ARC Review: Breaking the Gladiator by Nicola Rose

book review

Breaking the Gladiator by Nicola Rose 4/5


I’m trained to kill… for the amusement of others.

Slave. Fighter. Beast.

Emotions are a weakness, so I have none; except anger and hate. All the good ones were beaten and starved out of me long ago. I barely even feel pain anymore.

But when she touches me? Feelings thrash to the surface, and in my world those are dangerous. She’s poison, feeding off my rage for her own sick pleasures. I hate her. She keeps finding cracks and opening them up, squeezing herself inside my chest.

She’s going to get me killed.


I’m Domina of the Atticus ludus, where we train gladiators to compete for victory.

Wealthy. Attractive. Powerful husband.

It appears I have it all… and I wish I could make myself feel that way. But I’m numb. Too broken to even care. The only time I feel alive is when I’m with my husband’s champion gladiator. My slave. In the arena, and the bedroom.

It’s disgusting for a woman of my rank to sleep with a man like him. He’s a dirty, worthless animal. His touch should feel repulsive. His gaze upon me should make my skin crawl.

But he’s mine. And I want more.


Whoo, is it hot in here? Nicola Rose’s debut novella is something dark and steamy. I wasn’t sure what I’d make of an erotic romance set in ancient Rome, but I was sucked into this story from the off. Gladiators and powerful women shouldn’t mix, but in this story they well and truly do.

The characters are not loveable, but you understand where their darkness stems from. There are uncomfortable scenes of violence and abuse, but the scenarios were sadly true to the time and make the story more believable. It is rare to find an erotic romance that is as much about the story as it is about the passion and relationships.

The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review