Marius is a soldier in Rome. He’s a little older, and he’s quite tired. However, he’s been invited to be a guest at a upper level politician’s home and attend a few events before he returns to his country estate.
Decimus is a young, up and coming politician and is introduced to Marius at a party. Right away, Decimus decides to try to befriend Marius because he’d be good to have on his side. He thinks Marius would go a long way to helping him with his career.
The two men do hit it off, somewhat, and Marius accompanies Decimus to a few places like the Colosseum and the Forum, and it’s there things start to blur a bit. After a particularly animated session at the Forum, Decimus is a bit…wound up? He’s out of control, and the only way Marius can think of to get him to relax is to get on his knees, lift Decimus’ toga, and…well…you know. Decimus doesn’t know what the hell’s going on, only he enjoyed it and would like to (perhaps?) have more.
I’m just not really sure what happened next. It’s mentioned Decimus and Marius have more sex, and they do spend more time together, but then all of a sudden, they weren’t. Marius overhears Decimus tell his “uncle” Porcius he was only using him to further his career. Porcius set that up, though. He’s a real ass.
Fast forward a bit, and Decimus’ sister convinces him to go after Marius and tell him he loves him. Marius goes along, and finds himself outside of Marius’ country estate ready to kiss him and fall into his arms. Only…he can’t because a woman appears next to Marius and introduces herself as MARIUS’ WIFE! That was it for me. Stick a fork in me because I was DONE. I was having trouble with the story already because it felt choppy and like I was missing something, but I cannot, cannot abide by adultery. I don’t care if that was done back in ancient times (because we all know politicians and soldiers often kept lovers, especially young men), I will not have any part of it from any MC in a book I’m reading for pleasure. I would have put it down right then and there, but I’d made a commitment, and there were only a few pages left. I should also say it’s lucky I love my Kindle, or she’d have been in a heap on the floor after I threw her against the wall.
I chose this story for this week’s Genre challenge because I’m not a historical reader at all. I don’t know why, I just find them to be boring. I must need a contemporary atmosphere, and I know I need contemporary language. However, I figured if I was going to go, I may as well go big. Maybe I should have just stuck with a nice Regency.
All in all, I wasn’t going to rate Cursus Honorum very highly anyway because, as I said, I thought the story was choppy, and I had a hard time following it, but the second the adultery was brought in, that was it. I’ve never given a rating this low in my life, but my conscience won’t let me go any higher. I’m sorry I can’t make myself recommend this book to anyone.
This review is part of our September Reading Challenge Month for Genre Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win a fabulous prize from Less Than Three Press. Three lucky winners will each receive a selection of print books. Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing grand prize sponsored by Dreamspinner Press (a loaded Kindle fire filled with DSP books!). You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on Genre Week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes!