Title: Touched by a Gladiator
Petra never expected an antique replica of a gladiator’s rudis would impact her life, but impact it did, deliciously so. The moment she touches the relic a window to the past appears, and what she sees on the other side is shocking, beyond reason…hot. She can see into the world of an ancient Roman gladiator who is sexy as sin, and she soon discovers she’ll do anything for the opportunity to touch him.
Euric doesn’t know what to make of the strange window that appears in his cell, but knows exactly what he wants to do with the woman on the other side. If only he could get to her. When the two discover they can touch through the portal, their sexual chemistry ignites and all thought as to why they shouldn’t be together disappears.
But when faced with the decision of leaving the life they know behind forever, can either of them take that final step through the window, into the life, and arms, of the one they love?
“So what do you think of it, Petra?” Mr. Dunn looked up at her.
“Uh, it’s a nice-looking wooden sword.”
Mr. Dunn shook his head and chuckled. “This isn’t just any old wooden sword, Petra. This is a replica of an original ancient Roman rudis. A very, very old replica.”
“What exactly is a rudis?” History hadn’t exactly been her strong suit in school, and she knew next to nothing about Roman history.
“A rudis was presented to a gladiator when he was set free. If he was lucky enough to survive to reach that point.”
“Cool.” The only knowledge she had of ancient warriors was from the movie Gladiator that stared Russell Crowe, and she had a feeling it hadn’t been that historically correct, though it did make for some good watching.
“Yes, it is,” Mr. Dunn replied. He pushed the flaps of the box closed. “Why don’t you take this inside while I finish up here?”
Petra picked up the box and headed back through the French doors, grateful to be back inside the air-conditioned mansion. She made her way to the study and crossed the room to put the box on Mr. Dunn’s large mahogany desk. The shelf for the rudis had been installed on the wall kitty-corner from the desk. She grabbed the top layer of packing material to pull it out of the box. Petra jumped when a jolt of energy shot through her fingertips where they had come in contact with the wooden sword. That was strange.
Thinking she couldn’t have somehow shocked herself with static electricity when she had touched it, Petra reached inside the box and lifted the rudis. She took a step away from the desk intending to place it on its shelf when another jolt went through her. Only this time she had to blink her eyes when she thought she saw something forming directly in front of her.
Petra cradled the wooden sword in one arm while she used her other hand to rub her eyes. She had to be seeing things. She blinked again, but whatever it was didn’t go away. What appeared to be a small circle of swirling mist hovered in front of her. As she watched, it grew until it was the size of a large beach ball.
Frozen in place, Petra gasped when the mist cleared. What looked to be a room made out of stone appeared. And chained to the wall, completely naked, was a very large, very muscular man. He stood with his blond head bent. Petra couldn’t stop her gaze from running all over him. The man had a killer body without an inch of fat on him anywhere. She took in his well-defined, hairless chest and washboard abs. Petra swallowed when she reached his cock. It hung flaccid between his well-muscled thighs, and even in that state it looked big.
A thick wooden door she hadn’t seen at first opened. Petra watched a woman walk through and pull back the material of a shawl-looking garment she wore from her head. The door shut behind her when she slowly crossed the room to the chained man. When she reached him, the woman pulled off the shawl, revealing what looked like a toga-styled dress underneath it and ran her hand down his chest. The man lifted his head.
All the air left Petra’s lungs in a whoosh. The man was drop-dead-want-to-screw-his-brains-out-all-night-long gorgeous. He had a square jaw, high chiseled cheekbones and firm lips. There was a faint scar that ran from the corner of his left eye down to his cheek, but it did nothing to take away from his good looks.
The woman stepped closer and kissed the side of the man’s neck while she took his flaccid cock in her hand. She pumped it up and down as she placed kisses at the base of his throat and down his chest. Petra swallowed. Unable to look away—feeling as if she were locked in some kind of waking dream—her body started to respond when the man’s cock hardened. An ache built between her legs causing wetness to pool.
Petra knew she should be freaking out at seeing whatever the hell she was seeing, but she couldn’t get herself to do anything other than stare like a sick peeping tom. As the woman moved lower down his body, the man let his head fall back against the stone wall behind him. His throat worked and his eyes closed. The sight of him standing there chained, naked, obviously enjoying what the woman was doing to him turned Petra on. Her fingers itched to reach out and stroke that deliciously muscular body. She’d always had a weakness for muscular, tall men, especially blonds.
