To Lady Holly de Chastel her remarkable beauty is a curse. She wants nothing to do with the many suitors who vie for her hand and discourages them any way she can, much to her father's chagrin. In order to find a suitable husband, Holly's father plans to hold a tournament. The knight who succeeds on the field will win Holly's hand.

To dissuade participants, Holly disguises her beauty beneath a layer of ashes and an unattractive costume. Her clever scheme goes awry when Sir Austyn of Gavenmore appears more than pleased to have her as his bride. He isn't interested in the fairest woman in all England, but seeks a plain wife instead. When he spies the very ordinary looking, Holly-in-disguise at the tourney he is sure she is the one for him.

The trip home to Austyn's Welsh castle is full of surprises and, when he discovers Holly's ruse, he has already fallen in love with her. He has also been trapped by the Gravenmore curse.

It is up to Holly to prove that her beauty is more than skin deep, and that her love can save Austyn from the damning hatred of an ancient curse. Through her he must learn to trust in a woman's love.

FAIREST OF THEM ALL unfolds like a classic fairly tale, full of evil curses, a beautiful, clever princess, a handsome prince and a lesson that must be learned by all. Teresa Medeiros continually surprises readers with her ability to seek out their fantasies and put them to paper in her original, captivating style. Here is another "keeper" from this very special author. SENSUAL (June, 322 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin