In 9th-century Ireland, a feisty young witch named Treasa and Amaurus, an Ethiopian mercenary, make an odd couple in this tale of multiple deceptions and mistaken identities. Author Louisa Trent does her usual outstanding job of immersing her historical characters firmly in their time and place and weaving a complex tale.

Amaurus is the mercenary with the heart of gold and strong moral ethic despite his background of slavery and his “dark proclivities” that find him drawn to more of the dominance and submission forms of love. Treasa is the young witch who can’t quite seem to do anything right, so she’s stripped of her memory and sent on a mission that finds her posing as a young boy that Amaurus takes as a slave.Since Amaurus is firmly heterosexual, his feelings for the "boy" form a major source of conflict for him.

Trent does a great job of painting Amaurus as a richly faceted character we love to love. He’s disturbed by his feelings for his young “male” slave, shows self-restraint in following his own moral code, and remains steadfast to those who hire him.

Treasa’s character is more problematic. For one thing, she’s very young and comes across as very immature. While that is in keeping with her character as the young screw-up witch, what intends to be humor comes across as a bit over-the-top juvenile behavior. Also, she uses some very modern slang terms (by making “boo-boos,” for example) that feel really out of place for a story set in ancient Ireland.

On the whole, though, Rose (and I won’t give a “spoiler” to explain the title) is a sexy romp through a fascinating time in history.

Book Blurb for Rose

Genre: BDSM Historical Multicultural Paranormal Shape-shifter
Length: Novel
THE ETHIOPIAN: His early years in Ireland spent in shackles as a brothel slave, forced to perform perverse carnal acts on demand, Amaurus the Moor now craves the delights of dark carnality. His particular specialty is provoking climax in a partner by dispensing pain in equal portions to pleasure. A woman crying out in tethered bondage, her every orifice filled, her greedy buttocks raised to the whip’s sharp kiss comprise both his skill and his inclination. His unwillingness to inflict his unnatural predilections on a wedded wife condemns him to the solitary life of a nomadic mercenary. No home. No begotten children. Definitely no innocent virgins...
Then he’s seduced by a fair maiden whose illicit passions match his own.
THE WITCH: Disenchanted with her many spell-casting screw-ups, the Council of Immortals strip Treasa of her magical powers and erase her memory. However, the gods and goddesses are not without mercy. In their infinite wisdom, they give the shallow and vain virgin a second chance, a quest to redeem herself. To accomplish the feat, Treasa must employ her vast store of womanly wiles on Amaurus the Moor...
...while disguised as a lad, hampered by amnesia, and without knowing the simple quest was a complicated ruse all along.
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, BDSM theme and content, spanking, voyeurism, attempted rape.

Night Owl Reviews Apr, 2010 3.75