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Enslaved by [Dean, Cassandra]
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Enslaved Kindle Edition

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Length: 129 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

I was to teach a slave.

Marcus, a gladiator in my father’s ludus, was compelled to my presence to learn of Rome’s gods, her legends. When first he came, fear consumed me - fear of this silent, resentful slave who burned with his anger.

Time, though, changes much. Marcus softened and I grew unafraid. As we became closer, I grew more than merely unafraid – I grew to love him. Never did I think we would be separated.

I was wrong.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 426 KB
  • Print Length: 129 pages
  • Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company (12 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005CKK81Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #431,638 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done 27 September 2011
By M. Harte - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't like to read stories in first person pov, it's just not my thing. But this author did an excellent job with it. I was hooked from the first chapter. I thought the H/h spent a little too much time apart but not enough to mark off for it or anything. The visuals, the writing, the research, all were well done. And the premise was so unique I couldn't help but wonder how she was going to wrap this up and make it work. I may have done things a little differently were I in her shoes but again, the author did a wonderful job on her own. Well done.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing and unpredictable gladiator romance 10 December 2011
By J. Renaud - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm so tired of cliched historical romances that seem to be written by Publishing Company Autobot 3000. Regency bluestocking spinster who's beautiful even though she doesn't think so? Check. Wicked but kind-hearted rake with friends or relatives ready-made for sequels? Check. One reason I love romances that come out from smaller e-presses is that they're quirkier and more interesting. If you're like me and bored with the same old romances, I highly recommend that you check out Cassandra Dean's "Enslaved." It's a cool, fun novella set in ancient Rome, a time period you don't often see in this genre.

Another one of my complaints with romance novels is that the happy ending often feels tacked on- that the characters don't earn their HEA. That is not the case in "Enslaved." Both the hero and heroine have very satisfying character arcs in this. And it does a great job of avoiding most Roman era cliches. There's no Christians, no evil emperors, no cheesy orgies, or freedom-loving barbarians mucking about in the wilderness. This is impressive especially for a first-time author- in fact it completely defied my expectations.

At first it starts out a bit like "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" fanfiction- which is not entirely a bad thing as I love that show. But then it leaves the gladiatorial school, and it takes on a life of its own. I've read my share of gladiator romances, but this book zigged when I thought it would zag. The plot takes unpredictable twists and turns, and I found that delightful. It's really cool to read a romance where you literally have no idea what's going to happen next.

The basic plot goes like this (there's a few spoilers here, but I don't want to give too much away): Lucia, a sweet nerdy girl, the daughter of a rich lanista (a gladiator trainer), is told by her dad to tutor a new gladiator named Marcus in the Roman ways of religion/mythology. Their relationship develops over many years, and it's a very slow and intense burn...

But they're separated, as Lucia is forced into a loveless marriage with a handsome but inept politician, but she doesn't forget Marcus as she battles her crippling depression. After her husband leaves her because she's "morose," she's reunited with Marcus- who is now a merchant- and they struggle to figure out their new relationship against the expectations of Lucia's family and the pressure of societal expectations.

It's told in first person, which is not to everyone's taste, but I think it works really well here, since you really get into Lucia's head. It's atmospheric... and filled with exquisitely rendered emotion that makes you feel every awful thing Lucia endures (without being bombastic or purple). Her depression is a tangible thing, and I thought that was an interesting topic to handle in a historical romance. At one point I even wondered if Lucia had actually had a chance at having a happier marriage with her husband- since, even though he's a bit of a jerk, he's also depicted as attractive and interested in having sex with her- but if their relationship was sabotaged by her depression and her inability to help his career. It felt very realistic.

In regards to Ms. Dean's writing style, the dialogue is a bit more mannered and formal than I'm used to, but that is a direct homage to the dialogue used in the "Spartacus" TV show. The writing, on the whole, is impressive. It manages to be both finely crafted, nuanced, and spare. In fact, some of the restraint used in the prose is breathtaking. It's tense, understated and incredibly sexy.

When Marcus and Lucia finally do have sex, it's smoking hot. There's also some exciting action scenes in the arena. And for a book that takes place over eleven years, the pacing is fantastic and doesn't miss a beat. However, I did want to see more action in the ending, most of this happens off screen, and it feels like a bit of a cheat. But the HEA was super satisfying.

Other than that, my biggest problem was that some of the historical background was off. This was a bit annoying at first. It's pretty vague as to when it took place, and where it was set. It's clearly during the Empire... Lucia even has a horse called "Emperor." But I don't know if she was in Italy or somewhere in the provinces. She lives in a city called Astana, which must be fictional, because the only Astana I could find is in Kazakhstan.

The same frustrating vagueness is evident in Marcus's background. He's from Thrace... so why does he have a Roman name, and why does he need tutoring in Roman religion? Lucia's dad calls him "Crassus" in the arena, and I have my doubts about this being a suitable name for a gladiator. The most famous Crassus- Marcus Licinius Crassus, played by Olivier in Kubrick's "Spartacus"- was generally known after his death as Caesar's unlucky triumvir, the unscrupulous millionaire with the first fire-fighting company who died (or so legend goes) when the Parthians captured him in battle and poured gold down his throat. I think a name like that would cause more snickers than anything else.

It's also bit distracting that many of the names of the other characters come straight from the most recent sword n' sandals movies and TV shows. There's a Meridius ("Gladiator") a Niobe, a Vorenus and a Pullo (HBO's "Rome") a Glaber, a Lucretia and a Bariatus (all from "Spartacus: Blood and Sand"- and `Bariatus' is only one letter away from John Hannah's character Batiatus). And speaking of Spartacus, "Enslaved" also repeats one of the problems seen in that show- lanistae were not nobles, and they could never rise that high socially. They were infames, along with actors, criminals, spendthrifts, and debtors. Infamia was a moral stigma, mandated by law, which resulted in a diminished state of citizenship.

However, historical goofs asides, this is a solid story, and I was able to get past this once I became invested in the characters. I've read really well-researched novels that are also dry and dull, but "Enslaved" was compelling, moving, and rang emotionally true. I wish that more romances were like this.

There's going to be a sequel, and I'm definitely looking forward to it.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Siren's Song Reviews 25 August 2011
By Rachel Firasek - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
The first thing I noted was that Dean is excellent at world-building. I am no particular expert on Ancient Rome, but to me it seemed like the story was historically accurate. I was immersed in historical cities with gladiators, excess, and coliseums. I found the time and place fascinating, and so well-written that for time and place alone I would've kept reading - simply because it was unique and different. I liked that Dean wrote in first person (from Lucia's point of view) and I truly enjoyed seeing the world through her eyes. To be honest, I generally dislike first person so that was another first for me, that I enjoyed it here. Dean clearly writes very well.

The book was too short for my tastes, for all that happened during it, and it moved at an incredibly fast paced - so fast I almost felt rushed. I still enjoyed and savored every page, every moment, every word - and I desperately wanted to see more. Dean was very good about marking how much time had past - either using the age of characters or by actually stating it, which was important. The story takes place over the first 30 or so years of Lucia's life, and without the marking of time I could've been very lost. Dean seemed to be cognizant of her reader's possible confusion while writing, and filled in any holes almost immediately - making it an easy, fast, and fun read.

What else is there to say? Good characters (Oh Marcus! *fans self*), a great location and time period, and a wonderful romance - put this book on your to-read list right away!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong Historical ... Weak Romance 24 May 2013
By Haley - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
The author did a wonderful job transporting the reader to Ancient Rome. I really liked her writing style. As a history buff this alone earned the book another star. The premise of this book was unique which drew me to it, unfortunately the romance fell flat. This story is written solely in Lucia's POV. She is the daughter of a noble family. Her father instructs her to teach a gladiator Marcus about the gods of Ancient Rome. During these sessions the two develop feelings for each other. I wish their would have been scenes from Marcus' POV. He was a very interesting/complicated character. I really wanted to know what he was thinking!

My only other complaint about this story is the slow romance. After Lucia got married I had no idea how she was going to get together with Marcus. I wish the book had been faster paced. A lot could have been cut to get to the romance faster; although the constant jumping ahead in time and skipping of important scenes did get annoying. Once Lucia and Marcus did consummate their love the scene wasn't extremely steamy, but it was touching. I felt the ending seemed a little forced, but at least it was a HEA.

I highly recommend this book for the unique historical value although it wasn't my type of romance.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating; deeply emotional; I only wish it were longer 21 April 2013
By Aundrea Singer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I began 'Enslaved' thinking it would be a fun story along the lines of the Starz 'Spartacus' TV series (indeed, the author says on her website that the show was her inspiration)' just without the violence and death. Instead I found a simple but astonishingly moving story about love and loss and patience in the face of despair that brought tears to my eyes more than once. The happy ending--and there is one, never fear--is definitely earned, and that much sweeter because of it.

I would have given this book 5 stars with no hesitation, except for the two large gaps in the novel where we're told about the heroine's actions but never get to experience them with her. These gaps unfortunately mean that the moments of the most suspense and fear for the characters are glossed over, and we only get to read a brief retelling after the fact. Sadly, it felt like the author lost the pacing of the story, along with these opportunities to draw me in even further into the lives of her hero and heroine.

I'll definitely look for more by this author, especially with the hope that as she continues to write, she'll feel more at ease with bringing the reader with her through the entire story.