Review: Unbound, Unbroken by Nasia Maksima

When rising star gladiator Titian finds himself paired with the vainglorious champion Galadros, he finds himself in mortal danger. For a dark spell binds them together, using their lust to make them pawns in the wicked schemes of Alession, the Empress’s right-hand man.

Their only hope is to fight against the bond and hope to break it before Alession forces them to fight each other to the death in the arena. But with every challenge they face, Titian finds himself more and more drawn to Galadros, strengthening the dark spell even as they try to break it.

What begins as pure survival quickly spirals into a whirlwind of lust and love as Titian fights—both for his life and for an impossible future with Galadros. But Galadros has an even darker secret—one that might destroy them both.

Kind of a mixed bag.

The porn with these gladiators is strong. I approve of this. 

The world building is much stronger in this than the first. There are engineered creatures that were thrown into the arena with these gladiators disgusting enough to make me shudder. Still.

The story is essentially a replica of the first with a tweak here and there. The first book worked for me and I did enjoy this one but the originality is questionable. 

My biggest gripe is the dominance/submission thing; it wore me down.

So... the porn... 

Enough said. Maksima knows her gladiator porn and she knows it well.

We have Titian and Galadros who are brought together by the Machiavellian Alession who again tries to engineer a Romeo and Julietesque outcome for the Empress's pleasure with an Ebon bond this time. An Ebon bond is supposedly stronger than the brand he used previously on Hektor and Lucan. Again, true love is the only thing that can break the bond.

Alession engineers this relationship primarily because he knows what Galadros really wants-to be bent over and plowed to within an inch of his life. He also knows that Titian, despite being a secutor gladiator, a position that necessitates him being a bottom to his provocator, wants nothing more than to impale his mate on his man stick. Repeatedly. Galadros and Titian would seemingly be a match made in heaven BUT Galadros is a provocator gladiator. Provocators bend over for no one! 

I got pummeled by this. What's more, these roles of top and bottom are referred to as 'dominant' and 'submissive'. While there was some bondage, this isn't BDSM and the usage of the terms bordered on offensive. Titian endlessly refers to himself as a dominant. His definition of the term 'dominant' essentially translates to douchebag. A D-bag who shouldn't be questioned, couldn't possibly enjoy being plowed himself and deserves to be revered because of his 'dominant' nature. Galadros and his insecurity about wanting to be plowed and the associated shame that is associated with his need was just as annoying. He refers to himself as 'lesser' 88 TIMES!!!! Just build a bridge already! A bridge with sturdy side rails for all the bending over you'll be doing. 

I'm just going to throw this out there. These guys are horny gladiators. Horny gladiators who are looking for true love.

Alright. Whatever. It's fiction. I get it.

So, they're under this Ebon bond which takes them over in lust and inspires a tiresome propensity towards uttering the words "bitch boy" in the heat of the moment by our 'dominant', but I digress. The Ebon bond takes them over when they bang muddling their feels on whether or not they're in the throes of true love. Neither of these two are hard on the eyes and get propositioned frequently so wouldn't it follow that they would try to break the bond by testing the waters with a willing partner? I mean, if it's not "true love" and all your feels are being manipulated by a weird bond and you were butt hurt by this why  remain faithful and, by extension, under the thumb of a diabolical madman? 

Plus, when there's a carnalia (think bacchanalia with gladiators) and you're on Gladiator's Row in a loin skirt with a bunch of other drunk, horny gladiators somewhere between "Crossed Swords" and "Glory Hole"... do I really need to finish this sentence?

The imagery that Maksima generated in the fight scenes was exceptional. Gruesome, exciting and entertaining.

I will read the next one because I have to know what the Empress has in store for Alession and... gladiator porn. What can I say?

Recommend to fans of gladiators and porn.

A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.

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