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The Gladiator

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  553 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews

He won his fame--and his freedom--in the gory pits of Rome's Colosseum. Yet the greatest challenge for once-legendary gladiator Caros Viriathos comes to him through a slave. His slave, the beautiful and mysterious Pelonia Valeria. Her secret brings danger to his household but offers Caros a love like he's never known....

Should anyone learn she is a Christian, Pelonia will

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published 2009 by Steeple Hill Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,476)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
This was a beautiful book. I have long been wishing to read a Christian romance that delivered such a rich story as this. I loved how the love story was full, and it was as much about the love between Pelonia and Caros, as it was also Pelonia’s love for Christ, and how she was able to come into Caros’ life and to help him to heal and to come to know Christ. Ms. Capshaw did such a great job of showing this without it being preachy. The message of God’s love and how it gave Pelonia strength and ho ...more
Aug 07, 2010 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More like 4.75 stars

Carla Capshaw knows how to write a breath-stealing romance. She adds just the right amount of bait on the line to reel fans of romantic historical fiction in to her tale of inspired love. Fans of The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers will enjoy this book. While this story had to be a tad kinder and gentler due to the Love Inspired label, I still found it to be edgy enough to be enjoyable.

Caros was one hot hero. His restrained desire for the heroine made him very her
Oct 05, 2009 J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was blessed to get an advance copy of Carla Capshaw's November release, The Gladiator. I can say without a doubt it is one of the most compelling, faith-full, romantic Love Inspireds I have ever read. Make that inspirational novels period.

The story of a slave girl and an former gladiator, this wonderful read is definitely not the same old characters, same old setting. The Gladiator is also no sugarcoated historical novel but a true page turner which transports the reader back to the times whe

A perfect example that really good books can come in small (and serial) packages! Having a knowledgeable understanding of the basics in Roman history yet shying away from any "entertainment" reading centered in the brutal time, I was delightfully amazed at how deftly Ms. Capshaw wove the horrendous historical realism into a beautiful love story.

The worlds of a slave-turned gladiator-turned wealthy trainer and a wealthy Christian girl-turned slave are such polar opposites that the plot is
The Gladiator captures your attention right from the first page. I must admit that I couldn't put it down. I love the story of Pelonia and Caros. Pelonia and Caros both learn lessons the hard way. Pelonia learns to strengthen her faith in God even during difficult times. It is her light and love for Christ that Caros sees in her, and that is the reason that he is drawn to her. He wants peace and he sees it among her and another slave he had bought for the Gladiator ring. It is through these two ...more
Mar 02, 2011 Scribs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, okay. I know this book looks like just another bodice-ripping, formulaic romance. I'm still a little shocked that I read it at all. But after finishing it, I'm a little surprised to see it categorized simply as romance, and that it has a cover that does little to represent the story. In fact, our hero was hardly physically described at all (refreshing).

Pelonia is the daughter of a rich land owner just outside Rome. While on her way to her cousin's wedding, her father and entire family are
Inspired Kathy
Jul 26, 2010 Inspired Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
I won a copy if this book from goodreads giveaways.
This book is a Love Inspired Historical. For anyone not familiar with the Love Inspired Historials they are Christian romance books and thus contains all the content typical of this genre...Very clean with Christian faith, doctrine and beliefs interspersed thoughout the book. Pelonia's faith was woven into the story in such a way that it didn't seem out of place. Pelonia is a Christian who is sold as a slave to retired Gladiator Caros. From tha
Marlene Cabrera
Sep 25, 2011 Marlene Cabrera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!
It has been a long time since I have read a book that has captured my full attention, such as this one. From the first page I had a deep hunger too continue and to unravel the many misteries hidden in each page. I believe this book to be a wonderful masterpiece that deserves high praise. I shall wait with utter excitement for Carla Capshaw's next book, and I assure you I shall be first in line once it is released.

P.S. I would also love to thank Carla Capshaw for sending me the copy of The Gladia
Mar 10, 2016 Ashlyn rated it it was ok
Ignore my rating!

