It's 18th-century Scotland, and sisters Leana and Rose both love Jamie McKie. Jamie loves spirited Rose, to whom he's engaged. Through his uncle's trickery, however, Jamie is wed to quiet Leana instead. He is angry and resentful, but upon the birth of his son, commits himself to his marriage and learns to love Leana deeply. Heartbroken and insecure, Rose tries to find fulfillment through an unwise friendship and a disastrous flirtation. Illicit contact with a local witch hints at a hope that she might reclaim Jamie for her own. In a shocking turn of events, the church threatens to set aside Jamie's marriage to Leana. The outcome hinges on Rose's testimony. FAIR IS THE ROSE (4.5) moves and delights with a vivid parallel to the biblical story of Jacob and his wives, Leah and Rachel. The riveting plot highlights Liz Curtis Higgs' expertise with setting, time period and characterization. A must-read for lovers of historical romance. (Mar., 480 pp., $13.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill Elizabeth Nelson