Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
When I got this book to review I really didn’t expect to like it, I especially didn’t expect to love it. A warrior groomed to kill with no regret has his life changed by a small infant girl. Lance (Scourge) was taken at the age of ten by warlord Ulfr and beaten into being the perfect killing machine. He was raped by Ulfr till he was grown and never knew love or compassion, killing was what he was made for and he excelled at it until one massacre of a village brought him face to face with a tiny baby who looked at him and laughed with no fear in her eyes. Her mother lay injured but alive and Lance swore that nothing would happen to this child and he set them off on a horse to freedom.
When Ulfr discovered that the woman and baby were set free he insisted that Lance chase them and kill them both, something he steadfastly refused to do. This was the first time he refused to obey Ulfr and it cost him dearly. He was made to walk the gauntlet and by the end he was more dead than alive. It was only his horse Brutus coming to his rescue and running off with him that saved his life. There was no doubt that if Lance survived Ulfr would never stop searching for him until he was dead.
Gustum (Gust) is a healer and whether it was fate or luck he found Lance and brought him to his healing hut. For days Gust worked on healing Lance and was unsure if he would be able to save this man who for some reason he felt attached to. Gust has no idea who Lance is but he does realize that he is a warrior. Over time the two men begin to care for each other and Lance is determined that no one and nothing will harm his friend. He also knows that he has brought danger into the village because it won’t be long before Ulfr finds him and destroys the village and everyone in it.
For the first time in his life Lance is treated with compassion, he is welcomed by many of the villagers and Gust and his aunt Kissa take him into their home and care for him. Lance realizes that the Scourge is dead and he will fight if necessary to save lives not take them. Caring is a new sensation for Lance something he has never felt before but now that he does he likes it. He will have to face Ulfr and kill him in order to save the people he now cares about, especially Gust.
It was so heartwarming to watch as Lance learned that he was more than a killing machine and that he wanted to prove he was a different man. Unfortunately like always happens once people learn who he is they will no doubt turn against him. My mother used to say it doesn’t matter what you did for me yesterday it only matters what you do for me today, so true and so sad.
I know that some people might find this book a little slow moving but it was just a beautiful story about an infant changing a man’s life and a healer who he begins to fall for. Of course there is no sex and poor Lance has no idea what he is feeling when he is with Gust but hopefully that will change since there are two more books in the series.