The woman sank down on her knees before him and took his now-engorged shaft in her mouth. The look of pure pleasure—and the husky moan he made at the same time—had Petra’s nipples tightening beneath her lightweight sky-blue blouse. Wetness leaked into her panties, causing a moan of her own to push past her lips.
As if he had heard her, the man’s head straightened and a pair of blue eyes locked gazes with her. Shocked that he actually seemed to see her, Petra gasped and let the rudis fall out of her grasp. The window—or whatever it had been—suddenly disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.
Petra stood with her chest rapidly rising and falling while she tried to pull herself together. What the hell had just happened? Had the scene with the chained man and the woman going down on him been real? She didn’t think she had totally lost her mind and started seeing things that really weren’t there.
Feeling more than a little rattled, Petra bent to pick up the fallen rudis. When her fingers came within a scant inch of it, a small jolt of energy shot through them. No, she wasn’t going to touch it, at least not with her bare hand. Going back over to the desk, she grabbed some of the packing material and placed it over the rudis before she picked it up. She then quickly placed it on its shelf.
Petra gathered up the rest of the packing material and the empty box. She looked over at the rudis one last time before she left the study. Whatever had happened, she knew the sight of the man in the throes of passion would be forever etched in her brain.
4.5 Stars: Marisa Chenery has proven herself time and time again to be one of the reigning members of the fictional “Shifters Romance Writer’s Scribe” with her passionate and intriguing novellas of shifter/human matings. Ms. Chenery continues to impress with her engaging storytelling of shifter/human adventures as she spins a succulent tale that will make even the coldest heart this winter melt into a puddle. I love the character development in this story. So are you looking for the purr-fect tale to cuddle up with? Well “meow” out loud because Ms. Chenery’s Fated to a Cougar might just be right up your alley.--Dogwood, Long and Short Reviews
4 Hearts: Touched by a Gladiator is a story which pulls you in and captures your attention by mixing modern day with time traveling adventures. enjoyed this story for the creative nature and mix of history. It is a fun love story which includes adventure and imagination. The author does a good job of holding my attention and creating suspense until the final scene. Touched by a Gladiator is a good story to add to your library and I look forward to reading more by Marisa Chenery.--Michele, The Romance Studio
5 Tea Cups: I'm glad I didn't leave it for one of the other reviewers, because it was a fantastic read. Once you grasp the ease with which the characters accept the way the window works (and Dear Reader, if you like paranormal or sci fi or any less than strict reality genre, how hard can that be?) this book just works. I wouldn't change a bit of it.--Dodie, Happily Ever After Reviews
5 Blue Ribbons: I love a good time travel romance, and this one packed a wallop. Petra and Euric were beautifully written characters in an emotively written romance that drew me in from the beginning and kept me until well after I’d read the last line. This is a definite keeper, not just for anyone who lusted after Russell Crowe in Gladiator or Kirk Douglas in Spartacus, but for anyone who enjoys a well written and absorbing erotic romance. --Claudette, Romance Junkies Reviews
5 Stars, Top Pick: Marisa Chenery has done it again. I never thought I would enjoy her Gladiators as much as I enjoy her werewolves. Boy was I wrong, they are awesome. Hold on tight for the ride of your life.--Angibabi4, Night Owl Reviews
You Need To Read: This book is a wonderful love story. I was pulled into Petra and Euric’s world right from the start. The sparks ignite from the moment the two make eye contact and become hotter and more intense throughout the book until those sparks become a full fledged fire. This book is full of emotions and took me for a wonderful ride. I was stuck to my seat and turning those pages to see what would happen next. Marisa Chenery has once again written an amazing story that captures the reader’s imagination. I loved meeting these new characters and hope to see more of them maybe even having Gerritt and Lia getting a book of their own.--Gabrielle, You Gotta Read Reviews
4 Tombstones: This was a nice time-travel romance; I do not read many of these because so few are set with the time travel going back into the classical world, but this was a fun and a nice “what if”. I think the author definitely did some good research for this book—she threw in some nice “fun facts” to keep the historical aspects interesting, certainly. Chenery always entertains and her novellas are always sexy, and this is definitely worth picking up for anyone who is looking for a paranormal or time-travel romance with an ancient twist.--Jennifer, Bitten by Books