I wish that Ashbless had just written a straight story with a lot of hot sex, fleshed out the characters and the storyline and not attempted to have both erotica and this alternate universe/past history/gladiator story too because each attempt suffers.
I'll say up front that I really believe it's difficult to say, in a general manner, whether the sex is really hot in an erotica book. People are turned on by different things and so it's pretty subjective on my part but hey, that's what reader reviews are for I suppose.
Anyway, I thought that two or three of the sex scenes were smoking hot and written very well, nice tension, build up and well, climax. Veraine was a pretty sexy alpha male type dude. However, other scenes seemed to be added at the last minute, to make the story seem more like erotica.
The story, a city under seige by a foreign force, the inhabitants being ruled by a woman who is the goddess incarnate (sort of like the Indic goddess Kali, a goddess of destruction and death). Veraine (sort of like a Roman soldier) leads his men in to save the city because it provides the empire with strategic value. That part is fine and even interesting, but there are times when the story becomes laden down with stuff that goes nowhere. The actual invasion part is not very long and is tied up quite quickly, despite the fact that the book is leading up to it from the first pages.
I thought that in an attempt to write a more drawn out book of erotica, that the story and the sex suffered and by the end, I didn't care about either one.