Cover Image: The House with the Golden Door

The House with the Golden Door

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I adored Harper's first novel, The Wolf Den and this follow up was equally as enthralling and heartbreaking. As the fortunes of the prostitutes in the Wolf Den become ever more precarious as they rise in the social ranks due to attentions from powerful men, no one can be trusted and I truly was gripped by ever page.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you so much to Head of Zeus and NetGalley for an e-arc of this book.

3.5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ rounded up to 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I thoroughly enjoyed The House with my he Golden Door and am looking forward to the final book in this series.

In this instalment we see Amara out of the Wolf Den and now looked after by her patron. In this book Amara starts to make some rather stupid decisions and acts without thinking. This was at times incredibly frustrating as we know her to be a very intelligent and educated person. However, it is perhaps understandable after gaining freedom that she behaves recklessly. 

I will say, Britannica is the only one with any sense, she was our main source of reason in this book. I hope we see more of her. I also hope Amara becomes less trusting and more ruthless.
Was this review helpful?
This book was absolutely incredible, especially as a sequel to one of my favourite books. 

Amara is a brilliantly written character and I love how she didn't compromise her values despite her change in circumstances from the wolf den to her new house. She is so fierce and brave and what I really enjoyed about her character was that she was allowed to handle the trauma that she received in the first book and from being enslaved whilst navigating life as a freedwoman and a courtesan. The other women she surrounded herself with, such as Julia and Drusilla are equally unique characters and I really hope that we see them again in the next book or similarly vibrant characters. Rufus and Felix were characters I really hated by the end of the book, I already intensely disliked Felix but this book just cinched it for me. I so desperately want Amara to have a happy ending but at this point, I wouldn't put it past Elodie Harper to make me cry so hard at the end of her arc in the next book 

The plot was just brilliant and like the first book, it followed Amara on her journey to raise herself out of the wolf den. Not only is she now trying to do this with Rufus' patronage for herself but she attempts to do the same to some of her old friends. With carrying degrees of success and drama that add to the plot because oh my days this story was just absolutely incredible and had me on tenterhooks from the first page. Of course, I was already invested from book one but this just had me even more attached to the story of Amara and I am so excited, and afraid, to see where it goes for everyone but especially Amara after everything that went down in this book. 

The writing was absolutely incredible. Not only does Elodie Harper manage to weave such a beautiful story but she also manages to create such a perfect world for it to exist. The way that she describes Pompeii and everything that happens is absolutely perfect. Seriously this book is just brilliant.
Was this review helpful?
Truly loved this book. An excellent follow on to the Wolf Den and I can't believe I have to wait so long for the next instalment. Harper is a transportive writer - I felt like I was right there in Pompeii with Amara. I particularly loved the development and expolration of relationships (both romantic and not) within this book. I'd whole-heartedly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely adored Elodie's first title 'The wolf Den' and as soon as I found out there would be a sequel I know I had to have it! Absolutely loved this book!
Was this review helpful?
I was really excited to read this sequel to The Wolf Den and learn more about Amara's story. I found the first book a well-researched albeit gruelling read and was curious to see where the story would go now that Amara has gained at least a little agency. We find her in the eponymous 'House with the Golden Door' where she is being kept as a concubine for her patron Rufus. 

I didn't find this book as difficult to read as the first one as Amara is an undoubtedly better position. however she faces struggles of a different kind and still has to try to outfox her old master Felix. 

The story itself is good but what really brings Pompeii alive in these books is the author's attention to detail and understanding of Ancient Rome. I'm a Classics teacher and Classicist and the detail is really spot on. If the content wasn't so adult I would definitely recommend it for my pupils studying Pompeii.

I'm very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series and can only hope Amara finally gets a chance to stab Felix in the face.
Was this review helpful?
This was a totally epic book 2! I couldn't put it down and read this in 24 hours.
The blurb tells you what you need to know but I'd recommend going into it blind for all the surprises, twists and turns.
I can't wait for book 3!!! Or anything else the author is going to write in the future.

If you like roman/Greek historical fiction with strong female characters that's not slow paced, you gotta pick this one up for sure.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
“There is always a price to pay for underestimating a woman.”


Thank you so so much to Amy over at @headofzeus for including me on the #blogtour for this incredible book and for my #gifted copy! 
The wolf den was a top fave of mine from last year so I was beyond excited to read this one … and it did not disappoint. 

"Freed from Pompeii's brothel. Owned as a courtesan. Determined to have her revenge. Her name is Amara. What will she risk for power?"

The house with the golden door was just as captivating, powerful and moving as the first and Elodie’s writing just as beautiful, evocative and immersive as ever! The attention to detail in these books is outstanding! The characters will take you hold, the story will grip you and you will feel like you are walking through the streets of Pompeii yourself! 

No words will do this book or this series justice so I will just say, if you loved The wolf den, you will love this! If you haven’t picked this series up yet and it sounds like your kinda thing then I can’t recommend you pick it up soon enough. If it doesn’t, honestly still give it a go! 

I also just need to mention my absolute love for Brittanica 💪🏼💖 
I just loved her development throughout this book .. she is strong, loyal and murderous! Her friendship with Amara was one of my favourite parts of this whole book! Love her! 

"Death is nature's gift. It's better to know that suffering ends. Once we accept this life is all we have, we can make better use of it'
Was this review helpful?
“Lovers, like bees, live a honeyed life” (Graffiti, Pompeii)

Warning! There are some spoilers ahead for The Wolf Den, one of my favourite books of 2021, so if you’ve not read it yet then you might want to skip this

The House with the Golden Door continues the story of Amara who has escaped Pompeii’s infamous Lupanar brothel in A.D. 75. Freed from slavery by Admiral Pliny, she now has a rich patron, Rufus, who likes his “little bird” to be slim and fragile

Despite being a freedwoman, Amara’s life and financial security depend on Rufus remaining infatuated. Knowing his ardour will wane and being in considerable debt, Amara starts to make some dangerous business decisions that pull her back into the orbit of Felix, pimp and owner of the Lupanar. I read the final two thirds of the book with a sense of impending doom, worrying that everything that Amara had worked for was about to be taken away

What I love about both of these books is how they bring Pompeii to life. Each chapter starts with a quote or graffiti from the town walls. We see inside bath houses, villas and temples and parade the streets for the festivals of Floralia and Saturnalia. Elodie Harper not only brings the town to life, but also the lives of its enslaved women, who are trying to survive in a patriarchal society that endorses the ownership of their names, their bodes and their futures…..Amara it seems has exchanged one type of slavery for another, but she is nothing if not a survivor, a hope that I’m holding onto for book 3
Was this review helpful?
As the second book in the trilogy, this novel begins with Amara settling in to life as a freedwoman - and what that truly entails -  
in the house with the golden door. Following straight on from The Wolf Den, we see Amara struggling to come to terms with her friend's murder, intent on revenge  and determined for justice - but this ends up being served with some (major) consequences. 

I didn't think it was possible for me to love this book more than The Wolf Den  but this book took what that one did so well and just elevated it: a setting that is so transportive  it is the perfect form of escapism; characters you grow to love and root for; a tension and foreboding that grows throughout and which doesn't let you out of its brutal grip until the final pages - and, by that point, you're pretty much ready to have your heart broken all over again. 
Fantastic read!
Was this review helpful?
This is a sequel, and it is useful to have read the original - The Wolf Den - as it sets the scene to introduce Amara, the former whore who has escaped from the brothel and is building a more respectable life for herself in Pompeii.  However, her efforts to buy and then free some of her former friends causes her unexpected difficulties.  And can she ever fall in love, having serviced so many men and learned to mask her true feelings.

The book made me sad, as we learn what it really means to be a Roman slave, owned by another person, and how it impacts life from every angle.  Amara is a brave woman, although Britannica is a real heroine and a great character.  

Its a great read, as good as the first book and taking us deep into a period in history.  Thank you to NetGalley and Head of Zeus for allowing me access to the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I loved Wolf Den and was intrigued to find out how Amara and the other girls lives would play out and I wasn't disappointed. Once again you feel the grittiness of life at this time and also sadly the value of lives and I love that Elodie Harper keeps you guessing on the fortunes of her characters.

A really good read, can't wait for the final book.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to read The House with the Golden Door
Was this review helpful?
Just as beautifully heartbreaking, powerful and emotional as the first instalment, Elodie Harper has absolutely smashed it with this stunning sequel. 

I loved reading about Amara’s life after the first book - I won’t say too much as I don’t want to give away any plot points from the first book. I did find the plot a tiny bit slow in the beginning but it definitely ramped up a few gears and was very exciting as it went on.

I love Elodie’s writing and the research she puts into these books is incredible. I can’t wait for the third and final instalment next year!
Was this review helpful?
Amara is now a free woman and the kept concubine of a rich young man.  However she is not truly free from the brothel, her former pimp threatens her and she worries about her fellow whores.  What Amara does not bargain on is falling in love with a slave.  In order to protect her new life Amara must use all her wits and her friends but can she ever escape her past.
This is such a terrific book!  Harper introduced the reader to the life of a prostitute slave in Pompeii in her first novel and now she has taken her characters further.  the sense of time and place is wonderful, I especially like the little references to known facts about Pompeii eg the grafitti on walls.  The subject matter is unusual and original and the writing is fantastic, I eagerly await the final installment.
Was this review helpful?
Really enjoyed this sequel and second in the Wolf Den trilogy. I read this book not long after the first, but even so the writing easily transported you back to ancient Pompeii and into the lives of Amara and the other she-wolves. 

Elodie Harper is a great storyteller and I found myself racing through the book and feeling tense throughout. The character development is excellent, Amara is quite a flawed and dark character who makes many questionable choices, however you can understand why she does what she has to in order to survive and protect those she cares about. Britannica is my favourite character who has come a long way since the first book and I really hope features heavily in the third too. 

