My editor has misplaced a book in her brain. She hopes someone can tell her what it is. I know there's a community for this sort of thing, but I can't remember the community name, so I'm posting here and hopefully someone will either recognize the book or point me at the community. :)
Hmm. I read this at least three-four years ago I think (could be up to six), and it kinda feels like it might have been a hardcover, though I'm not positive. I don't recall anything about the author or the title, nor when or where I was reading it.
I remember it as being the middle (second?) of a series. The hero is a soldier, married to a wealthy woman from the merchant class, and this is an anomaly as classes rarely cross. As another anomaly he has magical abilities that he keeps secret and shouldn't have. I'm pretty sure he's of the nobility. (I got the sense he'd met and married and learned about his abilities in the previous title(s).)
He gets some kind of promotion, I think and is sent to the outlying parts of the empire/kingdom and ends up taking over a local villa and establishing himself and his army. I recall a sense of a neighboring area/kingdom getting restless. There's a vaguely Romanesque feel to the army.
He settles in to this area and discovers that a local magistrate or businessman type has been fomenting trouble (a slight rebellion against the current king/emperor?) and uses his magic to enter into the guy's villa unseen and kill him. Though it's convenient he's dead, there's nothing anyone can accuse him of, because no one knows of his magic.
He corresponds with his wife through occasional letters and this keeps him aware of what's happening in the capital. There might be other correspondences as well, a military friend and an uncle perhaps.
There's a battle towards the end with the neighboring country and he ends up injured (I think) but is successful and is recalled back to the capital for some reward.
I recall really getting absorbed into this world and the book, and noting I should find the rest of the series, but life intruded, other books were read and I was distracted. Yet I haven't been able to forget it, and still try to figure out what it was so I could find the rest.
ETA: My God, LJ knows all and knows all *fast*! The book in question is SCION OF CYADOR, by L. E. Modesitt Jr, and janne got the answer to me within 5 minutes of me asking. Sheesh!
ETA again: My editor is *thrilled*. I don't think she believed I'd be able to get an answer from LJ, since she's been asking people for months. You guys rule. *beam*