The Gladiator's Master

The Gladiator's Master - Marguerite Labbe, Fae Sutherland This is my first Romance mm romance, so I may be biased, but it was well done. I liked that the author made her homework and researched facts about that time.

The relationship between Caelius and Gaidres is a love/hate one, but mostly hate, from Gaidres' side. He is a slave since 3 years ago and has lost his lover and his family because of the Romans. And worst of all, it happened because of a tyrant, who was the uncle of Caelius. So although he agrees to be Caelius' lover, he does it somewhat reluctantly (ok, reluctantly before and after; in the middle he is very willingly). Doesn't matter that Caelius is a good master and nice to everyone, Gaidres hates him and has swore to kill him.

One of my problems consists in that fact. Caelius knows Gaidres wants to murder him eventually, but he "trusts him with his life". Huh? And everyday, Caelius asks Gaidres if please can he refrain from killing him that day? And Gaidres agrees, everyday. Huh? It doesn't make any sense. My other problem was that Gaidres was just too moody for about half of the book. Yes, he has a terrible past. Yes, he is slave to the men he hates. Yes, he lost the love of his life. So why the hell Caelius falls for this moody guy? Oh yes, because he is strong, he gives what Caelius wants (his c***) and because he resembles a lion. Right.

I almost quit when I read that Caelius was married. I am glad I didn't. His marriage was a arranged one, his wife knew that he liked men. And well, she only served for this story for one purpose: to bear his son and then die, leaving a baby for Caelius and his lover. Sad but true.

There were a lot of cheesy moments that were even more cheesy because Gaidres has been so moody and angry for half of the book, and then when he has the chance and is in touch with the children in Caelius' home, plus when he starts to love Caelius' baby, was a little corny. Like, oh ok, he is not so bad, he is cute with children, he wants a family of his own, he loves Caelius and will eventually end together and raise the baby together. In theory, it was cute, but since I just didn't like Gaidres' moodiness and then, oh, his tender heart, it was MEH for me.

As for the characters, I did not fall for them. I wasn't exactly rooting for them. Caelius was too perfect and nice (which would have been fine but he was some kind of ruler and not a believable one). Gaidres... I've said too much about him, anyway.

There are many angry sex scenes, some of them were very hot (against the wall, my! on the floor, in the empty amphitheater, etc), but it made Caelius too needy of Gaidres' body for my taste, and Gaidres was not very nice in the after. And I don't know, the first couple of scenes were my, very erotic, but eventually I did not feel anything about them. They were just ok, like an echo from the last one. Wasn't boring, wasn't bad, but wasn't exciting either.

I think the end was satisfactory although a bit rushed. They are all settled and happy together and then BAM! we have another problem, but there are only a couple of pages left.