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More than a slave story...?
The Cinderella plot has always been a guilty pleasure to almost every girl. We all wish we'll be noticed by a beautiful, rich, damaged prince despite being plain ourselves. We all hope we'll get loved for our personality, not our looks. We all want to be special. Thus, stories with this sort of concept are popular both for reading and writing.
The first chapter hooked me. Aria seemed like a distinct character despite the usual feisty act. Her dynamics with Arnaud were a good way to show and not tell.
Alexander struck me as the generic rich, cruel guy who falls in love with the girl because she defies him, so it was a sort of pleasant surprise to see him develop as the story went on. Their relationship did develop instead of having insta-love, though I found the whole 'she's beautiful so I'll change my behavior around her' to be kind of unrealistic. I mean, he's killed people before, and yet he calls her "love" without knowing her.
The whole promiscuous, beautiful rival is also kind of overused. Harriet is as deep as a puddle and is mostly there as a plot device. The whole story is something I've read before countless or times, which is a shame because it really had a promising start.
Alexander fleshes out a bit near the end, but overall, the story is not unique in any way. The concepts, characters and scenarios have all been done before, and it'll be easy to confuse these characters with the countless other feisty slaves, femmes fatales and rich guys being soft to the main character for no reason.
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