The first book (Winter's Heat) covered the entertaining relationship between Rowena of Benfield and Rannulf of Graistan. This book covers the relationship of Philippa of Lindhurst, Rowena's bastard half-sister (sister by another mister, even) and Temric, Rannulf's bastard half brother (yep, brother by another mother).
I found lots of things in this book giggle worthy, but I'm not sure it was intentional (brother by another mother/sister by another mister match, incest vs incest
Where the first book went well, I thought this one didn't. They had the battered/damaged woman ripe for the picking by a gentle man of honor kind of thing, which had to happen at some point in the series I suppose (being the stock of most romance novels).
We also had the OMG-Undying-Wuv! immediately for no good reason. I am not a fan.
Philippa is married to a rather abusive minor lord, whereas Temric has to come to terms with his bastardy birth and being trapped between being a commoner and noble. To save his love he'll have to shed the nobility he has become accustomed to and try to live the life as a merchant with his mother.
Philippa is, of course, damaged and trying to come to terms with *her* life, growing stronger and more spirited through the novel.
I liked the historical flavor, I think Domning does it very well. I loved that the match could not legally happen because of their "incestuous relationship" (through half siblings in marriage) while actual incest is happening with Philippa's abusive husband
In the end, it all ends well, because that's why we read these fluffy books. It is total fluff, but if that's what you want, it's great for that.
I think this book really need to be read after Winter's Heat. This series is very much linear and you need the first book to really understand the relationships going on in the second.