Synopsis: The only thing harder than fighting for what’s right…is fighting their feelings for each other.
For three years, the Cloaked Bandit has terrorized Wessex, robbing the nobility by knifepoint and a well-placed arrow. But little does anyone know, this bandit is, in fact, Juliana Wessex, the rightful ruler of the land and a girl her tyrannical uncle—the current Lord Wessex—believes was killed along with her father.
Juliana has become skilled at hiding from Lord Wessex in the forest, using her stolen goods to provide food and shelter to the peasants her uncle has taxed into poverty. But when she robs Collin Goodrich, her red hair betrays her true identity. Lord Collin remembers Juliana from their childhood—and challenges her to stay on his estate for a week in hopes she will leave her thieving ways and become a proper lady once more. Juliana is intrigued by Collin and his charms, but only time will tell if he can overcome her distaste for the nobility—as well as win her heart.
Various punishments and tortures mentioned; chopping off of thumbs, various devices in a prison mentioned, servants presumed to be tortured, Thatch is tortured, and his injury is described; thumbscrews and methodically breaking bones in his body.
Various battles take place (described in some detail) and include arrows, swords, daggers and knives. Several people are held at knifepoint (Collin is cut at such an instant.)
Juliana sustains a head injury, falling unconscious for several days. She is held captive, almost dies, and hit.
Collin is beaten, is bound and flogged, hangs from a noose for several minutes, and is stabbed in the chest.
Collin and Juliana are attracted to each other from the beginning and tease each other to the point of flirting. Their feelings are described in some detail, and they share several kisses throughout the book. (One such time is when they’re having a midnight picnic on the palace roof. A servant clears his throat to prevent anything further happening.)
Ale, mead, wine is drunk.
Juliana, now known as the Cloaked Bandit, steals from the rich to give to the poor. She struggles with guilt about this.
Exclamations of ‘bloody mary!’ are sprinkled without the book.
Characters pray to God for direction and forgiveness.
Overall feel: Though not as full of torture as the book before this one, A Daring Sacrifice does have quite a bit of violence… however, the love story is just as pronounced, but with more kissing. The story teaches of prejudice, guilt and sacrifice; the lesson of a sacrificial love. With a good message hidden among the constant turmoil of either their emotional attachment or their violent circumstance, the book might be worth reading.