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The Pleasure Slave

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  290 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Lucius Mettelus Carbo, once a legate on the rise in the Roman army, rescues a beautiful young prostitute, Varick, who immediately stirs him. However, Lucius doesn't believe anyone could want him, a man cursed by the gods with an ugly, twisted leg. He resists his attraction to the pleasure slave as they forge a tempestuous relationship, and Varick tries to convince Lucius t ...more
Kindle Edition, 77 pages
Published (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

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May 22, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-historical
I have to say up front, that however my review seems to indicate the opposite, I did enjoy reading this book, and I recommend it to anyone who likes the era.

The story takes place in Pompei, and a quick glance at the date (July 79AD) will set the scene immediately. Volcano Day is on the way so we know our protags are going to be up against it. However, sadly (and this is the second time in recent months that I’ve read an under representation of a cataclysmic eruption) the eruption, when it does c
Oct 06, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What I didn't like: Vapid and stereotypical, just your standard m/m pseudo-BDSM schundliteratur.
What I liked: It (the printed out text version) was light enough in weight not to chip the wallpaper when I threw it across the room.
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, 2013
1. Fancy setting - 79AD Pompei. You can not beat that or you can if you put in 1883AD near Krakatoa.
2. Exsoldier with trauma mental and for bonus points some physical - former legate Carbo fulfill both
3. Sex slave - one included with deeply understanding nature and butt as tight as days before paycheck
4. Depression cured by sex
5. Happy ending - no barbecue for you under Vesuvius

Charming short novella. Once is enough. I will probably never reread it.
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm in no way historian, so I can't point out any inaccuracies, but I absolutely loved this story! The wounded and troubled character, who think he isn't worth loving, is a great theme and here it was written just beautiful. Very touching and heartwarming story!
Serena Yates
Jan 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay
A lovely story that does a great job at describing what life might have been like in Pompeii around 79 AD.

The characters of Lucius and Varick felt so real, I was sorry to let them go at the end of this much too short story.
Fluttering Thoughts:

World Building: The world is built slightly twisting the actual historical facts a bit. I didn't mind, really, I don't read historical for the history, never was such a fan of it per se, I read these for the stories. The atmosphere and the world felt right for the time frame.
Characters: Lucius was interesting, but something about him didn't really reach me. Varick on the other hand reached me a lot more, the two of them were interesting together, though I wouldn't say they ha
Jo * Smut-Dickted *
Very different than what I thought. The characters were rich but not overly absorbing - which was weird. I mean I just wanted them to get the hell out of dodge - I was worried they would not before that volcano blew. I liked the soldier who is mostly old in what he'd seen and tortured by what he now is. The slave who was so earnest but somehow realistic - really gave the emotion here. An o.k. length - I was happy there was an epilogue and I could see how the two men could fall into each other be ...more
This is a m/m novella about a Roman legate injured in the Batavian revolt (whose occurrence has been moved a bit forward in time) and a slave he buys from the brothel. It was better researched than a lot of Roman fiction, I'll give it that (I mean, aside from the naming issues and the part where the main character, who is definitely not a woman, uses "Ecastor"), but the characters had absolutely no characterization, I found all their motivation implausible, and mostly the whole thing was just du ...more
The story was sweet but I don't enjoy any type of historical/past tense fiction. I didn't realize this book was set back in time until I started to read it.
Nov 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lucius is a Roman soldier, maimed during a defeat, who feels there is nothing left for him. He goes to a brothel in order to set up entertainment for a friends party. While there, he sees a Varick, a slave, being mistreated and steps in. He ends up buying Varick, and spends time resisting how he feels for the slave, thinking there is no way the beautiful slave could ever want a cripple. There are heartbreaking parts to the story, and a few instances of violence, but ended up being a great story.
One scarred ex-soldier.
One prostitute.
Some not very well developed setting with Vesuvius in the background.

Maybe I expected too much from such a short story, but I wanted something more complete. Instead I got bunch of separate scenes put together rather haphazardly. They didn't connect, there were gaps inbetween, the story didn't flow as it should but was choped into pieces.

It had potential but didn't deliver.
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pleasant and enjoyable read of Ancient Rome set in the time leading up to the destruction of Pompeii. The idea is intriguing but I think the story would have been better had it been told slower because at times it feels rushed. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I read The Pleasure Slave, sometimes the dialogue had a bit of a "now instead of then" feel but still extremely entertaining and a great addition to my Ancient Rome library.
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, slaves, 2014
This book would have been a lot better in my mind if the timeline was easier to keep in order. I think that fussing about was annoying enough that I got distracted from the story itself.

The story itself wasn't all that bad, should actually have been right up my alley but the book is so short there isn't time to show there relationship properly developing. Plus the ending! It was so abrupt!
I thought this book had a promising start. It was good enough to continue reading to the end. The historical setting was interesting with an imminent natural disaster awaiting the protagonists. However I found the characters poorly developed and the story limited. I doubt that I would choose to read books by this author again as for me the writing lacks depth.
Mar 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not usually a fan of master/slave relations, but this one won me over. Character-driven story with a simple-yet-effective plot line and well researched historical context. Overall a very pleasant read.
I honestly didn't expect much from this book, which is probably why I was so pleasantly surprised. It was short and stereotypical but it was still sweet and quite engaging. The sex wasn't overdone and the characters were likeable. If you don't mind short, shallow stories give this a go.
Kari Gregg
Feb 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt, bdsm, fantasy, capture
Couldn't quite suspend my disbelief over the time period & setting of the book, maybe because I'm so fascinated by the eruption of Vesuvius myself. Too many Discovery Channel flashbacks, LOL. Otherwise adored the story.
Bryan Clark
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greek-roman-time
OMG, This is a beautifully written story set in my favorite time period. Jan did an amazing job ensuring her reader stayed in that period throughout the story and fell in love with both Varick and Lucius.
Claudia Nguyen
Errr ko thích lắm ++ viết bị rời rạc quá phải dừng lại mấy đoạn mới hiểu hết nổi ++ diễn biến tâm lý nhân vật có lên mà chả có xuống mấy cảm giác như đi trên đường sỏi xóc loạn lên vậy -,- nhưng nội dung thì đc
I found some of the time and scene shifts to be a little abrupt and jarring. Still a nice story with some hotness.
Feb 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, historique
Ha Pompei.
Saura Underscore
Although I couldn't understand Varik's behaviour very well at the beginning, the characters are so well developed you understand it all by the end. Fell in love with Jan Irving's writing style :)
Jessie B.
Entertaining, a detailed setting and moderately interesting characters. I enjoyed this book though it wasn't brilliant.
May 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Very sweet and romantic :)

I think the author just forgot to mention what happened to the two household slaves towards the end, though.
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meh
I remember starting and stopping this one a lot. I think I actually got through to the end, though. I do remember rather disliking the master dude. I found him annoying. Not my genre, perhaps.
Dee Wy
3.5 stars - Charming story. Really enjoyed it.
rated it liked it
Oct 29, 2012
Devon Rhodes
rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2010
rated it liked it
Sep 04, 2011
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

romance author
Jan Irving has worked in all kinds of creative fields, from painting silk to making porcelain ceramics, to interior design, but writing was always her passion.

She feels you can’t fully understand characters until you follow their journey through a story world.
More about Jan Irving...