Shortly after finishing this book I was lucky enough to visit Pompeii and I have to say Elodie Harper really helped the place come alive for me, particularly when visiting the infamous brothel itself. Clearly a lot of research went into the history and detail, an immersive read.
Was this review helpful?
Amara is now a freed concubine of Rufus and bears the name of Pliny the Elder. But for this to achieve she had to leave her old friends from the Wolf’s Nest behind. At night she still has nightmares about her pimp Felix. During the day she tries to make sure that Rufus doesn’t get tired of her. Because if she loses her patron, the future may yet look very gloom.

This is the second book in a trilogy set in Pompeii and focusing on the hard lives of women. The house with the golden door is as strong as the first part The wolf den, which is not always easy for an author. I really recommend to read ‘The wolf den’ first as the plot builds on the events and relationships from that book.

Amara is a strong woman facing difficult choices. Her relationship with Felix is complex and at times I could not always understand it. But emotions are not always rational. You can see this in the character of Victoria. Britannica’s character development is great and I also liked Julia and Drusilla, who have become Amara’s new friends.

I’m very curious to see how this story will end. We are close to the known disaster so I suspect the third book will build to a climax. This is an interesting series that can attract a wide audience. And those covers are beautiful.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I’m definitely on a book roll this weekend 🤩 Harper has written a brilliant sequel to Wolf Den as Amara’s story continues. She may have escaped the brothel, but her future is by no means secure. This is a tale of love, sex, violence and the fight for freedom and it’s a great read! Now to wait for book 3 🙂
Was this review helpful?
The House with the Golden Door by Elodie Harper

The Roman city of Pompeii is enjoying its heydey and life is looking good for Amara, who once worked as a prostitute in the city’s most infamous and famous brother, the Wolf Den. She has been rescued by a wealthy man and he is now the only man she serves as one of Pompeii’s most glamorous courtesans. But she can’t leave her friends there behind. She is haunted by their continued suffering while being all too well that her own good fortune is transient. And so Amara sets out to help them, especially her closest friend Victoria, and that means she must go back into the wolf’s lair.

The Wolf Den was my favourite novel of 2021. It brought the streets and houses of Pompeii to life for me in a way no other book has done. I’ve visited the place often and I’ll never see it with the same eyes again thanks to the power of Elodie Harper’s prose and research. I was so pleased that there is more and so I couldn’t wait for The House with the Golden Door. Even before I started reading, I was stunned by the beauty of the cover. These are seriously gorgeous books!

The novels are set during the few years leading up to the eruption of Vesuvius. The fact that we know what lies in store adds such a sense of foreboding and I can’t help hoping that the author takes us right up to these events. But the novels don’t miss the drama of the eruption. Instead, the focus is on the daily lives of these damaged women, as well as on the men who own them, the men who love them and all of the other people who tread these streets as shop workers, slaves, business men, courtesans, inn keepers. I love it.

I think any novel is bound to suffer by comparison with The Wolf Den which, to my mind, is nigh on perfect. The fact that Amara has been removed from that awful brothel of the first novel, a major character in its own right, detracts a little from the power of the second. I also found the storyline involving Victoria difficult. Nevertheless, The House with the Golden Door is an excellent novel and once more it is filled with the details that make these novels stand out. There are so few good novels about Roman women or society in general. This was indeed a man’s world. And it is wonderful to immerse oneself in their stories, although everything about Amara’s life and her past is so hard. But there are moments of joy and happiness and I feel like we’re there with her for it all.

Once more, I should point out that these novels are not salacious or erotic. These might be courtesans and prostitutes but they’re also enslaved women living in a city full of life and colour as well as violence and threat. I can’t wait for the third book. I need to know what happens to Amara next. I’m hoping that in the meantime I can return to this incredible place in person myself.

Other review
The Wolf Den
Was this review helpful?
This book picks up right where The Wolf Den picked up which I loved. I always try to not give any spoilers, so I’ll just say I was shook with the way book one ended - and book two was equally as great. These books hit the spot on everything I love to learn about ancient history and Pompeii! Amara is so smart and ruthless when she needs to be (which I adore), Elodie really had me hooked the whole way through. Now I’ll just be here waiting impatiently for book three! Thank you Amy at @headofzeus for sending me a copy early to review, I absolutely loved it! ❤️
Was this review helpful?
First I'd like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange of an honest opinion. 

I absolutely loved the first book of this trilogy, The Wolf Den, and had high hopes for this sequel. The way Elodie Harper describes her characters make you relate to them, even when you don't agree with their choices. All the characters have a great backstory and a strong personality, capturing the difficulties of women and slaves in ancient Pompeii. 

I'll try and keep this review spoiler free: I love Amara, I love her spirit and that whatever hardship she faces, she picks herself up and does whatever she can to ensure her safety and the safety of her loved ones, even at her own expense at times. She sees the good in people, even when others warn her not to. This book made me happy and hopeful, and at times sad and helpless. I can't wait to read the third book and see more of Amara's adventures (and hopefully see even more of Britannica!!)
Was this review helpful?