The first volume in Banks’ new trilogy combines an unusual plot, medieval history and believable and interesting characters with a classic clan rivalry — creating a memorable love story that is difficult to put down.

Lady Eveline Armstrong, the laird’s only child, suffered an accident that left her deaf. An accomplished lip-reader, she pretends to be mute as well, in hopes this will protect her from an unwanted marriage. Then, the king orders her to wed Laird Graeme Montgomery to end an ancient feud. Eveline attempts to learn the skills needed to be a laird’s wife, and Graeme develops a deep respect and affection for her, based on her willingness to do any task put before her. Eveline also comes to enjoy Graeme’s company. As their feelings blossom into true love, their physical desires grow as well. But there are those who want to see the feud continue who will stop at nothing to tear the couple apart. (BALLANTINE, Oct., 416 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin