During a colorful and turbulent period in Scottish history, known as the time of the Princesses, women were respected leaders and warriors. Thus, when nine of Princess Beras brothers are captured by the ruthless Lord Durst, she vows to set them free.
Meanwhile her three remaining brothers offer her hand in marriage to the man who can complete the task. Curran the Dark accepts the challenge.
Disguised as a weaver, Bera obtains a position at Dursts castle making cloth for his wife, a strong woman who despises her brutal husband. Curran and Bera meet and though each is suspicious of the others motives they are attracted to one another and finally realize they must join forces to complete their mission.
Suspicions, treachery, betrayal and high adventure abound in this unique romance between a proud knight and a warrior princess. Ms. Smith portrays the violence of the times with an unflinching eye, which may distress gentle readers, but will awe those who savor rich and accurate historical novels. SENSUAL (Jul., 380 pp., $6.99)