As the only survivor of an ancient blood feud that ends in the brutal massacre of his clan, eight-year-old Tynan MacDougald is taken as a slave by the victorious MacKays.

Tynan keeps his place as the years pass, awaiting the time when he avenges his clan. Finally, the old chieftain gives him the opportunity he seeks.

When the laird discovers that his long-lost granddaughter is alive, he offers a reward to the man who finds her. Tynan is determined to be that man.

Following the trail, he arrives on the Isle of Skye to discover a mysterious old woman, a nun and a lovely young girl known as Nara. Nara knows to stay away from strangers, to hide her unusual powers and never, ever leave the safety of the island. But to save her family from Tynan's threats, she agrees to return to her homeland with him.

All is in place for his plan of revenge, but Tynan has never counted on falling in love with Nara, the woman he must kill to carry out his blood oath.

Tynan and Nara's journey culminates in a climactic scene worthy of a Shakespearian drama.

Haywood Smith crafts a tale that grips you and never lets go. You'll be mesmerized by the magical and mystical qualities of the story and left spellbound as Tynan's soul is torn between passion and vengeance, gentleness and violence. A tale for the discriminating reader searching for the ideal mix of history, mysticism, dreams and romance. SENSUAL (May, 400 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin