Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)'s Reviews > The Gladiator

The Gladiator by Carla Capshaw
Rate this book
Clear rating

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 how it could heal Caros’ deep emotional wounds was rich. The narrative never came off as pedantic or filled with spiritual public service announcements. It truly was about people of faith living their lives. There weren’t any easy answers. Pelonia had a struggle sometimes to act true to her faith, putting her faith in God to help her and to be her strength, which is the experience of all Christians. She didn’t realize that her actions showed the truth of her message. Caros saw how her faith was her foundation, how it gave her peace, and he came to want to know her God, who had made her such a beautiful, peace-filled person.

Caros had the traits that I love in a good hero: he was strong, but gentle, loving, possessive. He was very masculine, and he was a good man, even if he had lived a rough life, and done things he couldn’t forgive himself for. I could easily see why Pelonia fell in love with him. I could also see how the Lord had brought those two together.

I also liked the developing secondary romance between Quintus, a slave who is being trained as a gladiator by Caros, and Adiona, Caros’ seemingly hardened widow friend. In a way, she is like a male version of Caros. She seems hard and cruel, but down deep, she hides wounds that keep her from living a full life. I have a feeling that Quintus will bring love into her life.
The setting of this book took me back to Rome in the period of the early Christian church. It was very disheartening to see how Christians were treated, murdered for their faith and called deviants. It called me to stand strong in my own faith, considering that people were martyred by the thousands back then (and still are in parts of the world). The least of my worries is facing humiliation or being scorned by people because I believe in Jesus.

I really want to thank Ms. Capshaw for writing this book. She ministered to me so fruitfully. I needed the lessons in this book, as they strengthened my faith, but also took my mind off my own troubles. It was a good lesson that you are never beyond God’s grace, and God has a plan that he will see through. It may not make sense, but His will can’t help but be done; and you are a part of His plan in whatever way that is unique to you, because you are precious to God. Ms. Capshaw did a better job of showing this message than I can in this review, and I’m glad of that. I am so happy I had the chance to read The Gladiator, and I look forward to reading more of her books. If someone asks for a recommendation for a good Christian romance to read, or a romance that is just plain fulfilling for any romance or historical fiction reader, I’d be happy to recommend this one.
11 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Gladiator.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

September 23, 2009 – Shelved
September 23, 2009 – Shelved as: love-inspired-historical
September 23, 2009 – Shelved as: bc-early-ad-era
September 23, 2009 – Shelved as: owned-copy
September 23, 2009 – Shelved as: gladiator
January 30, 2011 – Started Reading
January 30, 2011 –
page 158
56.03% "A very worthwhile read. I'm glad I picked this up today, because it's hitting me where I live."
January 31, 2011 – Shelved as: hero-i-loved
January 31, 2011 – Shelved as: heroine-i-loved
January 31, 2011 – Shelved as: tortured-hero
January 31, 2011 – Shelved as: angsty-read
January 31, 2011 – Shelved as: favorites
January 31, 2011 – Shelved as: spiritual-food
January 31, 2011 – Shelved as: enslaved
January 31, 2011 – Shelved as: redemption
January 31, 2011 – Shelved as: possessive-and-or-jealous-hero
January 31, 2011 – Shelved as: 2011-reading
January 31, 2011 – Finished Reading
June 15, 2011 – Shelved as: christian-fiction

Comments (showing 1-31 of 31) (31 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by SheLove2Read (new)

SheLove2Read cool! I love this era and it is hard to find.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I know. Have you seen some of the HH's in this genre? I'll recommend them to you.

message 3: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Ooooh Dr. D, I'd love to hear of some HH's with ancient Rome or Egypt settings.

Terri I am looking forward to read this .

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Okay I'll recommend some to you too, Agent Scully. This sounds good, Terri.

message 6: by SheLove2Read (new)

SheLove2Read Send me some D.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I sent you ladies the ones I could find. There might be one more where the heroine is a Roman lady and the hero's a viking.

message 8: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Thanks Dr. D

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) You're welcome, Agent Scully. I'll send you ladies another one I read. It's not a HH though.

Carla Capshaw Hi everyone,

I just found this feature of Goodreads. Since you all are interested in good Roman set HHs, I know Michelle Styles has several good ones. :-)

Terri I am reading Michelle Styles 's book right now. it called A Christmas Wedding Wager" .. I know Carla's book " The Gladitor" book will be out in November 2009

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I have Michelle's on my list to read, so thanks for the recommendations, Carla. I look forward to reading your book.

Carla Capshaw Thank you for your interest in The Gladiator. I'm so excited about it and really hope you all enjoy it. :-)

P.S. I've told Michelle you all are discussing/reading her books and invited her to come over and say hello if she can. :-)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Hopefully she will pop on over.

message 15: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "Hopefully she will pop on over. "

I haven't read Michelle S before, but I have her new one (The Viking's Captive princess) on my wishlist. I love Viking romances too!

Terri or you should read " The Gladator's Honor" I read that, it was very good book.

Michelle Styles Carla said that you were talking about Roman HH. I have written 4 -- The Gladiator's Honour, A Noble Captive, Sold & Seduced, and The ROman's Virgin Mistress. All of them have been out in the UK. SOld & Seduced is coming out in the US in direct (ie eharlequin only and ebook in Feb 2010) and I believe A Noble Captive shortly after that. Lyn randall has written one, as has Juliet Landon and Louise Allen.
The VIking's Captive Princess comes out in Dec 2010 in North America. It is the third of my Viking books but was written as a stand alone, even though it revisits the world of Taken by the VIking and Vking Warrior, Unwilling Wife. I just received my authors' copies two days ago and loved the cover.
I have also written several Regency and early Victorian novels.
And I should say how much I enjoyed Carla's book. It is great to see the Roman era being expanded in the Romance genre. When I wrote The Gladiator's Honour, lots of people in the know laughed and it would never sell and there was no market. So each time I hear of another book in the era, I smile.

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

If you like this one I suspect you would like Norah Lofts Homecoming Trilogy.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks for the recommendation, Lavender.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Awesome review, Lady D! I've been looking for a good, inspirational romance. I'm getting ready to read The Journey by Wanda Brunstetter.

Terri I knew you liked this book. Carla did great job write this book.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Dhestiny. I think you'd like this one. I'll have to look into The Journey.

Terri, you were right!

message 23: by Rane (new) - added it

Rane Wonderful Review D!!

message 25: by SheLove2Read (new)

SheLove2Read Wonderful review D!

message 26: by MelissaB (new) - added it

MelissaB Great review Danielle! I think I bought this one. I am watching the second season of Rome so that gets me more interested in this time period.

message 27: by Brylit (new)

Brylit Your review is so inspiring and I will try to read this one soon. Thanks again for your heartfelt and worthwhile insights, LD. :) Brylit

p.s. I am equally as appreciative of your serious thought and your good humour.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Sherri, Melissa, and Brylit.

Melissa, I think Ms. Capshaw brought it to life beautifully.

Brylit, I know you'd like this book.

message 29: by Brylit (new)

Brylit i am sure that i will, LD.

message 30: by KatLynne (new) - added it

KatLynne Great review Lady D! Just received this one from the library and look forward to reading it.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, KatLynne. Let me know what you think of it!

back to top