Hope Unchained and Hope’s Reward

Like all the volumes of the Light in the Empire series, Hope Unchained and Hope’s Reward, both set in AD 106, can be read and enjoyed as stand-alones, but they share some characters. The families of Tribune Gracchus, Ariana of Dacia, Matti of Syria, and Aristarchus of Thessalonica are key players in these two stories of hope, faithfulness, forgiveness, and changed lives set in Dacia, Thessalonica, and points between. The story that features Ariana’s brother, Diegis, is told in True Freedom (AD 118 in Rome).

True Freedom cover

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Can the deepest loss bring the greatest gain?

Rome’s conquering army took Ariana’s family and freedom, but nothing can take her faith in Jesus. When she rescues a tribune’s wife from certain death, her reward is freedom and a chance to free her brother and sister. But first she must catch up with the slave caravan before they vanish forever, and tracking them from Dacia to the coast seems impossible for one woman alone.

Discharged from the legion with a hand crippled by a Dacian knife, Donatus faces a future without hope. When the tribune asks him to escort Ariana on her quest, it’s the only work he can find. It means four weeks with a Dacian woman and a gladiator bodyguard, but it takes money to eat. A man without options must take what he can get.

But a lot can happen in four weeks. Even battle-hardened men can be touched by love and forgiveness, and it’s easier to face an enemy with a sword than to face the truth. When his moment of truth comes, what will he choose, and what will that mean for both of them?

Light in the Empire Series: Dangerous times, difficult friendships, lives transformed by forgiveness and love

Hope Unchained is the seventh volume in the Light in the Empire series, a mosaic of stories that follow the interconnected lives of the members of several Roman families during the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian. The twelve novels of the series will take you around the Empire, from Germania and Britannia to Thracia, Dacia, and Judaea and, of course, to Rome itself.

Historical background for Hope Unchained

Hope's Reward cover

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and local bookstores as special order.

Must the secrets we hide destroy our hope for a future?

For a gladiator slave, each time you step on the sand, it’s kill or die. When Ursus decides to follow Jesus, he must choose to die the next time he’s ordered to fight…or run away. He runs, taking again his childhood name, Matti. But he isn’t just trying to escape. He’s running to Thessalonica, where he hopes to find other Christians like the woman who led him to faith.

When Felicia’s new husband, Falco, almost kills her in a fit of rage, her uncle won’t help her end the marriage with his business partner. He will send her to her sister in Thessalonica, but only if she tells no one she plans to divorce Falco and demand her dowry back before she gets there. When Matti interrupts a robbery too late to save Felicia’s money for traveling by sea, he offers to bodyguard and escort her overland to their mutual destination.

After Matti risks everything to save her from Falco’s assassins, Felicia fears taking the danger to her sister’s family. When his Christian friends take them in, she discovers the deepest desires of her heart. But will the secrets of Matti’s past make a future together impossible?

Light in the Empire Series: Dangerous times, difficult friendships, lives transformed by forgiveness and love

Hope’s Reward is the ninth volume in the Light in the Empire series, a mosaic of stories that follow the interconnected lives of the members of several Roman families during the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian. The twelve novels of the series will take you around the Empire, from Germania and Britannia to Thracia, Dacia, and Judaea and, of course, to Rome itself.

Historical background for Hope’s Reward

Volume 1: Forgiven
Now available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and international Amazon sites. Available at Kobo world wide and at Barnes & Noble in paperback, hardcover, and Nook (epub).

Volume 2: Blind Ambition
Now available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and international Amazon sites. Available at Kobo world wide and at Barnes & Noble in paperback, hardcover, and Nook (epub).

Volume 3: The Legacy
Now available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and international Amazon sites. Available at Kobo world wide and at Barnes & Noble in paperback, hardcover, and Nook (epub).

Volume 4: Faithful
Now available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com.au, and international Amazon sites. Available at Kobo world wide and at Barnes & Noble in paperback, hardcover, and Nook (epub).

Volume 5: Second Chances
Now available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com.au, and international Amazon sites. Available at Kobo world wide and at Barnes & Noble in paperback, hardcover, and Nook (epub).

Volume 6: True Freedom
Now available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com.au, and international Amazon sites. Available at Kobo world wide and at Barnes & Noble in paperback, hardcover, and Nook (epub).

Volume 8: Honor Bound
Now available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com.au, and international Amazon sites. Available at Kobo world wide and at Barnes & Noble in paperback, hardcover, and Nook (epub).

Volume 10: More Than Honor
Now available in paperback, hardcover, and Kindle formats at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com.au, and international Amazon sites. Available at Kobo world wide and at Barnes & Noble in paperback, hardcover, and Nook (epub).

Important aspects of Roman history for each can be found in the short articles at the end of each novel linked here and in longer articles in this website.

Fact and Fiction by Carol Ashby