I am very conflicted about this book. While I enjoyed the book and storyline, there was just some aspects that I did not like.

First off, I hated the jealously between the two main characters. I felt like they kept getting overly jealous throughout the book over nothing. Secondly, I did not like how Caros treated Pelonia. I have never wanted to slap a character in a book as much as I did him when he said (view spoiler)
I am so impressed that this is Ms. Capshaw's debut novel, and I hope for more to come!

I might have enjoyed this book in part because I am Christian and I thoroughly loved reading about Pelonia's faith and how she led Caros to Christ. God uses human beings to do just that, even at times when the believer is in the darkest trial of their own.

Caros was a slave, gladiator, rich man who had a kind and gentle heart, especially toward Pelonia. Pelonia was sold to Caros under a despicable situation. A
Jul 17, 2011 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a romance and so much more. Carla brings us to 81 AD when to be a Christian was a lot more than just a phrase. It was life and death. It was unique to visit this Roman era.

Pelonia is traveling to her cousins wedding when her life takes turn. Their camp is attacked. Her father and all their servants are murdered. Only two survive, Pelonia and her Uncle Marcus. Then her uncle sells her to a slave traitor and she awakes as the slave of a retired Gladiator.

Caros is pulled towards this woman
Apr 08, 2010 Megan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was excited to read this book. It engaged me quickly, and I love this time period and theme. The faith in the persecuted church, their strength and witness is inspiring. The church grew like wild fire because of that faith in the face of horrible trials and death. We live in an age where we have relative freedom of sharing Christ with others, and yet we hold back because of various small consequences. The believers of that day and age literally faced swords, slavery, lions, and beasts before t ...more
Amanda Caldwell
"You're in love with a Christian, but you've killed her kind. Now you're laboring with the question of how to win her affection without having to admit your guilt or share her faith."

First, let me say that at my job I sometimes do work for the Harlequin Reader Service. The company I work for is contracted through Harlequin. This is only the second Harlequin book I've read, usually I'm somewhat apprehensive about picking them up. I do fear they'll be cheesy, but I've been wanting to read more of
Mar 13, 2016 Dolce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't say I liked this book very much, although there were some parts of it that I enjoyed; in particular, some of the romantic development between Pelonia and Caros. However, I didn't like the whole Christian focus of the book (although this is entirely on me because the genre list clearly states that this book is a Christian romance). Overall a so-so read for me.
Jun 22, 2011 `Candle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my all time favorite books. What makes it my favorite is the tender love story that develops between unlikely people. That the hero has integrity and doesn't force himself on the heroine who is his slave bought for his purposes. That the heroine has the courage to live her faith outloud. Most importantly, at the climax, I love how the hero proves his love by changing places with his love and doing something he would have never done again if not for his love for her--and the exchan ...more
Lynn Spencer
I'd actually give this one 4.5 stars.

Sometimes when I read a book, I figure out right away that I'm in for something good. This was the exact feeling I had when I picked up The Gladiator by Carla Capshaw. I found this story of a former gladiator and his Christian slave very well-done; one would never guess it's a debut novel. I picked it up on my own from the Harlequin site rather than having it assigned for review, but as I read it, I knew it would be one of those books I wanted people to know
I love Christian historical fiction, but I must admit that reading a book about gladiators in ancient Rome was a new experience for me. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was delighted. Carla's characters were very endearing, even the wonderful tiger named Cat, and the plot held my interest from the very beginning. Many authors hit points in their writing where it seems like nothing is happening at the moment, almost slow and boring as if they tried to "stretch" the number of pages. This book w ...more
Oct 28, 2013 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVE LOVE LOVE This Book!!!!!! I saw a picture of it in another book and I said "I want to read that book!!!" And For some reason the picture stayed in my mind. It kept bugging me. I really wanted to read this book and I still remembered it months and months later and finally I couldn't take it anymore and found it!!! I've read it and re-read it multiple times. Wonderful book about faith and how even though something horrible has happened to you something wonderful may be just around the corner. ...more
I really enjoyed this one. I couldn't put it down. That being said, the abuse towards the Christian's after Christ's death was hard to read. (I'm not a historian by any means, and not sure how much of what the author wrote is accurate.) But the Christian elements I thought were well done, majority of them what I believe, there were quite a few. Definitely a Christian read.

