ONCE UPON A KNIGHT
When Ivie's story is good, with its
likable characters front and center,
it is very good. When it's not, uneven pacing makes the plot convoluted and confusing.
As the bastard daughter of the deceased Lord of Eschon, Sybil Eschon runs the castle for her stepmother. Vincent Danzel has been broken out of prison to be used as pawn in a plot to ruin Sybil by making her fall in love with him and then leave her wanting more. But Vincent is immediately fascinated by Sybil. Since he has never fallen in love, he believes that Sybil, an herbalist, has cast a spell on him.
When her stepmother announces that Sybil will marry Sir Ian, whom Sybil describes as an evil dwarf, she convinces Vincent to bed her, thus preventing the marriage. They decide to marry each other, but they must deal with obstacles and enemies first. Will they ever be able to find each other and their happiness with everyone conspiring against them? (ZEBRA, Oct., 352 pp., $5.99)