Respected London merchant Robert Wardell stands between the businessmen and King Henry at a time of great strife. After negotiating to lend Henrys son funds for his army, Robert goes to marry Lady Alyce.

Alyce knows she has been bartered away to a commoner to settle her fathers debts, incurred when he sided against King Henry. What she doesnt know is that Robert has wed her to secure his place as the revolt against Henry gains momentum, and may use Alyces family as a bargaining tool.

What neither counts upon is falling in love. Robert has suffered the pain of love and loss, and Alyce is sure there can be no love in an arranged marriage. Yet passion, and then respect, grows between them as Robert teaches Alyce his business, finally leading to the forging of a powerful love as London erupts in battle. They must risk all for their newfound love and free themselves from the tangle of politics and vengeance.

Rich in historical detail and lush in characterization, THE BARTERED BRIDE is reminiscent of Rosalind Laker and Roberta Gellis tales of strong women in a medieval world of politics and passion. Anne Avery takes her place with the best of them. SENSUAL (Apr., 380 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin