Back blurb:That sounded way more dramatic than the actual telling of the story...contains spoilers...
Two hundred years after the Raintree clan defeated them, the Ansara wizards are rising again to take on their bitterest foes. As king, it's up to Dante Raintree to protect his clan, but his heart--and maybe his loyalties--may be fatally divided when Lorna Clay walks into his life. Suddenly fire, always his to control defeats him taking with it his livelihood. Unsure whether Lorna is to blame yet unable to walk away from her, Dante faces the fight of his lifetime, a fight even his strength and that of the Raintree clan may not be enough to win.
Lorna Clay is somehow cheating while she's playing blackjack at Dante Raintree's Reno casino. He's not happy. Pulls her into his office and while they're discussing the situation two things happen. 1. He realizes she has some sort of psychic abilities that's why she wins consistently (it's a number thing) and 2. The casino is on fire. Here's where the "brain-rape" comes in. He needs to control the fire and the only way he can is with the help of someone else with strong psychic ability. So he does what he thinks he has to forcibly links with Lorna and controls the fire in order to save lives. Not nice, but certainly explainable and is explained after the fact.
Now he thinks maybe she's Ansara, tears off her clothing to see if she has the "Ansara birthmark". Of course she doesn't and at this point she's really pissed off. He forces her to stay at his home (force field thingy) and she wreaks havoc with little get even tricks.
Dante is over the top and bullyish, but hey he's a king, he's used to getting his way. I'm not horrified by what happened up to this point, everything fits within the context of the story.
There's a turning point near the end of the book right before they have sex for the first time, she basically says no more mind control and they need to be equals or they don't go forward...
Reading him wasn't easy, but she could see he didn't like relinquishing control at all. Intuitively, she grasped his dilemma. On a purely intellectual basis, he understood. On a more primitive level he didn't want to lose her, and he was prepared to be as autocratic and heavy-handed as necessary..."All or nothing."...If you are a Linda Howard fangirl this book shouldn't shock you. If you're a borderline fan you're not going to like it. And if you're not a fan at all, avoid it completely.
I'll finish the series. The ending of this book is very reminiscent of Jane and Grant's part in Diamond Bay, she's told to stay put and of course she wont. Got to see where it goes.