This was a hard one for me to read and review. The book is good but a bit cumbersome and the female lead wore a bit on my nerves. Katrin is the daughter of the bastard brother of the king. She was married off for political gain (also revenge on her mother) by her uncle the king. This marriage was definitely not a love match but one of duty. She has never known passion and when her husband died she thought she had a shot of being left alone by her uncle. Unfortunately he has now decided she could serve him well by another political marriage. He has sent his thayne to bring her back to court to meet her next husband. Eomond is the thayne sent to bring her back to court. He is of Viking blood but bound to the king in servitude. He and Katrin have a lust/hate pull for one another and act on it once. Katrin however knows that as a high-ranking woman she cannot have the low-born thayne even though she (eye-roll) loves him. I understand that in this time period women were property and were not allowed to make decisions but her "love" of him was a bit overstated. She ends up pregnant as a part of this one indiscretion and the king arranges for her to miscarry. She makes the agreements with the king for her remarriage based on her misconception of Eomond's relationship with another high-born woman and as a part of this agreement with the king Eomond gets a minor title and a measure of freedom as a landowner. Now on to the hero of this book.... Rafael was an enigma and I can see why Katrin would have fallen in love with him. He was going to be a bishop but instead came home to fulfill family obligations.. now that being said what a loss it would have been to have him bound in the priesthood but what a gain it was for Katrin. I would have liked to see more of just this relationship without all the other mess that came with the rest of the story but oh well... Again I enjoyed parts of the book but her what do I say .. what do I do... got a little old. I understand the time period and the role it plays in this behavior but it just made the book drag out more in my opinion. Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.