In her trilogy starter Banks demonstrates her outstanding ability to write a fast-paced, sexually charged, emotionally intense romance. Her portrayal of Scottish clan life, filled with larger-than-life characters, provides the ideal setting for a book readers will treasure.

Though she is the king’s illegitimate daughter and quite wealthy, Mairin Stuart lives anonymously in a nunnery. When Laird Duncan Cameron’s men abduct her she realizes she is to become a source of additional funds and power for her half-brother to carry out a plot to kill the king. Mairin is beaten severely and imprisoned because of her refusal to wed Duncan, but she escapes. A powerful warrior, Ewan McCabe is searching for his missing son Crispin, whom his men find protecting a wounded Mairin. When Crispin tells his father what happened, Ewan vows to protect Mairin, even if he must marry her to save her from Duncan, whose army is at his gates. Ewan’s men prevail, but the greatest battle is winning her trust and love. Too soon they are called to court to determine if they are legally wed. The couple is plunged into a treasonous plot and must find a way to clear Ewan’s clan of disobeying the king and claim their love. (BALLANTINE, Sep., 352 pp., $7.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin