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Modern Gladiator

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Modern Gladiator: Book One A prim and proper aspiring doctor and a destitute martial artist—both with hurts to comfort. Each with just the cure the other needs. Corbin Friel hates mindless sports, especially fighting and boxing. As a medical student, he wants to help others, not watch them beat each other senseless. But his sister, Lala, can’t get enough of rough-and-tumble Modern Gladiator: Book One A prim and proper aspiring doctor and a destitute martial artist—both with hurts to comfort. Each with just the cure the other needs. Corbin Friel hates mindless sports, especially fighting and boxing. As a medical student, he wants to help others, not watch them beat each other senseless. But his sister, Lala, can’t get enough of rough-and-tumble sporting events, and she drags her brother along whenever she can. Keon Lynch doesn’t have much going for him. He’s broke, he lives alone in a new state, and he’s estranged from his family. But at least he has his dream—becoming a professional UFC fighter. Keon trains every day, and if he can just score a few more wins, he’ll get his ticket into the ranks of professional competitors. But an unexplained pain jeopardizes Keon’s dream. During a backstage meet-and-greet, Corbin recognizes the telltale signs of a bone infection, which could cost Keon his leg. Unable to ignore Keon’s situation, Corbin begrudgingly decides to help. And while he gets to know Keon, finding him more desirable with each interaction, Corbin’s ex-boyfriend isn’t pleased with the development…. And he’s determined to keep Corbin for himself, no matter what.


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Modern Gladiator: Book One A prim and proper aspiring doctor and a destitute martial artist—both with hurts to comfort. Each with just the cure the other needs. Corbin Friel hates mindless sports, especially fighting and boxing. As a medical student, he wants to help others, not watch them beat each other senseless. But his sister, Lala, can’t get enough of rough-and-tumble Modern Gladiator: Book One A prim and proper aspiring doctor and a destitute martial artist—both with hurts to comfort. Each with just the cure the other needs. Corbin Friel hates mindless sports, especially fighting and boxing. As a medical student, he wants to help others, not watch them beat each other senseless. But his sister, Lala, can’t get enough of rough-and-tumble sporting events, and she drags her brother along whenever she can. Keon Lynch doesn’t have much going for him. He’s broke, he lives alone in a new state, and he’s estranged from his family. But at least he has his dream—becoming a professional UFC fighter. Keon trains every day, and if he can just score a few more wins, he’ll get his ticket into the ranks of professional competitors. But an unexplained pain jeopardizes Keon’s dream. During a backstage meet-and-greet, Corbin recognizes the telltale signs of a bone infection, which could cost Keon his leg. Unable to ignore Keon’s situation, Corbin begrudgingly decides to help. And while he gets to know Keon, finding him more desirable with each interaction, Corbin’s ex-boyfriend isn’t pleased with the development…. And he’s determined to keep Corbin for himself, no matter what.

30 review for Modern Gladiator

  1. 4 out of 5

    Joyfully Jay

    A Joyfully Jay review. 4.5 stars Modern Gladiator by S.A. Stovall has all the elements for a enemies to lovers romance that morphs into something incredibly sweet and entertaining. Corbin is an interesting character—one that is a definite germaphobe, with a touch of OCD thrown in as well. He often finds himself unable to deal with the slightest thing being out of order and dirt—including swapped fluids after sex–is a no-no. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, Corbin can come off as both a fru A Joyfully Jay review. 4.5 stars Modern Gladiator by S.A. Stovall has all the elements for a enemies to lovers romance that morphs into something incredibly sweet and entertaining. Corbin is an interesting character—one that is a definite germaphobe, with a touch of OCD thrown in as well. He often finds himself unable to deal with the slightest thing being out of order and dirt—including swapped fluids after sex–is a no-no. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, Corbin can come off as both a frustrating old biddy and an endearing nerd simultaneously. I could see some being turned off by him because he often sounded superior and condescending, but you find out that hides a wealth of insecurities. I grew to really like him and was entranced by the way in which he thought things through from how he could better help Keon prepare for his fights, to how he cared for his sister. I also really loved how the author made Keon so accepting of Corbin’s quirks and how he not only overlooked them, but found them funny and sweet. Read Sammy’s review in its entirety here.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Serena Yates

    UFC fights are no joke, the professional athletes trying to qualify for UFC status face a lot of hard work, and the temptation of taking a shortcut via doping is as present as the risk of competitors blackmailing their way in. ‘Modern Gladiator’ has two main characters who, at least initially, have diametrically opposed agendas – Corbin is a medical student and Keon is an aspiring UFC fighter. Having a future medical professional support a fighter who hurts (and is hurt) for a living is definite UFC fights are no joke, the professional athletes trying to qualify for UFC status face a lot of hard work, and the temptation of taking a shortcut via doping is as present as the risk of competitors blackmailing their way in. ‘Modern Gladiator’ has two main characters who, at least initially, have diametrically opposed agendas – Corbin is a medical student and Keon is an aspiring UFC fighter. Having a future medical professional support a fighter who hurts (and is hurt) for a living is definitely an unusual twist. Add a lot of interesting secondary characters with their own interests and issues and a credible villain, and while the plot is straightforward, there are a few surprises and the suspense and the pacing pulled me right into events. The world of MMA fighting comes to life on the pages of this book, and the descriptions of the fights, injuries, and characters are vivid. Real sports fans will probably enjoy this book even more than I did. Please find my full review on Rainbow Book Reviews.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laxmama

    While I liked this book it was not love for me. The premise was there, i think for me it was a combination of some of the characters along with the execution. One of the MC’s Corbin also nicknamed “bin-bin” by his sister was beyond uptight. I get that was who he was yet I never felt it explained fully and it didn’t exactly fit with other aspects of the story. There was a parallel story running with Corbin’s sister & I felt just too much of the book forced and contrived, too much OTT

  4. 5 out of 5

    namericanwordcat

    I am really excited about this series. Like Corbin, I don't like MMA that much but I respect commitment, hard work and talent. Koen is such a steadfast hero and love that in contrast with his fighter persona. This love stories builds and builds and we get to enjoy watching these two fall in love. Corbin makes some terrible choices that really only new adults make. The side plot with his ex boyfriend doesn't really work well for me and I would like more time with them fully in a relationship but I am really excited about this series. Like Corbin, I don't like MMA that much but I respect commitment, hard work and talent. Koen is such a steadfast hero and love that in contrast with his fighter persona. This love stories builds and builds and we get to enjoy watching these two fall in love. Corbin makes some terrible choices that really only new adults make. The side plot with his ex boyfriend doesn't really work well for me and I would like more time with them fully in a relationship but I love their dynamic and the support they give each other. They fully embrace each other and MMA really comes alive here.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    I am so much like Corbin in this book lol. I have never really understood that boxing matches and MMA matches. Please do not misunderstand me. I'm not knocking it all or judging. If it makes people happy, go for it. Sometimes it just seems a little blood thirsty to me is all I meant. I can understand it to a point. Discipline, letting go of aggression, things like that. Anyway, lol. I also, like Corbin, would support someone anyway for following their dreams. And this is a good book. The work in I am so much like Corbin in this book lol. I have never really understood that boxing matches and MMA matches. Please do not misunderstand me. I'm not knocking it all or judging. If it makes people happy, go for it. Sometimes it just seems a little blood thirsty to me is all I meant. I can understand it to a point. Discipline, letting go of aggression, things like that. Anyway, lol. I also, like Corbin, would support someone anyway for following their dreams. And this is a good book. The work in finding you dreams, the passion, and the better it makes it when you have that support. When Corbin's sister drags him to an MMA match, he wasn't terribly thrilled. He tries to do everything he can for his sister because of her medical history, but sometimes the things she likes, to him, are a bit much. And this is one of them. It doesn't help when he makes a fool of himself hollering out not nice things to Keon, who is the opponent in this match. Keon wasn't thrilled to hear it and after meeting the stuffed shirt Corbin, he doesn't like him either. But a medical problem of Keon’s comes to Corbin's attention and he does all he can to help. Which is his mission in life. The more he is around Keon, the more his opinion changes, not necessarily about the sport, but Keon’s dream and passion. But eventually, Corbin's ex finds out he's with Keon and he's not happy. He's making trouble and it's going to be up to Corbin to bow under the pressure or talk to Keon and risk his relationship. Both of these boys have dreams. They may be worlds apart but they both have passions for what they are pursuing. Corbin, being raised by doctors, is well versed in the subject already. But seeing what his sister has been through in her life, has fueled his passion to help people be better. It's an admirable trait. Even if he may be a little stuffy sometimes. He's got a heart of gold under those brains, though. Even in situations knowing he could get killed, he defends others. He hates bullies. He's a little guy too. But it just makes him more special. Keon doesn't like bullies either. Especially after living with one. One that costed him a relationship with his sister. And with his attitude in the ring at times, he comes off as a brute. But he's worked hard for where he's at and he doesn't care much of the opinions of others. Except Corbin's. Somehow this little man has worked his way under Keon’s skin and won't let go. The more he gets to know Corbin, the more he don't want him too either. He sees under that stiffness and pressed clothes to the man in and he loves what he sees. Corbin has given him a new lease in life with support and trust. Friendship and love. Even that glare of his lol. It's so odd thinking these two could be good together but they seem just perfect. Opposites do attract, they say and these two are about opposites in every way. And it makes for a fun story. http://lovebytesreviews.com

  6. 5 out of 5

    Happily Ever Chapter

    ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ 4-STAR ✩ REVIEW ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ A physically fit male dominates the cover with minimal lighting causing deep shadows on his bare torso. He’s seen holding a length of chain. Heavy block letter font makes the title stand out. Overall, the composition provides a dramatic air that seems to be backed up by an intriguing synopsis. POV ~> Dual first-person So, Corbin is a med student. Keon is an MMA fighter aiming for the UFC level. Corbin’s sister has a bone illness and although older than him, he w ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ 4-STAR ✩ REVIEW ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ A physically fit male dominates the cover with minimal lighting causing deep shadows on his bare torso. He’s seen holding a length of chain. Heavy block letter font makes the title stand out. Overall, the composition provides a dramatic air that seems to be backed up by an intriguing synopsis. POV ~> Dual first-person So, Corbin is a med student. Keon is an MMA fighter aiming for the UFC level. Corbin’s sister has a bone illness and although older than him, he watches over her and tends to cater to her wants and needs… such as her love of watching contact sports. Lala reunites with a childhood friend turned fighter, Derek, and by an odd turn of events, Derek’s opponent that night – whom they trash talk before the fight – is actually good friends with Derek outside the octagon. After a rough start, the four of them kind of develop a support team of sorts for Keon as he battles his way to the UFC qualifier. It’s not without drama though… competitor gyms try to warn him away, an obsessive ex-boyfriend won’t take no for an answer, and thugs are brought in to rough them up and threaten them. Navigating the dangers and trying to keep one another safe can only build their bond stronger if they don’t let it tear them apart first. In this story, I think I liked Keon far better than Corbin. Corbin had a bad habit of acting all self-righteous and snobbish, whereas Keon was much humbler. Secondary characters were plentiful but not overwhelming, most were likable. Chemistry progressed slowly. Dialogue was strong, interactions felt natural. The plot was engrossing, though I knew who sent the thugs right away. The conflicts were resolved in various manners, some in ways much different than I’d thought they’d go. Predictability was moderate. The conclusion was good, providing an HFN or implied HEA. This was the first book by SA Stovall that I’ve read and I’d be interested in reading more. . Rating: [R] ~ Score: 4.175 ~ Stars: 4 ========================== ⭐ ⭐ **** Disclosure of Material: I received a copy of this book from the Author/Publisher with the hope that I would voluntarily leave unbiased and unsolicited feedback. I was not asked, encouraged, or required to leave a review - nor was I compensated in any way. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". ***** ⭐ ⭐

