This is the book that got me hooked on Claudia Dain!
From Amazon.com: 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.
He had sworn to battle the empire wherever he found it, and on an isolated Roman villa in Britannia seemed the perfect target for his revenge. He and his fierce Saxon warriors would sweep through it like an inferno, destroying all intheir path. From the moment he saw her, he knew she embodied all that Rome stood for: pride, arrogance, civilization..beauty. She was a woman like no other, fighting with undaunted spirit even as he made her his slave. And as he gazed into her glittering golden eyes, he realized he could not leave until he had satisfaction from her. She called him barbarian, called him oaf, called him her enemy. Yet when he took her in his hard muscled arms, her body trembled with excitement. But would the fire flaring between them conquer him or her? Was the passion that burned in their souls born of hatred, or of love?........
I'm a big fan of Dain's medieval series and looked forward to reading this one set in the period when the Romans (Melania) fought the Saxons (Wulfred) in Brittania. A very cool setting with lots of loyalty issues for both characters and nicely written early history of Christianity. Dain writes an intense battle between the sexes like no other. Overall a good read. Btw, the guy on the cover looks a lot like Brad Pitt!