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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Baron’s Right by Eryn Blackwell

Baron’s Right by Eryn Blackwell
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (108 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Acelwyn is an independent healer, a woman with her own mind who swears she’ll never be at any man’s mercy. Roidan, a great warrior, appreciates his new land, granted to him by the king—but nothing fires his blood, his passion, as does the sensual healer he vows will be his.

Though Acelwyn is attracted to the new baron, she’s more interested in keeping him alive and staying out of another man’s clutches. Roidan vows to protect her from all harm; he wants no other to have her. A man of hearty appetites, he initiates her into sexual pleasure. But will passion be enough to keep Acelwyn tied to him? If not, he’ll keep her anyway—as is the baron’s right.

I love stories of independent maidens rescued by conquering barons who find themselves conquered instead. Such is the fast-paced tale of romance in Baron’s Right.

Acelwyn is who I met first. She’s a healer and a woman on borrowed time. Her skills are valuable and her heart unclaimed. She is clever, determined, stubborn and surprisingly innocent despite her profession. She has a higher tolerance for pain than I do, that’s for sure. Good thing because if she didn’t her life’s path would have been a poor one indeed. My favorite aspect of her character was her pragmatic view of her relationship with the Wolf – the new baron of her land. Once she accepted the security of her choice, Acelwyn didn’t play shy, coy or use manipulative games. She was honest, enthusiastic and open with her feelings. It was quite refreshing. In fact, there was a delightful sense of fun and camaraderie between her and the baron.

The baron, also known as Roidan, is a man’s man, a warrior and a man who really just wants to stop warring and killing. He’s had enough and only wants to make a go of his new home. First he has to claim it from the old baron and that skirmish presents him with more than he bargained for. He’s no fool and recognizes a good thing when he sees it. It’s what he did from that moment on that had me flipping the pages with eagerness and anticipation. I also totally enjoyed how he fell under Acelywyn’s charm but being a guy, he doesn’t think about the obvious solution until it’s almost too late to do anything about it. Made for some good suspense.

What made the conflict so dire, was the villain. No matter the century there will always be a person who believes might makes right. Thanks goodness there’s also a balance. It’s a barbaric time and barbaric justice is common and expected. I thought Ms. Blackwell did a great job of showing readers the grit of the time with her choices of what she revealed and what she left out. It was enough to get the feel for the drama and the conflict without overshadowing the beauty and simplicity of a very sweet and sensual romance. I completely enjoyed Acelywn’s learning curve too – hot stuff.

I would recommend Baron’s right to any reader who likes a story focused on a blossoming romance with all the fireworks and complications that come from a relationship between two strong medieval characters. I think Acelywn and Roidan were a perfect couple. I only have one caveat about this story – how do I pronounce their names? I enjoy the unique flavor olden names give a story but it gives my brain whiplash sometimes trying to figure out just how to say them in my head. Other than that, I would absolutely share what I liked about this book with my friends. It thoroughly entertained me and made time fly. I even liked Cyrus, a secondary character and Roidan’s right hand man. He is a man who I think deserves a second look. And that’s another mark of a well told story – I want to visit Draco’s Isle again.

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