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Medieval England during The Anarchy...
After condemning her for practicing black magic, the superstitious folk in her village banish Melle to a lonely existence in the woodlands.
But Melle is no witch! Rather she's the daughter of a learned alchemist and a gifted swordsmith in her own right, an occupation she keeps secret lest she become a political pawn in a battle of power between two evil rulers: the usurper General Raghiln on her side of the River Noir, and Lord Cahan, the overlord of Castle Weild, on the other.
Melle's secret is threatened when cruel Lord Cahan abducts her, a brazen capture that sets into motion a shift in military might...and in them. For not only is the innocent virgin not what she seems, neither is her brutish captor.
And so begins a war of wills between the real overlord of the land and a pretend witch who must choose sides...between two stubborn lovers hiding too many secrets...between a quelled dominant male and a wildly shameless submissive female...between a woman who gives her trust gladly and a man unwilling to trust even himself...between a staid royal who would rather believe in witchcraft than believe in love and an exuberant peasant literally bound to convince him otherwise.