This is young adult novel, so don't expect any sex or many romantic moments.
However, closer to the end of the story, there were confessions and a few tender kisses.
I would recommend this for my 13-year olds (that's roughly the age of the characters, anyway) without hesitation.
The Academy in this book houses many professions: military, healing,magic, law... However, there is virtually no magic of any sort in this book, save for a couple of healing episodes.
Despite being true "young adult" novel, the book was pretty interesting to me and I really enjoyed the characters and the plot.
There are a few bumps in the writing style, but one that annoyed me most was the author's inability (or fear) to use pronouns. "Sentinel trainee" or "mage trainee" started to drive me (excuse my language) nuts by the end of the book.
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.