A DANCE IN HEATHER
After her father's fiery execution as a heretic, Lady Tess Farnsworth must accept the King's decree that she marry Richard Avery, Earl of Easterby, the man she blames for her family's tragedy. Tess plots to lure Richard into a web of passion and take her vengeance, but she soon learns that Richard is adept at seduction, too, and she is caught in her own trap.
Richard never forgot the beautiful girl who pleaded with him to save her father. He could do little then, but now that she is to be his bride, Richard vows to bring joy to Tess' life.
His gentle, sensual wooing melts her hatred into passion as she sees Richard's kind, loving side and is grows smitten with her husband.
However, when the church's high official and the king oppose Richard's attempt to reclaim his ancestral lands, he and Tess face the greatest challenge to their newfound love.
Julie Beard has a magical touch for bringing the middle ages to life with color, pageantry and realism that never detracts from the romance. Every scene is beautifully rendered and you'll find A DANCE IN HEATHER a non-stop read. SENSUAL (June, 371 pp., $5.99)