Lepida…


From the Ashes

By Melissa Addey,

Book cover of From the Ashes

Nancy Kimball Author Of Unseen Love

From the list on that put the Roman in romance.

Who am I?

When I watched the Ridley Scott film Gladiator for the first time, I knew then my heart belonged in Ancient Rome. Countless books, films, research papers, museums, and shenanigans later, that is still true. I was a master of make-believe by age ten, and when the time was right, both passions fused into my debut novel, also set in Ancient Rome. I don’t want to just read or write a good book. I want to experience Ancient Rome vicariously through powerful characters that linger in my memory long after the last page. If that’s you too, give these a try. 

Nancy's book list on that put the Roman in romance

Why did Nancy love this book?

For as many fiction novels surrounding the Colosseum as I have read, this was the first one written from the stagehands, if you will, and I devoured it in a single sitting. I almost passed on it because the model on the cover is a stock photo that’s everywhere in the genre covers but I'm so glad I didn’t. Experience Pompeii’s destruction, and the building and inauguration of the Colosseum, like never before. Althea and Marcus will drag you through some of the most well-written world building and seamless research into these two events as you face calamity after calamity with them. This novel is both absolutely a romance, and barely a romance, which will make sense when you’re in the final pages of this unforgettable story.  

By Melissa Addey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From the Ashes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rome, 80AD. A gigantic new amphitheatre is being built. The Emperor has plans for gladiatorial Games on a scale no-one has ever seen before. But the Games don't just happen. They must be made. And Marcus, the man in charge of creating them, has just lost everything he held dear when Pompeii disappeared under the searing wrath of Vesuvius. Now it will fall to Althea, the slave woman who serves as his scribe, to ensure the Colosseum is inaugurated on time - and that Marcus makes his way out of the darkness that calls to him.

First in the Colosseum…


Looking at Lovemaking

By John Clarke,

Book cover of Looking at Lovemaking: Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250

Daisy Dunn Author Of Catullus' Bedspread: The Life of Rome's Most Erotic Poet

From the list on love and sex in ancient rome.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by the ancient world. Some of my happiest childhood memories involve trips to Roman villas in Britain, theatres in Sicily, and museums across Europe. After studying Classics at Oxford, I completed a Masters and then a Ph.D., eager to gain as strong a grounding in the ancient world as I could before pursuing a career as an author. Ancient history has a reputation for being complicated. When I write books, I strive not to simplify the past, but rather to provide an engaging, memorable, and above all enjoyable path into it. 

Daisy's book list on love and sex in ancient rome

Why did Daisy love this book?

This book is truly a staple for the study of Roman sex through Roman art. Clarke, a professor at the University of Texas, draws attention to the kind of details in ancient paintings and everyday objects we may miss when viewing them from behind museum glass, and interprets them to cast new light upon how the Romans viewed themselves as sexual beings. The pictures are also great. 

By John Clarke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Looking at Lovemaking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What did sex mean to the ancient Romans? In this lavishly illustrated study, John R. Clarke investigates a rich assortment of Roman erotic art to answer this question--and along the way, he reveals a society quite different from our own. Clarke reevaluates our understanding of Roman art and society in a study informed by recent gender and cultural studies, and focusing for the first time on attitudes toward the erotic among both the Roman non-elite and women. This splendid volume is the first study of erotic art and sexuality to set these works--many newly discovered and previously unpublished--in their ancient…


Book cover of Catiline's War, The Jugurthine War, Histories

Philip Matyszak Author Of Hercules: The First Superhero

From the list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans.

Who am I?

They say true happiness is finding something you love, and getting paid to do it, which makes me one happy bunny. Ancient history has been my passion, my hobby and my job for the past three decades, and I still wake up every morning looking forward to another day of it. Thanks to the internet I can study the classics and still hike in the mountains and kayak the mountain lakes of my corner of British Columbia. It doesn't get better than this.

Philip's book list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans

Why did Philip love this book?

A self-contained description of a war fought in Africa against an ambitious monarch, in which the Roman superpower struggles with an elusive enemy. Roman efforts are badly hampered by corrupt generals and Sallust, writing a generation later makes no attempt to conceal his contempt for the aristocratic establishment which happily pocketed Jugurtha's bribes. A book that reads well and is relevant today. Get the Oxford University Press edition, and get the Catiline conspiracy thrown in for free.

By Sallust,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Catiline's War, The Jugurthine War, Histories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sallust (86-c. 35 bc) is the earliest Roman historian of whom complete works survive, a senator of the Roman Republic and younger contemporary of Cicero, Pompey and Julius Caesar. His Catiline's War tells of the conspiracy in 63 bc led by L. Sergius Catilina, who plotted to assassinate numerous senators and take control of the government, but was thwarted by Cicero. Sallust's vivid account of Roman public life shows a Republic in decline, prey to moral corruption and internal strife. In The Jugurthine War he describes Rome's fight in Africa against the king of the Numidians from 111 to 105…


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