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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 rape.
Margaret Tregwyth is determined to run away from home so her bankrupt brother cannot force her to marry an odious, middle-aged suitor. Miles away, Nicholas Lord Templeton wagers that he would be better off and happier if he hired a wife rather than woo a society maid. These two meet at the bustling Hiring Fair in 1790s Truro, Cornwall, and hurl themselves into marriage with one another. Nicholas does not tell Margaret he is marrying to win a wager, and Margaret does not reveal that she is running away from an arranged marriage.
They find happiness together, although Margaret is weighed down by her lie of omission and Nicholas senses there is more to her than he knows. Neither of them knows whether their fragile new marriage will survive the upheaval.