The Next Generation by D.J. Manly
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing
Length: Full Length (157 pgs)
Other: M/M, Multiple Partners, Anal Play
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Coreopsis
Book four in the Gladiators Series
To follow in his father’s footsteps, Gold’s son will need to defeat Ariston in the arena to become champion...but Ariston might be the love of his life.
Nicolaus has lived in the shadow of his father all his life, a father who was the greatest gladiator of them all. His desire is to prove himself in the arena, even though it is against his father’s wishes. He also has other desires, forbidden desires for his father’s lover, and a love/hate relationship with the slave he must defeat if he is to reign victorious as a gladiator in the arena.
Ariston falls in love with Nicolaus the moment he sets eyes on him. A slave all his life, he has never known freedom but he is the unbeatable champion. The fact that Nicolaus can’t decide whether to bed him or kill him greatly complicates his life when he becomes the newest addition to Gold’s ludi.
The Next Generation is the fourth in D.J. Manly’s gripping series. This book has an overabundance of action and sex. If Manly’s well-written, highly descriptive writing style doesn’t have readers jumping into this book, the energetic gladiator battles and sexual encounters on every other page will definitely spark an interest that keeps the pages turning.
Nicolaus is a young man who feels he needs to step out of his father’s shadow and become and even better gladiator than his father once was. The story and conflict between father and son is a common theme but what makes Nicolaus’s situation different is his father treats him with nothing but love and affection. His father’s only wish is to keep his son alive. Nicolaus, like most youths, only see’s pride and glory in fighting and becoming the champion of the gladiator arena. But along the way to seeking his glory, love rears its nasty head and throws Nicolaus for a loop.
Ariston is a gladiator but not by choice. His strength and strong will have given him the edge over all his competitors. He is the champion every fighter wants to beat. Ariston was born into slavery and became a gladiator out of self-preservation. I really liked this character, after all his hardship and cruelty he had experienced throughout his life, he still retains basic human emotions. Ariston is not a fighting robot; he has hopes and dreams of becoming a free man and finding a love of his own.
Nicolaus and Ariston’s love affair takes them both by surprise at first. Ariston is more accepting of this pairing but Nicolaus’s need to prove he is the best gladiator wears on this budding relationship. Love is work and sometimes sacrifices have to be made and the author did a wonderful job of getting that across in this story. This love story is taken step by step of the highs and lows a couple goes through no matter what time period they live in.
There quite a few conflicts amongst this story. First off there is Nicolaus’s relentlessness to become a gladiator, Nicolaus attraction to his father’s lover, the poisoning of Ariston, and the love story between Nicolaus and Ariston. This book lacks nothing in the entertainment department. There are so many things going on in this story as the reader I never got bored.
This author’s capability to write so smoothly and flow with the detail descriptions gave me the ability to feel like I was watching this story unfold like a movie in my mind. From the gladiator fighting and countless sex scenes nothing was left up to the imagination. The high quality in the descriptive details really made this story a winner for me.
I have not read the previous books in this series but I was able to follow along without an issue. After reading The Next Generation I will definitely have to go back and read the priors. This was an A plus read that I think all D.J. Manly fans will enjoy.