Contemporary author Tabke's
historical debut harkens back to
the classic captive/captor medievals
with its alpha hero, feisty heroine, rapier repartee and simmering-to-a-boil sensuality. This is a read for those who long for days gone by.

Marked by his Saracen captors with the sign of the Blood Sword, mercenary warrior Rohan de Luc, William the Conqueror's cousin, is awarded Alethorpe.

With her father and brother fighting with the Saxon king, Lady Isabel vows to never surrender her home and her people to to a Norman. Rohan seizes the keep but quickly realizes he won't easily breach Isabel's heart. Her sharp tongue and wit are no match for Rohan's strength, but she fights him any way she can, and when Rohan shows surprising kindness by sparing her squire's life in exchange for her hand in marriage, she begins to think differently about him. She goes to him unwillingly, but as danger against him mounts, she strives to remain loyal to her family and yield her heart to Rohan. (Pocket, Jul., 380 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin