Monday, October 23, 2023

Blog Tour: The Gardens of Byzantium by J F Hughes

Title: The Gardens of Byzantium 
Author: J.F. Hughes
Release date: October 24, 2023
Price: $10.99 USD (paperback)
ISBN (paperback): 979-8218219819
Pages: 190


The Gardens of Byzantium Portrays Heartbreak During Roman-Persian War

“An evocative, rich portrait of a tumultuous time, in which the main characters must ascertain which of them is indeed the captive of the other…Hughes possesses a sense of the past that enables us to see and sometimes even to hear his various subjects, conveying a compelling sense of mystery and inevitability.” - Susanna Moore, author of In the Cut, The Whiteness of Bones, and The Lost Wife

Set in 622 A.D. during the decades-long war between the Persian and Eastern Roman empires, The Gardens of Byzantium (Oct. 24, 2023; $10.99 US; ISBN 979-8218219819; softcover; 190 pages) offers a unique backdrop for a tragic love story. Through descriptive language and historical references, author J.F. Hughes fully immerses readers in this tumultuous time period full of conflict, uncertainty, and fear.

The main characters, Asana and Antonius, are on opposing sides of the war, which began before Asana was even born. Her entire life has been one of turmoil and change. Every year found her uprooted and brought to another foreign land to live an austere life in a garrison with her father, an officer in the Persian Army. But the middle of a war is no place for such a gentle soul.

Before long, she is swept away from her family and forced to flee on the back of her beloved horse. Fate leads her into the hands of a handsome and mysterious Roman soldier named Antonius who sequesters her in a beautiful palace in the heart of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine empire.

Asana begins to fall for him, and at last it seems as though she may have found an oasis of happiness in her war-torn world. That is, until news of a Persian army marching toward the city upends her life again, setting in motion an unstoppable chain of events that bring the story to its breathtaking and tragic conclusion.

“I wanted to write a romance novel that is different from those filling the shelves today. You don’t often see a love story set in the Byzantine era, which is a truly dramatic and vivid time. And, unlike most romances, my readers should not expect a happily-ever-after ending to this story,” explains J.F. Hughes.

Hughes curated a chapter-by-chapter musical accompaniment for The Gardens of Byzantium to set the tone for the story. Readers can listen to the prepared playlist at or choose their own favorite versions of the classical compositions listed at the beginning of the book.

To learn more about The Gardens of Byzantium, please visit:

About the Author

Born in New York City and raised in New Jersey, J.F. Hughes graduated college with a degree in Business. He works full-time as a property manager and moonlights as a music teacher. Creative at heart, Hughes has been actively pursuing his passion for writing and is excited to launch his debut fiction novel, The Gardens of Byzantium. To learn more, please visit or follow him on Twitter/X @JFHbooks.

My Review

The Gardens of Byzantium is a intriguing romance by J F Hughes. I am a huge fan of historical fiction and this is my first experience in reading this time period in history. I loved the historical details that made me feel as though I had been travelled back in time. There were a few scenes that were slower than most but overall, the book was a great read. 

I am giving The Gardens of Byzantium four stars. I recommend it for readers who enjoy reading historical romance. I would be interested in reading more books written by the talented J F Hughes to see where else they will take their fans. 

I received a paperback copy of J F Hughes’ The Gardens of Byzantium from the publisher, but was not required to write a positive review. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion. 

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