Set around the infamous battle of Hastings, we are introduced to Fallon, daughter of King Harold, and Alaric, loyal Norman warrior of William. This starts during the aftermath of the bloody battle that saw Harold slain and right from the outset it's plain there's a lot of history between the couple. Ms Drake takes an unusual turn here and turns back time to previous events in which we see how Fallon and Alaric came to be so aware of each other. A lot of this section gives background about how Harold came to be King and just why William went on to, well frankly conquer! The perception of Fallon is of a spoilt adolescent who clearly feels no love for the Normans and in particular delights in challenging Alaric. We also learn about Alaric’s earlier life and just why he has sworn to never love or marry.
Fast forward back to where our story started and it's plain there's an intense attraction between the couple but with Fallon’s almost obsessive hatred of the Normans, it's a difficult journey. Alaric is just so demanding and it clearly sets Fallon’s teeth on edge but as he calls her his slave, I can't really blame her for her reactions and yet, at times I did find her difficult to like. The frustration Alaric clearly feels is palpable but no matter what Fallon does, in his mind she is his! Fallon feels she should do her duty for her country but to Alaric all he sees is her betrayal. Such a tangled web these two immerse themselves in but it gets even harder as they both continue to deny their feelings.
Well, a fierce warrior pitched against a hot-headed female and you just know there are going to be fireworks and truly there are and yet for me something was missing. I suppose it's almost enemies become lovers that can work beautifully but here perhaps because Fallon was so relentless and childish at times, I just couldn't truly buy into it. Yes, Alaric is heroic with a good heart but it's not my favourite by this author. The historical information whilst giving an interesting backdrop just felt overused at times and maybe too long? Still if you want an insight into the invasion of 1066 and how people reacted then perhaps you might enjoy Ms Drake's romantic slant.
This voluntary take is of an advance reader arc.