The House With The Golden Door

The House With The Golden Door


Amara has escaped her life as a slave in Pompeii's most notorious brothel. She now has a house, fine clothes, servants – but all of these are gifts from her patron, hers for as long as she keeps her place in his affections.

As she adjusts to this new life, Amara is still haunted by her past. At night she dreams of the wolf den, and the women she left behind. By day, she is pursued by her former slavemaster. In order to be truly free, she will need to be as ruthless as he is.

Amara knows she can draw strength from Venus, the goddess of love. Yet falling in love herself may prove to be her downfall.

The House with the Golden Door is the stunning second novel in Elodie Harper's celebrated Wolf Den Trilogy, which reimagines the lives of women who have long been overlooked.

Our Review

"Noboy in the brothel was branded," she says. "It would have reduced our value. But sometimes, I think there is not a piece of my skin that was left unmarked."

I loved The Wolf Den when I read it so I couldn't wait to dive into The House With The Golden Door. 

I relished every page of this book. I loved the way all the characters interacted with each other and the way the author delves into the Pompeii life and drags us along with her. 

The book begins with Amara adjusting to her new life as a Freedwoman. She is relishing the freedoms allowed to her but she is haunted by her past in the brothel and memories of the friends she left behind. 

"Her past is the whirlpool Charybodis, putting her down under the waves where she cannot breathe." 

Added to that is the knowledge that her decisions are not fully her own. Amara is a concubine and her luxurious home is dependent on her keeping her lover's interest and in not angering him andshe can't let him know how turbulent her mind is.

"It doesn't matter that she worked in a brothel, that she outwitted the most violent pimp in Pompeii, or that she could move mountains with her rage. This is not what her lover wants to see, so she hides it all."

Amara knows her situation is not stable and the readers realy feel for her. 

While I was reading I had several people react with suprise when I said that the book was a trilogy about a prostitute living in Pompeii, but I was so enthusiastic when I described it that they all expressed interest in reading it themselves. 

Elodie Harper's writitng really is something else,her descriptions really conjure a scene and make it something the reader would like to experience themselves. 

"The slave market in Pompeii is much smaller than the giant harbour at Puteoli where Felix bought her and Dido, but Amara can still feel her heart contract watching the human cargo being unloaded onto the docks."

I loved the little quotations at the start of each chapter on slavery, prostitution or just quotes from Latin texts. They fitted well with the book and some of these quotes were simply beautiful. 

"I've never been so foolish in my young life, I swear,

Or done one thing that I've regretted more,

Than going from you last night and leaving you alone, 

Trying to hide how desperately I love you." 

I am totally invested in Amara's story and I cannot wait to read the final book in the series when it comes out later this year. I am not exaggerating when I say this is one of my favourite reads of 2023. 

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 5/5

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