I think I grew up a bit from the last time I read this. I am bothered by the all the rapes in this book. Sure forced seduction, forced situation and stuff and Deklyn also wasn't a psychopath who enjoy it but still, even if the book spin around the matter, it is what it is. But the writing made it hard for me to completely hate the book.==2011 review==Deklyn Yn Baase was the Black Baron of Drogh-gheay, a fearsome warrior baron, trapped in a loveless marriage and struggled in wars for his kingdom and forever searching for the girl he had lost. Maire Barnes, a widow who had lived peacefully alone in her cottage, was alarmed when enemy troops burst into her home carrying their fallen leader whom she recognized as the man who had seduced her in an alley and left her to be raped viciously by his friend. Maire was the woman he loved and lost. Forever damning his best friend Reese until his deathbed, Deklyn had carried the burden of the fateful night for years. Although Maire had forgiven Deklyn for his role in that night, but once his beloved Maire in his grasp, he couldn't let his bond-mate go. She was his Cochianglt, the woman who owns half of his soul, the rightful Baroness of Drogh-gheay. However, the current Baroness of Drogh-gheay was not willing to let loose of her hateful husband and his rich coffers. She was willing to do everything she can to separate Dek and Maire as long as it brings suffering to the baron himself.Darkly romantic, fierce politics and great storyline. It works as a stand alone in the series and definitely recommended for those who like a dash of political drama added in their readings without the hassle of knowing the entire series.