Erik the Terror, half brother to King Guthrum of the Danes, is yearning for more than rape and pillage. He dreams of a beautiful young woman whose pain and sorrow only he can heal. Merwenna the Saxon dreams of a powerful blond warrior whose love will make her forget the way King Alfred the Great brutally raped her. They meet when the Danes capture Chippenham fortress, where Alfred has left Merwenna and her father to die. Erik immediately takes her under his protection, convinced she is his destiny.
Erik guesses the truth about Merwenna's past and helps her to find love and sexual healing with him. But will King Alfred leave them alone or will his obsessive need to possess her threaten the love and happiness that Erik and Merwenna have found in each other's arms?
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of medieval warfare including both vaginal and anal rape. The hero is involved in such scenes before he finds love.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Barbarian's Bride by Rodine Dobeck
Erik followed Merwenna silently, stunned that the woman from his dream was real and walking in front of him. When he first saw her he felt it like a physical blow. She was very determined as she faced him with the raised sword but it was her beauty that caught his attention rather than the weapon or her threatening stance. She was well fed and round and not very tall. He was a full head taller than she. Her eyes were a soft deep brown and her dark brown hair hung in two braids that fell to her hips. Her complexion was smooth and pearly white, the nose straight, the lips full and rosy. As she walked, her lavender scent wafted back to him and his body reacted.
She appeared no different from the Danish women he had known all his life. Her clothes were serviceable rather than elegant. Around her waist was a leather belt from which hung all that she needed to order Chippenham--rings of keys, leather pouches, a spoon, a small knife. She jingled when she walked, a surprisingly comforting sound.
She unlocked the doors to the smokehouse, the dry goods storehouse and the dairy. "Your cooks may prepare your meal. May I return to my father after I oversee the food preparation?"
"Our cooks are quite proficient. They will not need your help."
"I do not intend to help them but prevent them from ruining my cookhouse with their lack of knowledge. Once I am satisfied that they will not burn it down, I will rejoin my father," she said crisply.
"I assure you they will not burn the cookhouse," he said to the infuriating but beautiful young woman.
"Have you ever worked in a cookhouse?" she asked.
"Of course not," he said indignantly.
"Then your assurance is not helpful, I must see for myself. I am responsible for the safety of this fortress, you know."
He sighed. "Very well, I will wait for you."
"You need not," she said and turned away to arrange pots and pans.
"Until the men know you are protected by me you will be in danger." He wanted to throttle her at the same time he wanted to disrobe her and explore that body, whose curves and angles could only be guessed at.
"And how will you let them know, by raping me on the high table?"
"Being raped by me seems to preoccupy your thoughts. While I have confined rape to my battle lust I think I could work up to it now if you like."
There was fear in her eyes but her mouth curved down in disdain. "If I think overmuch of rape it is because your conduct leaves me little choice."
"My conduct personally?"
"Dane conduct!" she snapped. "All I have heard since I was a child is that if I found myself alone with a Dane neither my virtue nor my life would be safe!"
"Both of which you retain, if I may be so bold as to say. Ah, here come the cooks now," he said, cutting off what he knew would be a tart reply. He watched her show the cooks around the cookhouse, help them find the utensils and spices they asked for. She was very efficient and left no room in anyone's mind to think she was not in perfect control, even if the cooks were not her own.
"I am ready," she announced as she finally faced him.
"To be raped?" he asked pleasantly.
"To return to my father," she demanded.
"Very well. My name is Erik if you care to know and did not hear me earlier."
"I am sure you have better things to do than escort me around my own home," she said.
"I told you my men do not share my self-restraint," he said. "You need my escort for protection not to find your way."
"Then let us go." She swept past him and her scent assaulted him again. He wanted to bury his face in her neck.
"When you have taken all you want and go on your way, will there be anything left for my father and me?" she asked.
"We will not be leaving for quite some time," he informed her. "We are not a raiding party, we intend to live here." She looked at him in alarm but said nothing.
As they passed through the great hall, Harald called to Erik, "Is she the Saxon lady Alfred left behind?"
"Aye and she is mine," Erik announced. He leaned over and scooped her up and, ignoring her indignant cry, flung her over his shoulder, her face in his back. "Pretend to struggle," he whispered to her and she began fighting him, grunting and pounding her fists against his back.
Harald nodded and grinned lasciviously. "Tonight she becomes Dane property," he said with a laugh and the other men joined in.
Erik carried her from the hall and did not put her on her feet until they reached Eldred's chamber. She struggled the whole way, her legs flailing wildly. When he set her down, there were angry tears in her eyes. "Your word is worthless! You said you would not harm me and yet you treat me like a sack of flour!"
"It was necessary," he said calmly, appreciating her spirit. "One of them would have gone for you. You did a fine job of pretending though."
"I was not pretending," she said with a frown.