Lord Bannor the Bold, feared warrior known as the Pride of England and the Terror of France, is brought low by his 12 unruly children. What Bannor needs is a good mother for them, but a woman so plain he would not fall in love with her.

Since her stepmothers arrival when she was a very young girl, Lady Willow has been nursemaid to her half-siblings and her stepmothers children form her first marriage. Treated more like a servant than an heiress, Willow accepts the marriage offer made by Bannors emissary.

Willow, Bannor soon discovers, is not the plain, meek wife he had sought. Her sable hair, beautiful face and loving, passionate nature disturbs his own plan. As Willow begins to tame the unruly children, she does her best to stay clear of their father. Yet after teaming up with Bannors brood in a siege against their father, Willow becomes part of the family.

Her stepsisters arrival and her plan to lure Bannor away from Willow has an intriguing outcome, especially when her stepbrothers kidnapping scheme goes into effect. Soon both Bannor and Willow come to understand that surrendering to love has its rewards.

What joy! Take a drop of Cinderella, a dab of The Sound of Music, and then add a large dollop of that special Medeiros style, and you get one delicious treat. SENSUAL (May, 350 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin