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Mark of the Gladiator (Warriors of Rome #4)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  352 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
After an inconvenient display of mercy in the arena, the gladiator Anazâr is pulled from the sands and contracted to nobleman Lucius Marianus to train his new stable of female gladiators. His charges are demoralized and untested, and they bear the marks of abuse. Anazâr has a scant two months to prepare them for the arena, and his new master demands perfection.

Anazâr is su
Paperback, 250 pages
Published December 3rd 2012 by Riptide Publishing (first published November 24th 2012)
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Blacky *Romance Addict*
"Anazâr would take this offering, take Felix, seize this moment even if he died on the cross for it later. He was tired of worrying about later. He’d live like he did in the arena, one passionate horrible glorious moment at a time."

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Amazing! Fantastic! Totally and absolutely loved it! Why have I not read more from this genre??????? (and I mean ancient-historical one LOL)

The story

After an incident in the arena, Anazâr is contracted by the nobleman Marianus to be the trainer of his female gladi
Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter
Review completed February 14, 2013****Overall rating 4 stars. 3.5 stars for the first half and 4.5 stars for the second half of the story.

 photo tumblr_m0z5enNJKB1qz725to1_500_zpsb7594a03.gif

The time for hate and outrage had passed. Even the bitterest seeds of resentment and despair, sown the day of his capture and watered ever since with an endless string of humiliations and degradations and pain, had dissolved into something else, something there wasn't a name for. Not in any victor's tongue, anyway, and that was all that mattered here.

"Ten l
Monique ~ Sinfully
Outstanding Book... Definitely up in my top 5 books of the year, It is one of those exceptional reads that 5 stars does not do justice to the wonders contained within. This an excellent adventure set in Rome with all the brutality, debauchery and excesses we know so well from that period, it is full of intrigue, power plays, deception, gladiator battles, love and murder with a beautiful, intense and forbidden romance..


Firstly... I am in awe of the writing skills of these two authors, when I re
SPOILERS!!!!! too tired to actually write a review! but believe me it is a must read!!!!!!!!!!!

read from down to up!!!! :)))) Blacky already told me to fix that :PPP



perfection! beautiful!


"I’ll die touching you. That’s all I ever asked."





"this scene reminds me of gladiator when joaquin phoenix yelled at her : AM I NOT MERCIFUL?!?!?!!?!?

A brilliant MM Romance with a Gladiator Twist - Complete with all the debauchery and backstabbing you expect from ancient Rome.
Death made love all the more urgent.
This book absolutely blew me away.

Why did I pick it up?
* It's MM March, so I'm reading MM Romances all month. This Historical themed book was the perfect addition to the line up.
* The Authors are also working on The Flesh Cartel Series which is wonderfully written.
* This book is part of a larger series but can be read as a sta
Sammy Loves Books
What a Tragically Beautiful Love Story!!! Gladiator Style!!!

Anazar, aka Cyrenaicus

Anazar is a Gladiator and a Roman slave. He's been tasked to train female gladiatices to fight in the arena. A job he takes seriously, because they will be fighting for their lives. Anazar also lives to please his Dominus, Marianus and takes pleasure in pleasing him sexually. But things start to change when a murder attempt goes wrong. Anazar finds his alliances torn. He must protect his Master, even as he fights t
The writing and world building:  photo blog_fivestar_zps52968a0d.png

Perfect, absolutely faultless prose and dialogue. I can only sit back and admire the execution of this novel.
It is ever so easy to immerse yourself in this era with the poetic descriptions setting the scenes of historical Rome. The phrasing and dialog is in harmony with the era, and although it is authentic , it had me confused, stuttering over the meanings and rushing off to Google search certain phrases.
I am oblivious to ancient Roman culture, so this was a gr
Back to Rome with a romp. I was at first a little sceptical about this book, but pleased to say that I was proved totally wrong. A great read that transports you right back to Rome in all it's glory, debauchery and thirst for blood. Anazar is a gladiator that is bought by the house of Lucius Marianus to train his team of female gladiators. A hard job as the previous trainer had treated the women badly and Anazar first has to win their trust. Then an intrigue and murder is uncovered which threate ...more
Feb 06, 2013 Bev rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, violence, historical

A riveting read, wonderful 'world-building', the authors did an exceptional job as far as their research is concerned, the lies and deception, plotting and scheming, forbidden love, the fight for freedom, this story is amazing in so many ways. A big and 4.5 stars from me.

