LADY OF THE MIST
As a child, Gillian MacGregor is orphaned when her clan is proscribed and her lands confiscated and given to her enemies, the Campbells. She grows to womanhood in a secluded forest cabin away from civilization.
Thane Campbell stumbles upon her home, wounded and at death's door. She rescues him, only to disappear when he regains consciousness. Thane is obsessed with finding his mysterious nurse. He finds her before she is burned as a witch and takes her to his castle where he seduces the gullible Gillian and makes her his mistress.
Gillian's idyllic romance comes to an end when she finds herself in the middle of a new war between the MacGregors and the Campbells. But more devastating than that is her confrontation with Thane's fiance. Gillian finds the courage to leave Thane and start a new life, but even this is shattered by new accusations of witchcraft.
The gullible, weak heroine and the greedy hero, who is either seducing innocents or becoming betrothed to one heiress or another, are disappointing. The plot revolves around whether or not Gillian is a witch, with one group after another trying to kill her. Ms. Hanchar, known for creating magical tapestries, has not woven her best here. SENSUAL (May, 380 pp., $5.99)