Rowena Belleme, is being forced to marry a very elderly man by her greedy stepbrother, Gilbert who wants her to quickly produce an heir with him. Gilbert wants her to increase her holdings, although she owns land that has been in her family for sometime, but he needs to increase his fighting power to save what he has left from his sworn enemy Warrick deChaville who he has already tried to seize one his holdings and failed, and needs a bigger and stronger army before Warrick returns.
Rowena goes along with the marriage, but then a something happens and she is not able to consummate the marriage. Her brother then arranges for another man to be brought to his sister with the same hair and eye color as her husband, and is forced to do the unthinkable or her mother will die. The man is held captive in a room and tied down with chains and gagged he tries to resit her, but he is unable to. He is so angered that he lost control he plots his revenge while he is held prisoner. Rowena lets him know she likes this no better, but she has no choice. Rowena finally decides she no longer can keep this up and she has him released secretly.
Unknown to Rowena or Gilbert the man that was captured is Warrick deChaville, and when he comes back for his revenge he captures Rowena and has her thrown in his dungeon until he returns, but he has no idea she is the sister of his enemy Gilbert. Once he returns home he has her released and brought to his room where he turns the tables on her and seeks his revenge, once he is done with her he strips her of her title “Lady” and treats her as a serf and leaves her in his household to rule over her and have her do manual labor and wait on him. He takes her personal clothing and gives it to his daughter’s to wear in order to hurt her. The staff is shocked, since he has never treated a woman like he has Rowena.
Rowena, decides to turn the tables on him, but in a different way, but will it work? Warrick, believes she is up to something, but he begins to warm up to her. When he is called away he misses her, but he learns something while away and he feels betrayed again by her.
WOW, is all I can say about this story there are several scenes some may find offensive I normally skip over those parts, but not with this storyline I had to read it. I could not put the book down; I was so gripped by the storyline and what would happen next I read this book almost in one day. I have read a few of her books and by far this is my favorite book. I enjoyed both characters, and you could almost feel the heartache both of them felt when they had to be so cruel to each other, and the pain they had to work through to find love. If you have not read this Lindsey book I recommend it, but it is not for the faint of heart, some of the scenes are intense. This is on my keeper shelf.