Scotland, the setting for Julie Garwoods The Secret is also the backdrop for its spin-off, RANSOM.

A lost jeweled box, King Johns superstitions, a ruthless noblemans schemes and a madmans secret draw a daring English lady and a proud Highland warrior together.

Lady Gillian lives under the thumb of the man who conquered her fathers keep. She knows what he is capable of and will not allow him to harm the boy he has abducted.

She convinces her captor to let her take the boy, Alec Maitland, home. He allows her to go, under the condition that she bring back the jeweled casket that her sister reputedly possesses. He ensures her return by continuing to hold her uncle captive while she is away.

Broderick Buchanan is Alecs protector. When Alec goes missing, he blames himself and is stunned when a mere slip of a woman brings Alec home. He is impressed by her bravery, but believes he cannot trust an English woman.

Though Gillian is drawn to the large, powerful Highlander, she has a mission to accomplish. She cannot allow his plans for them to bed and wed deter her, even if she is falling in love.

Broderick will never let the feisty Gillian go. He contrives to marry her without her knowledge and keep her safe from harm. But there is no way he can prevent her from fulfilling her destiny and returning to England to see everything set to right.

Julie Garwood has her next bestseller! In this powerful story, passion, loyalty, friendship and mystery superbly blend with realistic, three-dimensional characters. Ms. Garwood weaves an enthralling tale: no wonder she is Romances treasure! SENSUAL (Mar., 476 pp., $22.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin