Grothaus' second book is rich in historical detail and ancient magic. It's the story of a stubborn warlord forced to marry a stranger who is everything he didn't know he wanted. Readers will enjoy this battle of the sexes and the machinations of a mischievous ghost working to bring them together.
Simone wanted one real kiss before being sold to an elderly lord, but her one moment of weakness gets her a reluctant and ornery husband. Luckily, Nicholas proves to be gentle and kind. The newlyweds come to a fragile truce and are working on a real marriage when war, betrayal and an old girlfriend come between them. But soon it's not just their marriage but also their lives that are threatened when a crazed murderer surfaces. (Zebra, Apr., 380 pp., $4.99)