Conquering the Dark Axe by Amber Dane
The Northern Knights Series, Book 2
Publisher: Amber Dane (August 2012)
296pages, eBook (purchased myself for $2.99)
Book Rating: 4 Stars
Sensuality: Red Heart
Rourke, a notorious Norman warrior known as The Dark Axe, is a harsh, troubled man increasingly weary of war and trying desperately to overcome a broken heart. As one of William the Conqueror's favored knights, he is ordered to marry a Saxon bride and when the one contracted for him dies, he is ordered to marry her sister, Alexa, in her stead. If you are looking for a warm, tender hero, this is not the book for you. Rourke was abusive, hard and uncompromising and continued to be so throughout much of the story, only made worse by Alexa's headstrong, wild spirit. Their romance is rocky and full of conflict on both sides, and it was hard to read at many points throughout the story. I felt Rourke's character and actions were almost too realistic and time period appropriate, but I liked watching his slow evolution to the man he became in the end and I felt Alexa grew at least as much as Rourke did. Perhaps not a pretty story, but beautifully crafted, and with characters you can't tear yourself away from. I look forward to reading the third and final book in this series, The Beast of Renald, about Darc, which will hopefully be released soon!