With its atypical setting and unique characters, Lofty's latest sweeps readers into a historical plot that tackles many contemporary themes in a meaningful and thought-provoking way. Kudos to Lofty for her innovative approach.
A member of the queen's entourage, Lady Ada of Keyworth is far from her English home. Trapped in the world of the opium addict, novice monk Gavriel de Marqueda finds and rescues her.
Sworn to vows of chastity and nonviolence, Gavriel must complete a test before taking his place in the order: He must redeem a lost soul. Ada is his mission; she is also his greatest temptation. On their journey to the monastery, Ada learns she must accept Gavriel's aid or die. He helps her through withdrawal, protects her and tries not to fall for her. But Ada isn't fooled by his cold demeanor; she sees a man who struggles against his own demons and who needs her as much as she needs him. The bond that forms between them will either be their doom or their salvation. (ZEBRA, Jan., 350 pp., $5.99)