Alone in the world, save for the band of misfits she has adopted along her journey to Faulkhurst Castle, Lady Eleanor Bayard believes in miracles and happily ever afters.

Putting aside the pain of her proxy wedding to a ruthless warrior who died in battle before he claimed his bride, Eleanor is determined to make a home of her husband's rundown castle. Little does she expect to encounter the brooding and tender-hearted knight who watches over Faulkhurst, a mysterious man who vows to protect her with his life.

Haunting the deserted parapets and towers of Faulkhurst, Lord Nicholas Bayard lives with the constant pain of his loss. Believing the wife he never knew perished in the plague, Nicholas is dumbfounded when she wanders into the gates of Faulkhurst, sunshine and laughter trailing in her wake.

Under the impression that Nicholas is a lonely knight seeking shelter, Eleanor bids him stay on as her steward, drawn to him in ways she cannot fathom, little knowing the warrior is her husband.

Deeply intense, richly textured in emotion and colorful characterization, THE MAIDEN BRIDE is a tale to savor. Linda Needham paints a haunting picture of the human heart with all its foibles and nuances, drawing the reader into her tale and proving once again that love is the greatest gift of all. VERY SENSUAL (Apr., 374 pp., $5.99 )

Reviewed by: 
Beth MacGregor