Helena is taken away from England by the would-be next Caesar who falls ion love with her despite himself. He takes her to Europe and promises her that in time she will be taken to Rome. She leaves behind her all that she has known and her father the King and is introduced into a world where she means almost nothing with her husband being the main attraction.
A couple of chapters in and the story starts to feel like it is going somewhere because the scenery changes and Helena is geographically closer to more interesting places and the centre of the world at that time- Rome.
Up to this stage the characters are rather one-dimensional and the love affair between Helena and her husband was limited to a glance at a dinner and a request from her father for her hand in marriage.