As some really good reviews have been done already for this book, I'll just add my voice to their praise. The storyline is very plot driven and fast-paced, with a wonderful cast of characters, some of whom you will love, and ot
Feb 06, 2013 Diana rated it it was amazing
As some of you already know (because I can’t shut up about it) I really, really love Spartacus, which is one of the best things I’ve ever seen. My love for the show made me read The Gladiator’s Master, which was a complete disappointment and that’s why I was afraid of reading Mark of the Gladiator. I truly don’t enjoy giving books less than 4 stars. But I decided to give this book a chance. And I was not disappointed this time.

The fact that the main character, Anazâr, was forced to train female
It fell short for me a couple of times. It felt like it was dragging me somewhere but not convincing me this is the right way.

I don't know, maybe I should reread the second half for better judgement, but for me it was not convincing or believable. Both the plot and the love story - which, of course, were intertwined.

Credit where credit's due - it was crazy hot, and if there are scenes I'll be rereading, these will be the ones.
Shirley Frances
An intriguing and informative story of a Gladiator finding love and acceptance in a world where it is lacking.

I will start by saying that is my first foray into this type of book. I have read historical gay fiction, but this was way out of my comfort zone. But the unbelievable fact is that I enjoyed it from start to finish. Yes, I struggled with words and names and had to constantly look in the included glossary or the Internet, but the journey was very gratifying and informative.

Anazâr is a gl
Sep 12, 2012 Gyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It had all the thrilling violence of 300, the historical lessons of Troy, and the intrigue and sizzle of Showtime's Spartacus!

Now I will admit the first 15 or so pages were a bit wordy and trying to acclimate to the language, setting, names etc was a bit overwhelming. But by page 30 I was absolutely hooked! What would happen to the strong and proud Anazar? Would he win his freedom? And who would he fall in love with...Marianus or Felix? Who is the good guy and who's really the evil plotter?

The f
Aug 23, 2012 Vivian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cunning, Blood and Transmutability

Love me some gladiators, but this one comes with a twist--gladiatrices. Hell Yeah!

Smart and sexy this story combines an alluring cocktail of gamesmanship and sexual power in the ruthless ladder climbing of ancient Rome. Reading this is truly like watching the Wheel of Fortune spin, who the goddess favors is always changing. And who's in charge? That changes, too.

This is a meticulously scribed vision of a slice of one family's life and the games they play. The
Val Kovalin
Anazar is a gladiator slave loaned out the household of Lucius Marianus to train his group of female gladiators to fight in the Circus Maximus. He does his best and soon sees improvement in their ranks. Meanwhile, he develops feelings for Lucius and Lucius’s younger brother Felix, who seems to be a spoiled, outrageous hedonist.

When a seemingly random attack points to a murder attempt against one or both of the brothers, Anazar must find out the truth to save his own life, secure the fate of the
Vanessa theJeepDiva
Dec 08, 2012 Vanessa theJeepDiva rated it it was amazing
Mark of the Gladiator by Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane is the fourth book in the Warriors of Rome series and although I thoroughly enjoyed each book in the series, this novel was my favorite. The story depicts the life of a gladiator slave, Anazar, who is conscripted for two months to a nobleman, Lucius Marianus. Anazar’s task is to train captive, savage women in the art of the being gladiatrix.

The House of Marianus seemingly appears to be the ideal place for refuge when one is not a freedma
Feb 08, 2013 Mei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
My first MM thanks to Blacky's review. *wink*
I liked it. I liked it because of the story, not because of the sex scenes. I must say that some of those were a little disturbing not because they were MM, but because I felt angry by the use slaves were subjected.
I didn't like Marianus. I didn't liked him at the beginning and din't liked him at the end. I understand that he was acting like so many patricians, but I was a little revolted when Aelia offer Anazâr’s "services" to Marianus like it was n
Vanessa North
Apr 04, 2014 Vanessa North rated it really liked it
Clever--and very, very good.

This was a really interesting book. I didn't read the blurb, and I'm glad I didn't because I would have gotten as far as female gladiators and passed it by, because that felt gimmicky to me. (view spoiler)

So, I definitely eye-rolled at the appropriate places in this story, as annoyed by ancient commercialism as I am by modern television, and for the same reasons. There was also just enough anachronistic language
Mar 13, 2014 D.C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished this. I would most likely not have if it had not happily been FREE on Amazon. I don't know how long for, but get yourself one. I've paid good money for much worse stuff.

