Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
Gwyn is a healer like her mother, her sister Venora is a seer and her brother Kendrick, the youngest sibling is almost blind and has the gift of feeling. He has the ability to feel a person’s essence and tell if they are good or evil he is also the one their drunken father, Blasius the Mad, uses as a punching bag which will only get worse when he discovers his blindness. Like their father the oldest son Gunnar is filled with hatred and ready, willing and able to draw his sword. Gwyn’s father is a Norseman with nothing but hatred towards the Scots and when Simon MacCoinneach along with his father and brother come to trade all hell breaks out leaving Gunnar and Simon’s brother Desmond laying dead.
In spite of her attempts to save Desmond he is too far gone and there is no saving Gunnar. Simon’s father comes up with an idea to possibly end the fighting and once again get the trading back on track and his idea involves kidnapping Gwyn and having her marry Simon not something Simon is happy about. Forcing Gwyn to marry him is not something that sits well with him as far as he is concerned the only way to put an end to the fighting is with a sword. Without going into too much I will just reveal that as a young man an incident involving Simon and his mother left him filled with hate and his mother very ill.
Gwyn was betrothed to Leidolf a Norseman determined to take Gwyn as his wife and killing every other man and child in the village giving him the power he has always wanted. As the third child he has always been the brunt of his father and brother’s jokes and torture finally he sees a way out. Simon convinces himself that kidnapping Gwyn is saving her from a father that is totally insane and cruel and there is no doubt that the future groom would be no better. Gwyn’s biggest fear is leaving Kendrick behind but a promise from Simon to save him eases her heart a little.
Gwyn begins to see Simon in a totally different light, he looks after her, never pushes himself on her and only marries her when his father insists it be done. Consummating the marriage, well that is a whole different problem on both Simon and Gwyn’s parts. It only takes one kiss for Gwyn to want more.
Before Gwyn was taken her sister informed her that Simon would die and if she tried to save him she would be forfeiting a part of herself. As a healer each time it is done she gives up a breath and after one thousand breaths she would no longer live. Having no knowledge of what healing costs her Simon wants her to heal his mother who has been getting worse over the past nine years and would be a major healing for her, costing her dearly.
Of course this is not just a historical romance it is also a visit to 1263 Scotland and what a dark visit it is, hate, death and well some things never change, it may be a different time, a different place but hatred and war still exist today. A wonderful story that I loved as much as A Hundred Kisses so I highly recommend getting both books.