Definitely give this book a try if you liked the Kushiel series. _To Serve and Submit_ has a similar blend of politics, sensuality, enchantment, and lush prose.
The setting is an ancient North America, in which Norse settlers live alongside Native Americans in an uneasy peace.
The basic plot is this: Marja, a rural girl of mixed heritage with the ability to speak to the olfs (earth spirits), is sold to Lexander and Helanas, mysterious foreigners who are in the business of training pleasure slaves to be sent to their homeland. On a visit to a nearby chieftain, Marja ends up embroiled in a tangled mess of political rivalries. Meanwhile, Marja's love for her master, Lexander, is growing, and this, too, complicates everything.
Marja has been trained to be submissive, and so in the early stages of her journey, she can be maddeningly passive. One character asks her whether she ever thinks for herself. However, I think this is intentional and part of her character development. Marja grows stronger throughout the book; while still remaining a submissive in the bedroom, she learns to be stronger and more assertive in other areas. The novel ends with a satisfactory resolution to the most pressing issue, while leaving the way open for a sequel in which Marja may find herself learning more about Lexander's shadowy homeland.
My only quibble is about the villain. He's sort of a one-note character, a giant walking male sex organ. I feel that he could have used some complexity.
If you're scared off by the BDSM thing, don't be. The sex scenes are more sensual than explicit. This is not erotica with gratuitous plot tacked on; the plot and character development come first.