  7. 4 out of 5

    Diverse

    Reviewed by Jenn for Diverse Reader +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I thought this would be a fun opposites attract story and it is but it’s also so much more. We have Corbin Friel, a med student who seems to live by rules and schedules. We also have Keon Lynch, a man who lives by his fists. These two seem to be so far apart that they come from different worlds. I could list all the ways they’re different, but I want to focus on how they’re the same. They are lonely and at first glance, Keon see Reviewed by Jenn for Diverse Reader +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ I thought this would be a fun opposites attract story and it is but it’s also so much more. We have Corbin Friel, a med student who seems to live by rules and schedules. We also have Keon Lynch, a man who lives by his fists. These two seem to be so far apart that they come from different worlds. I could list all the ways they’re different, but I want to focus on how they’re the same. They are lonely and at first glance, Keon seems to be the loneliest, you look a bit deeper and you can really feel the depth of Corbin’s loneliness. Corbin “Bin-Bin” reminds me of someone standing in the middle of a crowd screaming and yet...no one hears him. Each man has strength, integrity and the burning desire to make it in their prospective fields. After an auspicious first meeting leads to Keon needing Corbin’s help and his discretion, things take a turn for these two. Imagine two men who have had laser focus on one thing in each of their lives finally focusing on each other? I loved it!! Throw in an ex who doesn’t believe he is an ex and we’ve got a great book. This book is full of humor, heart, friendship, heat, action, and some intrigue...all the things I love in a book. I love seeing two characters that shouldn’t necessarily work make me believe they are in it for the long haul. We also get LaLa, Corbin’s sister and Derek, Keon’s fellow fighter, friend and military buddy and things get even better. This was a great book with all the feels and one that was very well researched. The sports and medical dialogue and scenes come across very authentic and ring true. I have a true appreciation for an author that does their research and was not disappointed here! This is my first S.A. Stovall book, I had not read the previous four in this series. I didn’t feel like I’d lost anything by not reading them except that I haven’t read them. Lol! This is something I will be correcting, this is an author I want to read more of! Loved the action, the crazy ex and all the feels. Such a good and entertaining book!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ivy

    https://optimumm.blog/2019/03/26/revi... Keon Lynch has one goal, being a UFC’s fighter. He’s self-made. He trains alone in a workout gym and has no team, no support, no cornermen. Corbin Friel is a medical student, and he wants to be a doctor like his parents. He wants to save people and has nothing to do with this harsh and rough world of fighters. Keon and Corbin are drawn to each other even if everything is against them. What are the odds for a broken fighter and a proper student to start a re https://optimumm.blog/2019/03/26/revi... Keon Lynch has one goal, being a UFC’s fighter. He’s self-made. He trains alone in a workout gym and has no team, no support, no cornermen. Corbin Friel is a medical student, and he wants to be a doctor like his parents. He wants to save people and has nothing to do with this harsh and rough world of fighters. Keon and Corbin are drawn to each other even if everything is against them. What are the odds for a broken fighter and a proper student to start a relationship together? Modern Gladiator is the new book by S.A Stovall, and I loved every word. Keon is broken in every sense of the term. His leg is hurting him, his soul, and his mind too. He’s a nobody in the fighting word, and people don’t seem to like him. He’s completely alone until he meets Corbin. They start in the wrong way, but soon, when Corbin tries to help him with his leg and starts to take care of his schedule, Keon is like a phoenix flying in the arena and in Corbin’s heart. Corbin is uptight, a good student, and he has one goal, being a doctor. He doesn’t have a social life. He studies or hangs out with his big sister, Malala, a fan of MMA fighting. When he meets Keon, Corbin is full of judgment about this man until he realizes that Keon isn’t what he thinks he is, and he starts to get involved in his life. I adored these two characters, really, I adored them. On the paper, they have nothing in common. Absolutely nothing, from their families, to their childhood, their manners and their dreams, but somehow, it does work for them. Corbin fights for Keon, and Keon for Corbin. They are a superb match, and I adored everything about them. The story is told from both POVs. The plot is good and well developed as we follow Keon and Corbin becoming a couple while working to achieve Keon’s goal and avoiding the problems and threats that are thrown at them. The secondary MCs are good and funny, especially Malala. I loved the rhythm of the story. It was dynamic, funny (Corbin cracked me up a lot), and well written. I wasn’t bored because there wasn’t any useless repetitiveness. I was captivated in the book, biting my nails at each fight that was well described with some technical terms that I learned. The author must have done some search, and I appreciated it. I recommend this book. It was a fun, fresh and very good read that I enjoyed a lot. I’m excited to know that it’s the start of a new series, so I can’t wait to read the other books. Well done Miss Stovall! 5 Stars for the gladiator and his doctor

