There are two kinds of characters that I love those are anti-heroes and strong women. This short story has both and portrays them unflinchingly. Truly at the start of the book I wasn't sure if I liked Dardanus at first. He is an unrepentant manipulator and murder after all. He is also very buried in his own head, which makes sense with the shady deeds he carries out. It also proved to be a fascinating way to view this unconventional love story. Because we see through Dardanus' jaded eyes we make a lot of preconceived notions about his world and his queen, Nestra. These judgements get turned on their ear when Nestra gets a chance to speak for herself and soundly puts our dark hero on his ass. I adore both of these characters. They are flawed, fallible and so desperately in need of the connection they achieve together. It is very impressive how Draven sells me on these characters and story in such an economy of words, but she does it flawlessly. I am in love with them both and I am stunned at how she skillfully translated a Dominant/submissive sexual play into a fantasy (medieval) setting without violating the language of the world she created. Not to mention the poignant insight into Nestra's struggle to reconcile her own desire to surrender to her desire with her royal station and the need for her to appear powerful and untouchable. That part especially struck home for me and left me wanting more. So much more. This was a free book on Amazon (and is still free at the time of this review, 8/9/12). It also includes a sample from one of Draven's other books (I have yet to read the sample). If you love period or fantasy romance, anti-heroes and especially if you enjoy Dom/sub erotica you will enjoy this short but sexy read.