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Publisher's Summary

Honorable Mention in the 2019 Rainbow Book Awards! 

Conquer. Own. Sacrifice everything. 

Gaius Fabius knows a healthy son will secure his claim to the throne of Rome, but his devotion to his illegal Dacian pleasure slave, Allerix, could destroy his dreams of supreme power. Determined to solve the mysterious murder of a dear friend, Gaius searches for clues hidden deep in the palace that threaten his future and his family. 

But while he and Allerix share passions in and out of the bedchamber, another assassination sends Gaius and his captured prince back to the vanquished kingdom of Dacia. In order to protect his beloved concubine, can Gaius find the courage to sacrifice his own heart? 

Lose. Submit. Betray everyone. 

Allerix knows vengeance for the vicious destruction of his homeland is within tantalizing reach, but only if he can convince his Roman master to trust him. When an unexpected ally interrupts his plans, Alle sets aside his lust for revenge to embrace the ecstasy of Gaius’ unbridled devotion. 

But a surprise reunion with a childhood friend and an unforeseen return trip to Dacia remind Allerix of all he has lost while revealing the honor and glory that remain to be won. To earn the respect of his surviving kinsmen, can Alle betray the only man he has ever loved? 

Dominus is a plot-packed m/m historical fantasy set in ancient Rome during the reign of Trajan (AD 98-117). Blood Before Wine is the third book in this four-book alternative history saga - a tumultuous adventure of forbidden love, humor, friendship, political intrigue, deception, and murder. 

©2019 JP Kenwood/JPK Publishing (P)2021 JP Kenwood/JPK Publishing

What listeners say about Blood Before Wine

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  • Natalie Nicole
  • 23-04-2021

I can't wait for book four! Wow!!!

Once again JP Kenwood tops her previous book in the series, leaving me with the worse book hangover ever! I simply did not want this book to end, knowing that I must wait for the fourth and last book of the series. It becomes clear that master (Gaius) and slave (Allerix) have fallen in love with each other but Roman law limits them in so many ways. Because Allerix is a Dacian noble, Gaius is risking treason possessing him. Though Allerix is missing the tattoos most Dacian nobles possess, someone is aware that Allerix is the second son of a Dacian king. Gaius gets in trouble with the Roman Emperor for killing the man that captured and raped Allerix and is sent to Dacia, of all places. He returns to Dacia with Allerix and both are captured. Allerix is reunited with his countrymen and his father the king. The pacing of the book is awesome as it moves from one scene to another, filled with excitement, adventure, humor, and love. Writing a 'spoilerless' review for this book was one of the hardest things I've had to do in recent years. The entire series is absolutely incredible and I dragged this latest book out as long as I could, knowing the next book will not be released until late 2021 or early 2022. there were some scenes that got replayed more times than I care to admit! Once again, Hannibal Hills delivers an INCREDIBLE performance bringing the characters of Ancient Rome to life and Nick J. Russo provided a welcomely warm embrace at the very beginning and end of the book (the voices of the modern-day folk) as I am very familiar with his work. This book has earned ten stars for performance, story, and overall in my humble opinion. Thanks for a great time, JP Kenwood. Can't wait for book four.

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  • Vania
  • 12-04-2021

An epic adventure and an epic love.

I love how this series mixes real historical facts and realistic habits and customs of ancient Rome with the romance part of Gaius and Allerix, which is now a love story much more than just erotica (don’t misinterpret, there is still a ton of pure, unadulterated and intriguing erotica, but their relationship has grown beyond just the physical factor).
With this third instalment we are transported into an adventure where Gaius and Alle have to hide, connive and fight to survive and to be together.
The story is well developed, intriguing and absolutely captivating! The only thing I am not one in love with is the fact that I will have to wait months for the next book .
I love the double narration by Hannibal Hills and Nick J. Russo. The fact that Nick narrates the modern portion at the beginning and the end of the book, makes me feel like he is sort of making an introduction, and then I am immersed in this wonderful historical fantasy masterfully narrated by Hannibal, and then I am transported back to reality by Nick’s voice again.

