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5.0 out of 5 stars A passionate story with an amazing setting, 10 Jun 2012
Alba has led a fairly happy and luxurious life in ancient Rome with her husband Lucious, but things are about to take a turn. After years of being unable to conceive, the couple has grown apart. Not only this, but she discovers her husband isn't the good man she thought he was. Lucious is unable to give her the children she wants, and as it turns out, he suddenly needs her to get pregnant in order to satisfy a potential patron. A patron who could help them to keep running the expensive Gladiator School that funds their fine lifestyle. The only answer is for Alba to sleep with a gladiator of her husband's choosing who can help her conceive and she isn't given a choice in the matter. Unfortunately, she has already had her eye on one in particular due to the lonliness she had been feeling and now she desires no other. How can she be married to one man, sleep with another on her husband's orders, and pine for the one she wants the most?

From the start I was drawn into the setting. What's not to like about a woman who has the attention of not one but two gladiators in ancient Rome? If only there were more books written in this setting. Despite it being more along the lines of erotica than romance, it does have a love story and a plot. Neither were as deep as you might find in some novels, but there was enough that it wasn't all lust-filled scenes. Readers will get a taste of the culture, history and lifestyles from this period, along with some of the politics and violence. It should be noted that those who are more bashful and conservative should stay away. There are m/m, m/f, m/f/m, and a brief f/f scene, along with some exhibition. I thought it was very well done, but we all have our own reading preferences to consider.

I must admit the author kept me guessing the whole time on how things were going to work out with the gladiators. It seemed like a hopeless situation, yet I had to believe it would end on a happy note. There were some exciting moments, along with pain-filled ones, but it all added depth and built momentum for what would eventually occur. There were even a few surprising twists. Every character had at least some developement, and I felt it was enough for the genre it was written. Alba even spent a considerable amount of time contemplating the plight of slaves and the treatment they received by those who controlled them. She was freeborn herself, but didn't like the concept of any one person being better than others. It explained a lot of her actions as the book progressed.

All I can say is if you're looking for an erotica novel with more depth than most and an exciting setting that is sadly underused, this may be the one for you. My Wicked Gladiators has the excitement of ancient Rome, the passion of impossible love, and the suspense to keep you turning the pages. I enjoyed every minute of it and wish I could find more like it.
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My Wicked Gladiators
My Wicked Gladiators by Lauren Hawkeye (Mass Market Paperback - 5 Jun 2012)
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