Review: The Gladiator's Master- Fae Sutherland and Marguerite Labbe

Title: The Gladiator's Master
Author: Fae Sutherland and Marguerite Labbe 
Release Date: September, 2011
Publisher: Carina Press 
Genre: M/M Erotica
Rating: 5 Hoots
Reviewer: Catherine

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?  (Goodreads)
I have read a couple of books written by this dynamic duo that I have enjoyed very much and this book will be added to that list.

First of all let me say, this is a love story how love stories are supposed to be written. This book is listed as erotica, which while the love scenes are smoking hot, the story and depth in which each character is unfurled make this book so much more than that.

Caelius inherits his uncle’s property and all that it entails, which are a Ludus and its gladiators. Although he does not see things as his other Romans do, he keeps the Property in hopes of furthering his political aspirations. While taking a tour of the property he sees it has been left in horrid conditions and its slaves left in squalor and near starvation. There is one gladiator who does not look as bad as the rest. He has a handsome face and untamed spirit that boils beneath the surface and it catches Caelius’s eye. Gaidres is his name and Caelius sets him out to be his eyes and ears of the Ludas and inform him of what is needed and what provision, if any, have been provided to them.

Gaidres has a hatred for all things Roman and this man is no different. He makes promises of change and betterment for the people, but there is always something that must be paid for with such generosity. He sees the way that the Dominus looks at him and he has heard the rumors but he does not bend to any man, especially a Roman. When he is summoned to the rooms of the Dominus, he plans to make that clear but what he finds is not what he expected at all. It is not Gaidres who will be mastered this night but the Dominus himself. 

Caelius is a gentle soul who sees everyone, slaves included, as people and not as property. They are the people that have watched over him and his family for generation and as such he treats them as family. Caelius's most trusted servants know his secret and his need has driven to such levels that if he does not feel the skin of Gaidres soon he will lose his mind. When he summons Gaidres and tells him that he wants Gaidres to master him Gaidres is shocked and confused. When Gaidres accepts his request he sets in motion the catalyst that will forever changes their lives. 

The feelings that Gaidres starts to feel for Caelius catch him unaware. He feels guilt for at the memory of a lover long ago. Gaidres fights these feelings and turns them into hate, which in return, fuels the lust that he has for Caeluis. The manner in which Caelius acts toward him confuses him. When they are forced to take a trip to Caeluis’ villa in Caere, Gaidres sees the care and love that Caeluis has for his people and they in turn for him. They accept the relationship that they see between Caeluis and Gaidres and treat him with the same love and respects that they have for their Dominus. 

Caeluis finds himself falling for Gaidres and fears that Gaidres’s hate will always be in the way of what could be between them. He would give anything for Gaidres love, but he knows that Gaidres wears his hate like armor. 

I was drawn to this character because of his gentle soul but his quick mind. He would give anything for his gladiator that he not only let into his bed and his life but also into his heart. For fear of rejection and hurt Caeluis, does not say how he feels but you can see it in his actions, the things he says and the way that he willingly give his soul to Gaidres every time they make love. 

Gaidres finds that there is more to Caeluis than he could have ever imagined. Although his actions are confusing, Gaidres comes to respect Caeluis as a man of his word and comes to care for him because of his giving heart and giving soul. 

The inner conflict that each character goes through while trying to find a middle ground is heart breaking at times. In the end, I was left with a sense of hope and love not to mention a big smile on my face. This book was a pleasure to read and I look forward to reading more from these authors...

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