AD 69. Nero is dead. The Roman Empire is up for the taking. With bloodshed spilling out of the palace and into the streets of Rome, chaos has become the status quo. The Year of Four Emperors will change everything?especially the lives of two sisters with a very personal stake in the outcome . . . Elegant and ambitious, Cornelia embodies the essence of the perfect Roman wife. She lives to see her loyal husband crowned Emperor. Her sister, Marcella, is more withdrawn, content to witness history rather than make it. Even so, Marcella has her share of distinguished suitors, from a cutthroat contender for the throne to a politician's son who swears he will be Emperor. When a bloody coup turns their world upside down, Cornelia and Marcella must maneuver carefully just to stay alive. As Cornelia tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered dreams, Marcella discovers a hidden talent for influencing the most powerful men in Rome. But in the end there can only be one Emperor . . . and one Empress.