A hardened survivor of more than a dozen gladiatorial combats, Valens’s raw masculinity fuels many women’s sexual fantasies. He is outside polite society, and Roman noblewoman Julia Antonia knows she should have nothing to do with a man who is little more than a slave. But with a wisp of scandal clinging to her stola, Julia is drawn inexorably toward the forbidden danger he represents. For Valens, Julia is a tantalizing reminder of the life he’d been torn from. To claim her, he must fight one final time–and win!
Before I begin, please forgive me for the amount of gushing I will be doing about this book. This is my second book by Michelle Styles, and oh my word what a doozy this is. I have quickly become a huge fan of Ms Styles work, I love her raw and vivid writing style. Her stories are wonderfully engaging, hugely romantic and flow with ease.
I hadn’t read a Roman romance before this and I can say with absolute honesty that I have been missing out on something, this is more than good. In fact, good is not the word for it, this is amazing! Everything about this era is very new to me, I have learnt so much from reading this book – and at times when something was mentioned I was intrigued and for the first time ever while reading a book, I did Google some of the items and terms, thing’s that were mentioned so that I could learn more.
Set during ancient Rome in the reign of Julius Ceaser, after divorcing her abusive husband, Julia Antonia is now back living with her father and step mother. She is plodding along, trying her hardest to evade her step-mother; Sabina’s match making. She has her best friend Claudia – who is a real laugh out loud character and her faithful dog Bato, not quite as happy as she would like to be, she feels like a disappointment she is basically stuck in a rut the only good thing about her present existence is that she is free from her ex-husband Lucius. Her regular and boring routine is set off kilter when she meets devilishly sexy and Oh, so charming Gladiator Valen’s – who wears his toga way shorter than fashionable, leaving very little to the imagination.
Valen’s having been stolen from his past life and sold to into slavery, he has literally fought for his life to become one of the best and most respected Gladiators. He knows what his destiny is; to die in the arena, Valen’s also knows that if he can win these next games he can gain his freedom, as long as he can stay alive. He has everything planned out, that is until meets beautiful Julia and suddenly his life is far more complicated than he would like it to be.
For the games all the high-ranking Gladiators have been billeted with diplomats and ambassadors, Valen’s is sent to live with one of Ceaser’s closest diplomats who turns out to be the father of the little nymph he met in the market. Being around her brings back painful memories of his life before he was sold into slavery, but as much as he tries to keep clear of her knowing that she is well out of his reach Valen’s can’t help himself and even on his day in the villa with her family he steals a passionate kiss from her – Oh, my that first kiss! My goodness me, it’s sexy and luscious and very hot. No wonder Julia goes all weak at the knees, she can barely restrain herself in that first passionate embrace all she wants to do rip off both their toga’s and have her wicked way with him…I really don’t blame her 😉
I absolutely love these two, they are passionate, sexy and so adorable. They fit together beautifully she is the calming beauty and light that his tormented heart and mind needs she soothes him and makes him realise that there is something else out there, something more than just fighting. She makes him believe that maybe there could be a future for him. Whereas he gives her something that she thought she would never have; to be able to feel alive again, to feel safe and secure and to feel loved. Something she has missed out on over the years.
Oh, my goodness; Valen’s! I don’t think I have ever come across a man who is as virile and alive as this seductive Gladiator. Valen’s is supremely sexy, quietly determined and masculinity personified – I mean his muscles have got muscles! He has secrets and a painful past that torment’s him and all you want to do is give him a huge hug. His steely gaze, saucy grin and grumbling voice could make any women with a pulse swoon, but he also has a wonderful mind, he is caring, very loving and protective. How he treats his friends and Bato the dog is sweet and tender, he shows that even though he is a huge, brawny man. A man who can kill when needed and man who wields a sword like it is a third arm, he shows that he can be gentle and sensual. Oh, how much have a fallen head over heals for him!
As I said earlier in my review, I have definitely been missing out on something when it comes to Roman Romances, this is swoon-worthingly perfect. A story line that is engaging, it takes hold of your and doesn’t let you go. Two incredible and fascinating character’s who just want love, the banter between them is witty, seductive and believable. I love every part of this.
There really isn’t anything I don’t like about this, in fact it has started off a love of this era and I am so looking forward to reading more Roman Romances. The Gladiators Honour has proven what I knew already that Ms Styles has a real gift with Historical Romance and I will be reading more by this wonderful lady.
Just one word; Perfection!
This was a gift from the author and I chose to write a review on it.
The Gladiators Honour can be purchased from Amazon.