My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...
3.5 stars. A super hot, well-written novella. Really enjoyed The Heat of the Knight by Scottie Barrett.
Set in the medieval era, our H Beckett is all that we think a Lord of the Castle should be; darkly handsome, moody and broody. Super obsessed with our h Christiana, who once used to be his childhood friend. It started from there but so far, had not gone anywhere that Beckett would've liked it to be.
Now there were problems, 1. Christiana isn't a lady by any means, so Beckett can't think of a future with her. This means Beckett can't offer her anything more than a mistress's position. And 2. the most important one, she doesn't seem to be as attracted to him as he is, getting all hot and bothered with his best friend Colin. Since she doesn't even give him the attention he seeks, which ruins his mood every time, Beckett goes to "forget it" by seeking his numerous mistresses and other women in the castle. Among them were the prostitutes he liked bringing in or quite a few of the serving girls who happily shared his bed. Beckett is big and tall, muscular and a beast in bed and they delighted in his attention.
Christiana is an orphan. All I remember is that her parents perished when she was young. Her father held some sort of position in the castle. Ever since they passed, she's been brought up by someone in the castle, either the cook or the housekeeper, who had taken an interest in her and took care of her ever since. She did some odd chores here and there around the castle. There are some serving girls though, that didn't like Christiana, who already suspected of Beckett's interest in her; who wanted to be his main attraction. But he wasn't really particular as long as he could get off... and most of the times he'd think of Christiana while doing so. They were pretty mean to her though she had no idea exactly why. After all, they were the ones getting Beckett's attentions, not her!
Now the fact was, Christiana was actually super attracted to Beckett BUT she didn't like his manwhoring ways. Not by a long shot. I don't know how this misunderstanding started but it was there when the story begin. Christiana would get hurt hearing the gossip about Beckett, the things he did with other girls. Those wenches were always talking around her. She hated it and decided he's no good for her. I would do too TBH. On a level, knowing her own status she knew that she could never be anything but a mistress to him either but she absolutely hated the idea of sharing him with other women, so she decided it's better to keep her gaze low and look for a match where she can expect differently. Colin seemed like the best bet... however, Beckett knew that that SOB had nothing better in his mind other than making Christiana his mistress. And Beckett hated the thought of it! Oh the mess. *sigh*
So it happens that Beckett finally decides it was time to ask that Christiana be made a serving wench and serve on the tables. When he demands it, the cook or the housekeeper, informs that to her. Christiana is surprised but she had to do what was asked by the Lord of the keep. I think everyone in the castle had an inkling of Beckett's interest in her, they certainly knew about his dark moods! But on the day when Christiana goes to serve for the first time, someone treats her in a nasty way, pawing at her, distressing Christiana badly. Beckett comes to her rescue, then sends her off but it throws him off kilter. He was not only mad, but jealous as hell! He didn't want anyone to touch her. He leaves in a sour mood, thinking of whoring it off, once again trying to forget the one woman he'd never have.
I'm mentioning it because this was going to be an eye-opener for Christiana in many ways. Someone sends her to Beckett's room with refreshment, telling her that's what he asked for, which was a lie. It was one of those senior serving wenches I think, already one of Beckett's many lovers and despised Christiana. She wanted her to see what she can't have, that the girl already had. She was feeling very superior, not knowing it's going to backfire. Heeh. She also probably wanted to scare Christiana, who obviously was a virgin, off by showing that Beckett's appetite is insatiable and sometimes he goes with more than one woman at a time.
Christiana certainly had a eye full once she stepped into Beckett's room! It was a wonder she didn't drop whatever she had on the tray! :o I can tell you that if Christiana was attracted to Beckett before, she was feeling the need to jump him. She had never seen Beckett naked, definitely not "in action"! Now she knew why girls were crazy over sharing his bed. ;) Of course the scenario doesn't sit well with her, she feels hurt but she also couldn't help but wonder what if.....
Yep, I would rather my heroes aren't that much of a womanizer, definitely not sleep with the servants, be that in his own home or another's. But Beckett was what he was, yet I was certain once he had Christiana, he won't need another woman. He was crazy about her and it ate at him that she'd never be his in any way possible. I'd like to mention that he never forced anyone to share his bed, girls were tripping over to do that always; not only because he was the master of the castle but also because he was good-looking and very good in bed.
This is when Christiana started softening towards Beckett, she keeps wondering if she can do something with this attraction between them. When an opportunity arrives, she offers herself up. Of course Beckett would've never turned it down since that was his dream come true, however non-dreamy the situation was. Then there was no turning back, really. In his hurry, Beckett didn't consider that Christiana would still be a virgin. It surprises the hell outta him since he'd seen her fooling around with Colin a few times (hated it of course!).
Even though their liaison doesn't start on a good ground, with all that hidden feelings, things begin changing very soon. Beckett couldn't help let it known that he'd FINALLY gotten the only girl he'd always wanted. And that she's his! He was also in a much better mood. Christiana had always been kind and generous to him when they were young, when there was no one to bestow such affection, something he has never forgotten. It didn't hurt that she was beautiful. I think they both had loved each-other always but didn't know what it was until it hit them both hard. Those misunderstandings had kept them apart for long. And I'll tell you that no other girls were ever invited in Beckett's bed after Christiana, even when she'd tease him about it. Beckett knew he'd unleashed a woman who was equally passionate about him and what they can do in bed. Who also couldn't get enough of him. Where was the ever time for him to think of anything else? :P
I wouldn't say Beckett and Christiana's relationship was all smooth and happy. They certainly had their differences where Beckett would still stomp off after an argument with her. *eyeroll* Reality does sink in when Beckett was asked to marry the daughter of a neighboring Lord, one of those marriages arranged when he was a boy. He definitely didn't want to marry the girl, but it was already promised and he had to keep his father's words. Marrying Christiana wasn't an option for him due to his duties and he thought it was best to break it off with her. Only he didn't do it well which causes a rift between the two. He invites his fiancee and her mother to the castle, then was about to become a monk in front of them. He was being an a$$ to her obviously but that's what he thought was the right thing for them. I wasn't sure what to think, specifically hated it that he appointed Christiana to serve those women who were perfectly horrid to her. Even when he was doing so, all he wanted was Christiana.
There were a lot of drama between them but the ending was kinda fun, even if abrupt. I liked it and wished it was longer. Recommended if you're looking for something hot and short and won't mind a few explicit scenes with H and his OW. I generally hate it but somehow the author made it palatable for me.