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  • WY_reader
  • 28-07-2021

Superb characters and intricate settings

Blood Before Wine delivers more of the intrigue, action, and heat of the Dominus series. As Gaius fights to maneuver himself into position as Emperor Trajan's heir, he finds it more difficult, and all the more important, to hide the dangerous identity of his slave Allerix. Meanwhile, Allerix must face the near impossible decisions of following his destiny or his heart. The superb characters and intricately drawn settings of the ancient Roman empire make this series an un-putdownable read. The audio narration is wholly entertaining and highly recommended.

Disclaimer: I received an audio copy for free and am voluntarily leaving a review. All opinions are my own.

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  • Erryn Barratt
  • 17-05-2021

Dominus and his Allerix

I’m really enjoying this series. Yes, it’s violent. Yes, there are difficult scenes. Yes, I’m on the edge of my seat wishing for a happy ending yet knowing it’s unlikely. I went into this book believing it to be the last in the series and the ending, although unsatisfying, did have a finality to it. Then I discovered the author is writing a fourth book (which is right in the syllabus, which proves I don’t actually read them). I can’t wait to listen to it.

Allerix, in this book, is still a slave. He’s a prince in his homeland of Dacia but he was captured by the Romans, then bought by Gaius. Gaius wanted to possess his slave, but he’s quickly discovering the relationship is far more than he bargained for. He’s developed feelings for his slave, all the while knowing his wife and mistress are both pregnant with his child. If it is a boy child, it’s likely he’ll be named Trajan’s successor. So much riding on such a small tiny bundle.

A lot happens in this book, which is why it clocks in at just over sixteen hours. I set aside a chunk of several days, knowing I wanted to spend my time, soaking in the ambiance and embracing the historical aspects of the book. There was very little predictable about this story, and I think that’s why I enjoy this series. To see the developing relationship between Gaius and Allerix is drawing me in, all the while knowing a happy ending is not on the horizon. Allerix is destined to lead the Dacians – if he can return to his homeland – and Gaius is destined to lead the Romans – if he can be named successor.

I hungrily await the next book. I’m always impressed with where this author has taken me, and where she has yet to go. On another note, I want to compliment the two narrators. Nick J. Russo bookends the narration as he handles the modern-day professor who has discovered the extraordinary treasure of a dagger, whose story he seeks, even knowing he’ll likely never know everything. Hannibal Hills carries the load of the book, transporting me to Rome in AD107. Like I said, bring on the final chapter and let me see how Allerix and Gaius resolve their lives.

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  • zoe pappa
  • 07-04-2021

Absolutely brilliant!!!

My God what a journey!!! I don't even know how to begin describing how much I loved this book. The plot is amazing, I never know what's going to happen next and I love being surprised. I loved the politics and the secrets. All the main characters are fantastic and I adore them and care for them. What I loved the most is how the relationship between Gaius and Allerix evolved and changed. It was perfect and the ending made me cry like a baby. I was heartbroken. I really need the next book. This series is fantastic and the audiobooks are brilliant. The narrators were perfect. I had the best time listening this book.

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  • Randall J
  • 11-05-2021

Epic MM Romance in Ancient Rome part 3 amazes!

It is difficult to express how much I enjoyed and became immersed in this third installment of the Dominus story arc, which finds Alle and Gaius reunited following Alle’s imprisonment for stealing a dagger… they’ve truly missed each other, and their reunion sets the stage for a new understanding between them.. There is a lot going on here in over 16 hours of audio (masterfully done I might add), and when the action moves from Rome to Dacia, the story definitely goes in a direction I wasn’t expecting. All of the plot points from the first two books are brought forward (i.e. Lucius’s murder investigation), but full resolution is promised in Book 4, not here. All of the colorful members of Gaius's extensive household family appear, and the ending, which took me by complete surprise, is all the more reason to await Book 4 with much anticipation!

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  • Miss Lesley A Skoyles
  • 22-04-2021

Even better than the previous 2

What an absolute rollercoaster of a listen that was! Tremendous highs and lows along the way and once again superb characterisation and performance by Hannibal Hills. I almost didn't want it to end and am seriously tempted to go right back to the beginning again. Surely this can't be the end for Gaius and Allerix though, we need more of their story and more of this excellent audio version of it.

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  • Mary
  • 11-04-2021

FANTASTIC.

I know this was a long audio, but I wanted it to be longer. Fabulous storytelling, fantastic narration. I was in audio heaven. J.P Kenwood's Roman obsession shines through in the intricacies of her descriptions. For a history geek who loves MM, this series is a must.

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