Droit de Seigneur by Alice Gaines
Publisher: Red Sage Publishing
Genre: Historical Erotic Romance
Length: Short Story (60 pgs)
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Cherokee Rose
After the atrocities of the Crusades, Guy of Bournwood has returned home to nurse his wounds and manage the estate he inherits unexpectedly. His heart is heavy, and his dreams are soaked with the blood of those he slaughtered.
Only the pretty young woman he hears singing in the village brings him any solace. Her fresh beauty and joyous purity act like a balm on his tormented soul. His eyes search for glimpses of her sweet face. His ears are attuned to her lilting melodies. His heart aches with unsatisfied desire, but this suffering is a welcome replacement for the pain of his uncleansed sins.
But Claire is to be married to a village man, and so Guy must face the unthinkable. Another man will take her innocence, a youth so unworthy of her that his merest touch would forever defile Claire.
Guy's only choice is to take for himself what is too precious to waste on her betrothed. He will exercise his droit de seigneur, his right of first night, and Claire's virginity will be his to claim.
If only this single night could last a lifetime...
With all of the bloodshed and horror Guy has experienced on the battlefield as a knight, he feels void and lifeless inside. As though in some ways he no longer has a reason to live. The actions he’s taken in the name of king and his country weigh heavily on his soul. That all changes when he hears Claire, a village girl, sing. The sound of her voice brings joy to his soul.
When he finds she is about to be married he is distraught. Her innocence will be ruined, her radiance snuffed out by the cruel realism of life. If she is to be introduced to the hard world, he will be the one to do it.
Alice Gaines takes us to a time and place where life is hard. Either you were born into wealth or you fought and received rewards for your efforts and your loyalty. Guy has gained a lot of financial security, much for the loss of his soul but finds he is discontented with wealth. Believing himself sinful and unworthy of anything good, Guy takes the advice of his squire and commands Droit de Seigneur, which is his right, to save himself from the anger he would feel if Claire is taken by her rightful husband.
Claire is naïve and has no idea what Droit de Seigneur is but she soon finds out. Still Claire is gentle in nature and has a loving spirit, she accepts Guy without conditions and shocks him with her kindness. Their joining becomes more then either of them ever thought it could be, but they understand it is only for one night, or is it? Can they do the impossible to be together?
Ms. Gaines delivers an emotionally moving short read. I read this story in a totally spellbound state. The dilemma facing Guy and Claire is heart wrenching. This isn’t my first Alice Gaines story, but it is definitely one of my favorites. A larger-than-life romantic read I would recommend to readers.