by Claudia Dain

April 2002
ISBN: 0-8439-4985-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

The title of this book says it all! Claudia Dain has created one of the most burning hot love affairs I’ve come across recently, in her telling of the adventures of Roman Melania and Saxon Wulfred.

As a gently bred Roman woman in Britannia, Melania is secure in the knowledge that her way is the best, civilized, and cultured. As a savagely reared Saxon warrior, whose experiences at the hands of Rome have been violent and life altering, Wulfred is the leader of a troop of marauding Saxons who are bent on eradicating Romans from Britannia.

Thus the battle begins, with Melania desiring nothing more than death at the hands of her captors, and Wulfred strangely reluctant to obey her demands. Both these characters leap off the pages of this book and into the room with the reader. So real do they become, that it is possible to hear Melania as she denounces her Saxon “oaf” and his beliefs. It is possible to see the anger change to passion in Wulfred’s eyes as he notes her honor, courage and determination, and I wanted to stand up and cheer when the heat of lust and sensuality finally ran over them both like a runaway chariot!!!

Melania’s continual attempts to thwart, challenge, and even destroy her captors, especially Wulfred, show her to be no spoiled Roman woman, but one firmly committed to her ideals and beliefs. Wulfred’s patience and skill in handling Melania’s many outrageous schemes betray his intelligence, strategic brilliance, and honor as a human being - none of which are customarily associated with savage Saxon warriors. These are two very special people, and I devoured this tale of their passion, their pain and their eventual realization that they shared some fundamental ideals – those of loyalty, courage, and most of all, love.

I have not been much of a reader of historical romances up to now, but this is an exceptional novel about exceptional lovers, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!! I shall certainly try some of Ms. Dain’s other books, in the hope that she has created more heroes and heroines like Wulfred and Melania!!

Reviewed in June 2002 by Celia.

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