Moral Note: Talk of slaves, attempted rape, mild talk of rape/soiling a woman. Clean language. Romance besides the previous
Lynnette Bonner
Admittedly, I don't read too many love-inspired-length books. I used to read them a lot and they all started to sound like the same story with just different characters. Many of them fail to go indepth into the characters, the lack of story length being an issue there, I think. Anyhow, this book caught my eye. It was getting really good reviews and so I decided to give it a shot.

I'm really glad I did. A very nice departure from the norm. Chalk one up for Carla Capshaw. I'll be looking for more o
Karen Kirst
Jan 18, 2012 Karen Kirst rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book! Hard to believe this is Carla Capshaw's debut novel. As in
The Champion, she draws the reader into this Roman world of danger and
intrigue, bringing the story alive with every detail. Even though
Caros is tough and at times, hurtful, he's also commpassionate and
vulnerable. He falls for his beautiful slave, Pelonia, yet she's
unattainable because of her Christian beliefs and social status.
Their story kept me flipping the pages, unwilling to put it down.
Looking forward to reading The P
Way better than the movie.
Aug 13, 2011 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Gladiator by Carla Capshaw was such a good read. From the first sentence, Capshaw pulls you into Roman times. She does such a good job of transporting the reader to the time period and conveying the uncertainty of living in a time when being a Christian could be a death sentence. Both the main characters are believable and heroic. I found the strength of the heroine, Pelonia, inspiring. I love historical reads like The Gladiator because they get me hungry for more.
Sep 14, 2011 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book was amazing! i gave it to my sister who hates to read and told her to read at least the first four chapters and if she didnt like it she could stop. the next day she called me up and complained that the book had to end! she read it in less than a day! i have loaned this book out multiple times and everyone loves it. Carla is such a talented writer! i wanted to be transported back to the roman days!
Michelle Kidwell
This book took me back to the time shortly after Jesus's death when the danger of being a Christian was still great. The plot, the character portryal was all wonderful, and it drew me into a different time and a different place with so much realism I could not put this book down. Carla Capshaw did a wonderful job with this story set shortly after Christ's crucifiction.
Dec 30, 2013 Tracie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED it, wonderful passionate story. Why can't more inspired books be like this one? I like the strong, manly hero too. Was great to see how God worked in the lives of the characters when they faced persecution. Great love story, nice escape. I would prefer if more Love Inspired novels were more like this one, it is a rare jewel!
Dec 17, 2013 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I Really loved this book. It is such a romantic story of love, faith and redemption. After starting this book, I just couldn't put it down and read it into the night. It was really interesting and page turning throughout. This is now one of my favourite books of all time. I will definitely be reading this author's other works.
If I could have given 10 stars I would have! What an AMAZING book!! It's the first I've read from this time period as well as THE BEST book I've read in a long time. I cried, I giggled & I sighed. AWESOME work Carla Capshaw! I'm eagerly awaiting "The Protector" & "The Champion"...simply cannot wait!!
This one had a LOT more "God-talk" than I'm comfortable with, and I wasn't really feeling the romance, but the BEST ENDING EVER bumped it up to four stars.
Cammie Turner
Jan 18, 2010 Cammie Turner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never been much into reading but read this book and and a hard time putting it down and it was absolutley amazing. I already miss the characters.
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Carla Capshaw is a Florida native who grew up dreaming of traveling the world and writing novels.

After visiting numerous countries, Carla began writing novels in earnest and eventually won two Golden Heart awards as well as a double Rita nomination for her first novel, The Gladiator. Carla loves passionate stories with compelling, nearly impossible conflicts. She's found Inspirational Romance is
More about Carla Capshaw...

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