It is warring times for England as the Black Prince sweeps his way through France, waging nasty warfare on the population. Masterminding this brutal strategy is the knight they call the Black Angel. Brandt de Russe, Duke of Exeter, is the brains behind the prince’s war machine, a mountain of a man who is as cunning as he is frightening. In battle, no man is his equal.
The Lady Ellowyn de Nerra, granddaughter of the great mercenary Braxton de Nerra, has been sent to London by her crippled father to collect the men he has donated to the Black Prince’s wars in France. De Nerra men are mingled with the Duke of Exeter’s men and Ellowyn is at the dock when the duke disembarks his ships. In her attempt to introduce herself to Brandt and explain her purpose, the duke has little time for the beautiful young woman and mistakes her for a whore. Grossly insulted, Ellowyn threatens the man that all sane men fear.
And so begins the fiery, passionate, and deep love story that transcends families, kings, and two continents, building to the Battle of Poitiers where Brandt is on the front lines. In battle, no man is his equal but even the most powerful of men are prisoners of their own hearts.
This book may contain explicit intimate scenes, so if you are not 18+ then I probably wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers.
Since I finished the Dark Lord I decided to read Black Angel – Brandt and Winny’s story. I will have to say I think I liked Jax and Kelli’s telling better but I won’t say I didn’t enjoy this one because it was pretty good too.
“May I ask you a question?” “Of course.” “Do you want people to see that side of you?” He shook his head without hesitation. “I do not,” he replied firmly, but then he looked at her, hesitantly, before continuing. “But I do not mind if you see that side of me.”
“I heard tale that you were called the Black Angel,” she slurred. “Is there truth in this?” He lifted an eyebrow. “I suppose it depends on what side of my sword one is on.” “The enemy would call you this?” “As the right arm of Edward, the Black Prince, I suppose they had to come up with a name for me. Black Angel, Bringer of Death, has followed me around for some time.”
“Surely there is someone who would see you as a man and not as a war machine.” “I am one in the same.” She shook her head. “Untrue,” she countered firmly, softly. “Who you are as a man is completely different than who you are as a warrior.” He sat back, one big arm propped up on a bended knee. “Explain.” She looked thoughtful. “Well,” she said, “as a warrior, you are bent on death. I saw you in the battle today and you were focused, alert, and skilled. That is the man they call the Black Angel. But right now, as you sit here and converse with me, you are kind, interested, and thoughtful. You are concerned for my shoulder and concerned for me. To me, that speaks highly of who Brandt de Russe is as a man. You are more than the Bringer of Death; have a heart and a soul as well.”
“You are breaking your promise, you know,” he remarked as she began to pull the bread apart. Curious, she looked at him. “What do you mean?” He was looking at his wine. “You promised not to look at me in my half-dressed state.” She stared at him a moment before dropping the bread and slapping her hands over her face. “You are correct,” she muttered through her hands. “I will not look if you wish to dress.” “Did you not even notice that I only have my breeches on?” She nodded. “I did, but I did not give it much thought. Forgive me.” He fought off a grin. “My, but you are comfortable around half-naked men.” She shook her head, hands still over her eyes. “I suppose I was not paying attention,” she said. “I was more focused on eating.”
Some of my favorite parts were when Winny consumed too much drink which resulted in her becoming drunk and very open with Brandt and my other favorite part was their marriage night she fell asleep on him and he was bouncing around on the bed trying to jar her awake so he could consummate his marriage.
“But my family is very affectionate so I suppose I grew up that way. When someone is hurt, friend or family, we comfort them.” “I am hurt?” She nodded faintly, studying his handsome face. “I think your heart is hurt and you do not even know it. You have never known anything else.” “Would you heal it?”
“What business do you have with my father?” she asked. Brandt didn’t look at her. “I have a question first.” “What?” “What is Pickle Snuff?” Ellowyn rolled her eyes. “It is a nickname, from childhood,” she said. “If you call me that, I shall be furious with you, so you would do well to remember that.” “I will.”
Winny was a very brave, easy tempered, take charge which Brandt liked.
“With that courage, she would make a fine knight herself,” he muttered, scratching at his neck because his mail was chafing badly. “I do believe I have just been threatened.”
“She has one hell of a temper so if any of you set her off, be warned that I will not step in to defend you. You are on your own.”
“It is not solely your fault, my lord. I… well, I believe I was quite angry with you this afternoon when you ignored me and I should not have been so…furious.” “You were belligerent.” “Aye, that too.” He fought off a smile. “You, my lady, have a bit of a temper.” “I do. I admit it. But if you know my father, then you also know it is an inherited trait. He is a de Nerra, after all.”
Brandt couldn’t help the grin on his lips now. Lady Ellowyn was having a full-fledged tantrum and he ducked a platter as he made his way over to her. The closer he got, the more furious she became. By the time he reached her, she was trying to throw a stool but he yanked it out of her hands. Bending at the waist, he tossed her up onto his shoulder and headed for the door. […] The last he saw, the big man had planted a trencher-sized hand on her bottom, causing her to howl. They could hear her howling once or twice more outside. Ellowyn was howling because his swat bloody well hurt. She was not only in tantrum mode, she was also in panic mode. Brandt had her out in the street, marching across the muddy avenue as he spanked her soundly, not once but at least four times. She could hear men cheering and laughing, and it only served to fuel her agitation.
I don’t know if I’d read it again or not since it seemed a bit slow and dragged at certain points which made my want to hurry up and finish it so I could move on to another book. So to me it felt like one of those books that was good but I would only want to read it maybe once – its one of those one timers.