Title: The Gladiator’s Master
Authors: Fae Sutherland
& Marguerite Labbe
Genre: M/M Romance, Historical
Publisher: Carina Press
Source: Review copy from publisher
“When Roman politician Caelius inherits a stable of gladiators, there is one who captures his attention above the others...one whose eyes gleam with hate, pride and desire.
Forced into slavery by Roman greed, Gaidres can barely conceal his contempt toward his new Dominus. Gaidres has a plan: kill Caelius and end the lineage of the Roman family that enslaved him. For his plan to succeed, he must make a show of respect and obedience-even when called on to service his master's desires.
Gaidres is shocked to learn that in the confines of his quarters, Caelius doesn't want to dominate his slave, but to be taken by him. The sex is explosive as they break society's taboos and, to Gaidres's dismay, they form a tenuous relationship. Even when Caelius learns of Gaidres's plans for revenge, he knows he can't live without his perfect lover. Is he willing to risk it all to tame his gladiator's heart?”
Let me start this review by saying: Holy Freaking Monkeys this book was STEAMY SIZZLING HOT! Getting that out of the way I can tell you The Gladiator’s Master was a very nice surprise. If I’m honest I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did, but this book was great in many ways.
Gaidres is a man who lives for revenge. His previous owner Cruxos came to his little town and not only took him as a slave, he also murdered his lover. After Cruxos death, his nephew Caelius has inherited him and the ludus where Gaidres has lived the last couple of years. Caelius may not be the man who took him as a slave but just by sharing Cruxos blood Gaidres considers him guilty, therefore in his revenge plans he needs to die too.
After arriving to the ludus and meeting his new gladiators for the first time Caelius is appalled at the conditions they have been living. His uncle’s “care” left a lot to be desired. Caelius is a man who doesn’t enjoy violence but see the ludus as an opportunity to increase his political power; for that reason he wants to bring the ludus back to his former glory and decides to invest in the gladiators welfare. One gladiator has caught his eye, not only he is the one in the best shape but Gaidres also has a daring look. Caelius names Gaidres as the ludus representative and mediator. But what Caelius really wants is for Gaidres to come willingly to his bed.
Gaidres is intrigued by Caelius, not only he is a different kind of dominus but he is also a very attractive man. Gaidres knows Caelius wants him and if he is honest with himself he wants him too. Making his decision, Gaidres come to Caelius’ bed. On the beginning he wants to get closer to Caelius just to wait for the perfect opportunity to kill him, but after spending some time with Caelius Gaidres realizes that the Roman he should hate is slowly stealing a place in his heart. A place Caelius will be very please to keep if just Gaidres allows him.
I really liked Gaidres, he is the perfect tortured hero who needs to leave his sad and traumatic past behind to be able to embrace his future and all the good things that will come with it.
Even though I liked caelius I found his character a bit too modern for the times. I’m not so sure how a Roman society would have accepts his actions without a problem.
My final thought: As I said before I really loved The Gladiator’s Master. This book was not only sexy but also emotional intense. The characters are strong and well developed, the story line is interesting and entangling and the writing was beautiful. There are many (great) sex scenes but they are all masterfully written. At no time they felt like fillers but more like an important part in the development of the relationship.
The Gladiator’s Master is a book you will read with a grin on your face and a book I recommend you if you like m/m sexy stories.
My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
Other reviews Goodreads