19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Dain not only burns, she shines!!,
This review is from: To Burn (Mass Market Paperback)
I have long admired Dorchester Publishing, finding I read more and more of their writers such as Melanie Jackson and Trish Jensen. They are fresh, super storytellers and Dorchester gives them the leeway to shine. And Claudia Dain not only shines in this novel, she burns!!! What a super read!!
There is a trend toward the light whimsical historicals and I utterly adore to leader of this pack Lynsay Sands. But while I cannot wait for one of her new books to come out, I also love 'heavy' historicals such as Danegeld by Susan Squires (both Dorchester writers), and Claudia Dain gives one super strong historical.
Writing of a period that many have overlooked in the romance market: the void left as the Romans pulled out of England and the Saxons rose to power - she paints the canvass not only with strong bold, sure strokes, but with vivid colours.
I have been in writers chat several times with Dain, and found her a lively person with a super sense of humour, but she also loves history, and being a history lover myself, I was intrigued recently as she discussed To Burn. So naturally, I rushed out to buy it and am very glad I did.
She gives us two very strong alpha leads. She is Melania, the roman woman who detests the loathsome Saxon. He is Wulfred, the Saxon who kills her father and destroys her villa and hates all things Roman. She calls him Oaf, he calls her snake and they utterly HATE each other. He finds her hiding in a bolthole, and sets it afire to force her out. In Valiant, almost Viking mentality, she accepts dying there, because it would be on her own terms, not his. He plans on killing her, but sees that is just want she wants. A quick death in warrior fashion. And since he hates her and all she stands for, he perversely denies her the death she so wants, and makes her his slave intending to break her spirit before he grants her death.
But he finds breaking her spirit an impossible task. She is constantly provoking him with diatribes against him and all things Saxon, she scratches, kick and bites anytime he gets near, deliberately trying to provoke his temper into murdering her. She continually tries to kill herself. Not as a Ophelia whiner I-cannot-face-life, but as a strong warrior wanting life and death on her own terms, and if she cannot have life as she knows it, then will faces death with open arms. So Wulfred spend more time tries to stop her, than breaking her spirit.
These are two well-drawn, uncompromising characters for an uncompromising period in Britain's history. And this will be a book you will remember long after you put it down.
Thank you the super book, Claudia!! And I am off to buy the rest of your works!!
WISE Writers and Readers Book of the Month for June 2002