The Pen and the Sword by Jana Downs

The Pen and the Sword - Jana Downs

3 1/2 - 4 Hearts


Beast Games 02


Review written for MM Good Book Reviews 


This story is part of a series and must be read in order. Flavius is the gladiator master who doesn’t see his slaves as just beasts, he is trying to improve the lot of his slaves so they have more freedom but his own secret feelings for Corbin could lose them everything. Corbin, Flavius’ Lanista, wants nothing more than to be able to claim his mate but a relationship between a master and slave is forbidden, punishable by jail time for the master. Flavius fights his feelings for Corbin but Corbin won’t allow him to back off, then a deep dark secret about Flavius is discovered and Flavius’ household must pull together or lose everything.
Ah we finally get the story about Flavius and Corbin, we all saw the tension between them in Cat and Mouse but now we see the full struggle that they both faced and we discover just how hard it has been for both of them. Flavius is doing the best he can with his gladiator house, but keeping away from Corbin proves to be impossible. Corbin wishes he could claim the one meant for him and refuses to be pushed away, hoping to find a solution he pursues his master but things become more complicated. Both Flavius and Corbin are shocked when the truth comes out and they have to rely on each other for support and can only hope for the future.
This is a brilliant story in a setting where shifters are slaves and humans the masters, using the shifters natures as a guide to their placing in the human world and having clear guidelines on shifter laws. Both Corbin and Flavius are in a difficult position with their forbidden relationship, Flavius tries to deny what is between them because of the laws and Corbin is beginning to no longer care about the laws. At the gladiator games it comes to a head between them and they have to turn to their household gladiators for help. Flavius makes some surprising connections and Flavius’ slaves are about to get a freedom they have never had before.
This story feels very much like it continues on from Cat and Mouse and in a way it does because we got to see from the outside Corbin’s & Flavius’s relationship in Cat and Mouse so we knew there was something between them, it also carries on with the changing household situation for all the slaves with Flavius wanting fairer treatment for the slaves even before he learned the truth. The relationship between Corbin and Flavius is really well written with the conflicting emotions between following their hearts or following the law, dealing with the new discoveries and making surprising allies. They are a perfect couple in a very difficult situation.
I recommend this to those who love shifters in tight situations, a master trying to do the right thing, fighting the heart and losing, accepting fate, hot sex, a great storyline and a new beginning with hope for the future.