When King Henry VIII orders Sir Brandon Cavendish to marry the twice widowed Lady Katherine Fitzhugh, the reluctant knight has no choice but to obey the volatile monarch.
And neither does Lady Katherine. Married first to an ill old man and then to a brute, she has been looking forward to the freedom of her widowhood.
When Sir Brandon hears from the lady's nephew that Lady Katherine is a witch and an old hag, he and his friend, Lord Jack Stafford, plot to switch roles and watch the lady.
Fenton, Lady Katherine's nephew, has more sinister plans in mind; if his aunt marries, he would be disinherited. He must therefore thwart the wedding and be rid of the bridegroom.
Lady Katherine and her cousin, Miranda Paige, also decide to switch places. When the couples meet, each is falling in love-with the wrong person.
MIDSUMMER'S KNIGHT is a fun read from beginning to end, and like its Shakespearian inspiration, it's a comic delight. Henry VIII's England comes alive with stinky moats, money grubbing courtiers, faithful servants and great action. Ms. Phillips expertly keeps the reader's attention and interest high even as they chuckle. Very well done! SENSUAL (June, 350 pp., $4.99)