A fantastic story, with adventure, romance, growth beyond imperfections, eroticism and lots of spankings. Danewyn and Sir Ferrum, a village prostitute, and a Knight. One with a scarred heart, another with a scarred face. Both with the strength to take on a King.
Set in medieval times, Danewyn, a tavern prostitute with a special gift of “Sight”, suddenly finds herself held captive by a large, battle scarred Knight, Sir Ferrum, commander of the Army of the Red Fox, the rightful King of Britain. She had angrily blurted out her “vision” about the Red Fox to one of the King’s soldiers, and Sir Ferrum had overheard.
Ferrum promises not to hurt Dani, if she cooperates, and proves his compassion by protecting and caring for her, eventually falling in love with her. He takes her to the Red Fox, the rightful King of Britain, who offers to make her his official “seer”. Dani really has no choice but to accept the position. It’s either “royal seer” or camp whore.
Ferrum is battled hardened, strong, fierce, and loyal to his leader, Prince Phillip – the Red Fox. He is a huge man, a fighter, considered less desirable because of the scarring on his face. He is aggressive, intelligent, a warrior through and through. But he is also kind, caring, and gentle, as evidenced in his treatment of Dani. In her first punishment, for lying, Dani is given a very sound spanking by Ferrum, where he sets the ground rules for lying and escape attempts. He thrashes her hard, but also makes sure he doesn’t hurt her. His goal is one of teaching, not of demeaning or breaking. This sets the tone for him as her protector.
Dani is a strong, beautiful, intelligent young woman, who has “senses” or “sights” of events to come. She had always had to hide her special talent. It had been judged as devilry by the church, and she had been beaten and shunned the few times she had shown herself. She had entered a life of prostitution when other avenues were taken from her early on .Even though she hates this life, she doesn’t let it bring her down. She is a fighter, she is resilient, and she is “street smart”. And she uses all of these assets to her advantage. But she finally meets her match in Ferrum. Dani accepts her first punishment well, even thanking Ferrum for not going too hard on her, showing him how hard life has been for her.
Ferrum becomes Dani’s protector and lover. But it takes a while for them to both trust their own feelings, and each other. Both coming from harsh pasts, it is easy to see how their “scars” affect their lives. But it was quite enjoyable to watch them grow. Ferrum, does not do well when speaking to ladies, and accidentally puts his foot in his mouth several times with Dani. This was a great way to see some of Ferrum’s imperfections in a lighter note. I loved seeing Dani’s chin thrust out, her eyes darkened and angry, while he ran his fingers through his hair in frustration, saying “Oh crap, did I say that?” (He did not actually use those words. This is medieval times, remember. ) But he also has the ability to build her up with his words. Several times, he explains to her that her sight makes her special, better than what she is doing to herself. He does not see her as a whore. And he expects her to start seeing her worth also. This is the point where I officially fell in love with Ferrum.
Little things like this helped solidify their building relationship. Their sex was already hot, volatile, and explosive. The spankings were commanding, hard, and boundary setting; while some were erotic and sexy as hell. The relationship between them – Ferrum, the Dominant, and Dani, the strong willed, submitting only because she had to, was very interesting. While Dani was attracted to Ferrum, and was finally enjoying the sex that had once been so robotic and meaningless, she also couldn’t fully accept that he was commanding her to stay with the Red Fox Army. She hated not having a choice in the matter. She despised her submission to Ferrum’s punishments. It went against everything she had ever known. Her strength and unyielding had been what had kept her alive for so long. And now this huge, handsome, scarred man, whom she was attracted to in every way, was commanding that she yield, and lose that part that had most protected her.
One of my favorite scenes is a role reversal scene. After some bitter arguments over Ferrum’s leadership, Ferrum offers to let Dani be in charge of him. He agrees to obey her, and accept whatever she doles out, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the Prince’s orders. Since Dani is sick of obeying, and even more so sick of being punished, she accepts his idea. She thinks she will do a better job in charge, and thinks the power will make her happy. She also thinks that Ferrum is too proud of a man to completely yield, and this will give her new power when he fails at his task. She pushes him hard, calling him “slave”, commanding him, demanding his sex and submission. She thrashes him a few times, and even tries to embarrass him by sending him on a task, naked. But he still allows it. Ferrum knows that she will finally understand the difference between power and leadership. It’s just a matter of time. This is one of the sexiest scenes I have ever read in any story. This scene made him even more masculine than he had already been. His submission to her for this brief moment, was based on his own power and his willingness to let her see for herself, instead of forcing a teaching point on her. He could have been a jerk that always forced himself, and his authority on her; or he could have yielded to her strength, and let her emasculate him. He did neither. He gave her exactly what she thought she wanted, and let her figure out for herself that dominance wasn’t about forcing someone to bend to your will. The rest of the scene was so well done. I won’t give it away. But it was fantastic. And it made me see Ferrum, as an even greater man. It also helped Dani to grow, and she became even more likable as a strong heroine, who finally understood their struggle for power.
They finally accepted their love for each other, though they still had to work on some trust issues. But love was definitely, no longer an issue.
There was also a great amount of action, plotting, scheming, fighting- all the things that make for a great action romance. Actually, this would make a great movie. It had everything in it. Action, fighting, a dominant main character, a strong female main character, flaws that are overcome, love, some lighter, humorous scenes, personal growth, hot sex, non-consensual and consensual spankings, erotic spankings and sex. This story was amazing, and I loved every bit of it!
The only thing that threw me for a loop was the cover. It did not really show the characters how they are portrayed in the book. I know this is not the author’s fault, but I just wanted to make a small note of it.
5 stars for a fantastic book. Great writing, very likable characters, a fast paced, and very enjoyable read.