Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Review: AWAKENING by Scarlett Valentine

by Scarlett Valentine
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Release Date: October 8, 2011
Source: Review copy from Author

(Goddess Fish Promotions)

Ysbail of Ellesmere is a pawn in her guardian's war. For decades there has been unrest between the marcher lords and Owain Gwynedd ap Gruffydd, King of Gwynedd. The most recent war had been the bloodiest she could remember in her eighteen years. Madog ap Maredudd, Prince of Powys, and his allies lost untold numbers of men at the hands of Owain's soldiers. When a settlement of truce is presented to Madog, it's at Ysbail's expense. She is to marry Bedwyr ap Owain, one of King Owain’s bastard sons, and his most notorious henchman. If all the rumors and stories she's heard are true, she knows her marriage will be rife with horror and fear.

Since proving himself worthy with his sword, Bedwyr fights at his king's side. He's shed oceans of blood and sent untold numbers of men to their graves. He's become what his name foretold—the grave-knower. He's afraid of nothing, least of all death. All men fear him, including those who fight at his side, and sometimes even his own king. Terror of him lives within women's hearts; only the bravest of whores accept him into their beds. And children weave their own tales of the monster they hear him to be, embellishing the details to their own gruesome degrees. 

When King Owain informs Bedwyr that he's to marry Ysbail of Ellesmere as part of a peace settlement with Madog, Bedwyr is furious. A man such as Bedwyr can only survive on the battlefield. For without love, hatred will send a man like him to the edge of insanity. Then push him over. But when Bedwyr sees Ysbail for the first time, blood-thirst turns to blood-lust, and he vows to show her that she should have no fear of him.

Awakening was a really sweet well written historical romance. I was expecting Bedwyr to be a real tyrant but was pleasantly surprised to see how loving he was towards his new bride, Ysbail. She was young and innocent but had a strong and determined spirit. She married Bedwyr without complaint even though the horrid stories about him frightened her. Bedwyr was a cold blooded killer but in war how else are you to survive?

 I was immediately immersed in this story of a bastard son forced to go through with an arranged marriage by his father, King Owain. The very first few pages will engross the reader into the emotional turmoil between Ysbail and Bedwyr. But this soon leads into an awakening of passion and romance that surprises the newlyweds and forges a bond & trust that will soon be put to the test. Bedwyr is keeping a dark secret from Ysbail that threatens to crush the trust that she has given him. 
Whispering into her ear, he promised, “By night’s end, you will know my every touch. I promise you, the pain from your bedding was only once. This is but the beginning of your awakening. You shall know only pleasure at my hands. First, you must trust me.”

~Bedwyr to Ysbail
I would recommend this to readers who like erotic historical romances. This novella is packed with plenty of steamy love scenes to get the reader hot and bothered. Awakening is also filled with rich historical details woven into an exquisite love story. This is the first book in Scarlett Valentine’s The ABCs of S-E-X: Love by the Letter series and I am looking forward to the next 25 books in the series. I am giving this wonderful novella 4 Dragons.

Scarlett Valentine stopped by the blog yesterday to talk about the history and inspiration behind the setting and characters for Awakening. Click Here to read about it.


  1. Thank you so much, Monique for the lovely review! What a better tribute to a story set in Wales than to have four of its national emblems for a reward!

    Thank you for hosting a day from my tour yesterday. It was great fun, and I hope to be back with Beguiler!

  2. You're welcome, Scarlett. Stop by again when you release the next book.

  3. ^.^ This sounds like my type of book. I love Historical Romance. Great review!


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