When Keegan MacLeod responds to the summons from his clan and returns to Scotland to join the Battle of Culloden, he keeps a rendezvous with disaster. After witnessing the brutal battle, he is jailed and faces hanging. He uses his time in prison to nurture his hatred for his betrayer, Lord Foxworth Morgan.

Money buys Keegan's freedom, but before returning to his homeland he means to satisfy his thirst for revenge. He takes Morgan's sister, Lady Zoe, hostage.

On the journey north, Keegan questions the sanity of his actions. The lady is a beauty, a lovely, fresh budding rose, but a rose with thorns. Zoe refuses to be docile and her ingeniousness gets them into one scrape after another. When she escapes, Keegan is relieved-until he discovers that she is sailing to Scotland on a notorious smuggler's ship and feels compelled to go after her.

It is an arduous trip to the Highlands, but the only pain Zoe suffers from is her aching desire for Keegan. She has fallen in love with her brother's enemy.

At Castle MacLeod, Keegan gathers the surviving clan members for one last battle against the British. When Keegan is captured by Morgan, Zoe hatches a plan to free Keegan herself.

THE RENEGADE AND THE ROSE is a magnificent read, a rousing tale of love and loyalty subtly tinged with humor. It is impossible not to fall in love with a Christine Dorsey hero and Keegan is no exception. SENSUAL (Sept., 335 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Frances L. Trainor