In all fairness, gladiators are not my slice of salami.
I read this book for a challenge because of the Mars character. He disappointed me a quite a bit, since his true nature never got a chance to shine. As for the mortals, as entertaining their relationship was in the beginning, it all turned to lust and then love all too quickly, at the same time failing to produce any hint of chemistry between them.
The book is short, and of course, it limits the opportunities for the characters and relationships to develop fully. The plot was a bit of a cliche, the chemistry, like I said, was non-existent, the sex was meh.
First of all, thank you, Manouchka, for lending me this book. It was perfect for my challenge. I really appreciate it, but I am afraid I am going to disappoint you with my review. Sorry about that :/
For some reason, I had high hopes for this book, even after reading Hell & High Water. Not sure what it was - the cover? - the blurb? - that made me curious about it.
Even after I started reading and then double and triple checked my shelves to make sure I've never read this story before (because it felt like I did), I was still sold on it. I am a sucker for unsuspecting humans being dragged into the world of magic. Big cold alphas and puny little (yet snarky, very snarky, and funny, too) humans is also my thing. So I gave this book a chance.
But around 40% in it all fell apart. It turned too sweet and too sugary and there were too many children wrapping everyone in sight around their little foxling's paws (cute, but that's not what the blurb promised!) And it was just downhill from there :( Rainbows, unicorns and lollipops :(
PS ...and pink glitter unicorn cupcakes.
Let's get the bad out of the way first... That cover. How is it possible to like half the cover but not the rest. What is with the silhouettes along the bottom? They're not too bad in thumbnail until you see a larger version of the cover, and then you can't unsee them. Couldn't some sort of sculpture have been used, the same as the filming lights were used in the previous book.
Yes, previous book, because although there is no series name in the title this book is actually connected to All for Show. In fact it is Nat and Owen's wedding the guys are attending. Since I didn't realise this until after I read it I can confirm that there is no need to read the first book to understand this.
Anyway, the cover aside, I really enjoyed this enemies to lovers story.
I spent a bit of the time wanting to do physical harm to Sergio, who had a serious case of 'open mouth insert foot' but I adored Marcus, his old nemesis and enforced roommate. Both men have been mentally traumatised by previous relationships to the extent that they don't know who to trust and an undercurrent of gossip as so many of their friends (and not so friendly) acquaintances are gathered on the small island resort doesn't help their situation.
I can't say I appreciated the last chapter (in fact I knocked half a star off for it) but I know there are readers that will.
This enemies to lovers romance has a bit more angst than I care for, but the author adds in a bit of humor in just the right spots to break the tension and lighten things up. The attraction between Sergio and Marcus is plain to see, but they do have their obstacles to overcome. Marcus' past being a hot topic in the rumor mill, their financial differences, and Sergio's mistrust of relationships - just to name a few. The story is fast paced and it flows very well as this pair figure each other out and learn to trust in each other. Even with the high angst of this one, the story held my interest with its clever dialogue, bit of humor, and some oh so hot sexy. It's more than just an enemies to lovers romance. It's about learning to accept that special someone for who they are now, faults and all, not who they used to be.