I read this book because of the unusual setting, ancient Rome during the reign of Caligula, then I found out that the hero was a real historical figure. it was such a fascinating tale that I went to wikipedia to find out more and was astounded by the author's ability to fill in gaps in the historical record using her imagination.
As an aside, I was also pleasantly surprised by the Christiany angle, some of which came on the heels of some spicy love scenes. Kincaid has a deft touch as a writer and it shows in her skillful handling of what some might consider a touchy subject.
I gave it 4/5 stars only because the love scenes in the first half of the book were straight purple prose. You know it's not a good sign when you start giggling during the love scene.