Complex, historically accurate, pleasantly twisty... It's got all the virtues, plus some really hot sex.
Nov 08, 2012 Kazza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a way to end the Warriors of Rome Collection!! Just a terrific piece of writing - history, sex, intrigue, action.
In depth review at On Top Down Under Book Reviews
Dec 14, 2012 Marisella rated it it was amazing
Cyrenaicus is a gladiator/slave in Rome. The tattoo on his forehead reads "stop me, I am a runaway slave", because he has attempted to run away. He's currently being flogged at the Circus Maximus by his lanista for refusing to co-operate in the theatrical massacre of a score of slaves. With this opening, the reader is sure that our hero will die of his wounds, and are heartened to hear that he's been loaned out to a novice ludii owner, Marianus. Cyrenaicus, Anazar in his own tongue, is refreshin ...more
Sep 05, 2012 Laylah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh man, this was great. Shifting loyalties, tense drama, some amazing action bits, and a really great supporting cast. Also, I love the gravity with which the theme of slavery was handled: the authors don't romanticize what it means to be literally, legally a slave, but they also don't get heavy-handed with it, either. The ways in which slavery strips a person of dignity are just there, evident, a pain to be endured as long as it must be. Anazar and the gladiatrices all showed so much resilience ...more
Nov 25, 2012 Jody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mark of the Gladiator by the talented writing duo of Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane has a lot going for it! It's got great action sequences intermixed with clever political intrigue that keep you on the edge of your seat as well as a steamy but conflicted romance. The vivid scenery showing the differences between the have and have-nots along with its realistic language drew me even deeper into a storyline that kept me guessing and my heart pounding.

Focusing on the rarely discussed in history fe
Erika Williams
Jan 07, 2013 Erika Williams rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-romance
This is an absolutely phenomenal book that should not be overlooked. If you're the type of person that likes a m/m romance set during the time of the Roman Empire, then this is the book for you. This book is incredibly well-researched and visceral. At the heart of it all is a love story set during a time where love was hard to come by and loyalty even moreso.

Anazar is a gladiator who disobeys a direct order in the arena. Instead of being put to the cross or sent to the mines or worse, his master
Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews

I don't think I can give this review justice... it was that good of a mind fuck... so I will give it to you on how I felt... the emotions.... the shivers... the joy of a HEA.

"It's just a word. We're all the same, bags of bones and guts and brilliance. Me, you and every other slave, and I can't stand to watch you die like dogs. That's all." Felix
"He asked me my real name. To know me as a man not as a slave." Anazar

Felix, <3, I loved your mind, your hear
Secretly Reading
Originally Reviewed for The Book Vixen

Passionate MM romance set in ancient Rome. So long as readers aren’t squeamish with violence, blood and rape then this is a good read with plenty of intrigue and compelling characters.

This novel is way more than sex. There is a plot, intrigue, well-rounded characters and a descriptive historical setting of ancient Rome. Anazar is a sympathetic central character as a captured warrior turned into a gladiator with his life defined by the whims of his masters. I
Shay Williams
Jan 22, 2013 Shay Williams rated it it was amazing

My experience with Rome consists of watching a few episodes of Rome and Spartcus so I assumed that I would be lost in that culture. To my relief I found this not to be the case. The authors, Ms. Belleau and Ms. Vane paint a vivid picture of just what it mean to live in those days especially as a slave though they also showed me the privileges that the Roman citizens could expect. And I have to say that I regret the fact that bathhouses are just not found around the corner anymore.

I do have to s
Sora Seishin
Nov 28, 2012 Sora Seishin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered on NetGalley and asked for several books to read and review... This was the first that answered with an "OK". Soon I downloaded the e-book, began to read... And found out that this book was totally different from anything I've read before. I've read several historical romances, but this was the first gay one. And it was a great read!

The book has a lot of hot scenes, but it also has romance and a well developed story. There is a lot of sex, but the focus is on Anazâr's life as a glad
Sep 26, 2013 Adara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical fiction of a slave caught in the middle of Roman politics between brothers and one's wife. I really had no idea where this story was going to go until the very end when it finally showed us.

It is thoroughly historically detailed. I do wish I'd realized there was a glossary at the end of it when I was reading it, because there was at least one word I would have looked up. (Most of the glossary is place names or ethnicities, which while interesting, you can read the story wit
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Chat with the authors! 7 13 Jan 17, 2013 09:35PM  
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Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, graduated with a degree in history from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, and now lives outside of Edmonton, Alberta, with her tradesman husband and two kids. A proud bisexual woman, her writing reflects everything she loves: diverse casts of queer characters, a sense of history and place, equal parts witty and filthy dialog ...more
More about Heidi Belleau...

Other Books in the Series

Warriors of Rome (4 books)
  • The Left Hand of Calvus (Warriors of Rome, #1)
  • He Is Worthy (Warriors of Rome, #2)
  • The City War (Warriors of Rome, #3)

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