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    I had no idea if I would like this when I started because I really can't stand MMA. I can't stand any kind of sport where people bash each other voluntarily while crowds watch and encourage them on. I don't know how accurate this book was as far as the sport goes, but I'm surprised to say that I actually enjoyed the book. I like couples that are the complete opposite of each other: and Corbin and Keon are definitely that with Corbin being the straight-laced, conservative medical student from a we I had no idea if I would like this when I started because I really can't stand MMA. I can't stand any kind of sport where people bash each other voluntarily while crowds watch and encourage them on. I don't know how accurate this book was as far as the sport goes, but I'm surprised to say that I actually enjoyed the book. I like couples that are the complete opposite of each other: and Corbin and Keon are definitely that with Corbin being the straight-laced, conservative medical student from a well-to-do family and Keon being a tough, ex-military MMA fighter who is estranged from his family and basically living in the slums and eking by to fulfill his dream of being part of the UFC. They meet, start off not liking each other, grow to like each other, and have a couple of other issues (health scare and ex-boyfriend problems) they get through before realizing that they really like each other. This is a pretty low angst book that was entertaining because the MCs are so different from each other. I don't know how realistic it is that a gay MMA fighter would be accepted by other fighters, but I was okay with that. There was enough detail regarding the fighting to keep it interesting, but not too much that I had to skip pages. It would have been nice to have an epilogue to find out how the couple is doing maybe a few years later, but I guess that's what we have imaginations for. Overall I liked this and I will more than likely read the next in the series (and cross my fingers that Corbin and Keon will have an appearance).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    3.5 or 4 stars For someone supposed to be so smart Corbin can be pretty stupid and also a little judgemental or even hypocritical at least when it comes to his sister's boyfriend but in his defense he has no problem admiting his fault, most of the time without anybody telling him he's wrong. He can come off a little awkward with the way he speaks and the way he react to certain things but I appreciate the fact that even if he has some prejudice he isn't stubborn about it if that makes any sense 😅 3.5 or 4 stars For someone supposed to be so smart Corbin can be pretty stupid and also a little judgemental or even hypocritical at least when it comes to his sister's boyfriend but in his defense he has no problem admiting his fault, most of the time without anybody telling him he's wrong. He can come off a little awkward with the way he speaks and the way he react to certain things but I appreciate the fact that even if he has some prejudice he isn't stubborn about it if that makes any sense 😅 Plot wise there was no unecessary drama which was nice especially for a book that isn't too long, no stupid misunderstandings that took forever to be resolved. Maybe a lack of communication but understanding with Corbin's personality and the situation they were in but once the issue was brought up Keon put a stop it and I think with time Corbin will be better at it. Now onto the sex scene there was a weird parallel between the preparation to penetration and their relationship. It was probably not intended by the author but I'll use it as a justification to make anyway to make it better. The first sex scene with no preparation, where at least Corbin is asked if he likes it rough, an other after they got closer where there's a little preparation and finally when they are in love with each other they finally use lube and actually prepare properly. Again I don't think it's intentional but if it is it would be pretty smart in a really weird way 😂

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ami

    I admit that I really don't have high adoration to MMA -- what can I say, I'm not into hard/physical sports that more into punching/kicking other people until they're bloody. BUT, I can't help admiring Keon for his passion towards the sport, which helped the story a bit. The romance is rather dry. Corbin, for me, is a little of a doormat. AND I was NOT too amused with Corbin's sister. OR her side romance with Derek, because, well, I also thought Derek being much too cowardly.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristy Maitz

    I really don't know what to think about that story plot. If I would guess, I would say the story plot is shallow and something is missing, but don't ask me what. Both main character Corbin and Keon are interesting individuals so their coming together is fine. Also, ending is abrupt and not satisfied. I read a lot of more interesting books than that one so ....

  13. 4 out of 5

    Meggie

    I liked the atmosphere in Modern Gladiator. Both MC, Corbin and Keon, were Alpha types. Their romance developed rather abruptly, okay from sex toward affection and at the end love. That's why I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel on Keons dream of becoming a professional UFC fighter. His romance with Corbin was fresh and new, so we'll have to see how this'll develop as well.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Review coming Soon!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Ribeiro

  16. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

  17. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

  18. 4 out of 5

    Fernanda Vieira

  19. 5 out of 5

    Regina Polli

  20. 4 out of 5

    Josie

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ai

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chiara

  23. 5 out of 5

    Line

  24. 5 out of 5

    namericanwordcat

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mickie Ashling

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jason Bradley

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kata01

  29. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Meyers

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bellisi

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