A SWORD UPON THE ROSE
This is classic Joyce with crackling sexual tension, an alpha hero, a heroine who is of her time yet strong enough for modern readers to admire and a colorful, well-detailed backdrop brimming with history and drama. What more can Joyce fans desire?
Alana, the illegitimate daughter of the noble Comyns, lives in solitude with her grandmother — more servant than lady and feared because of her ability to see the future. A vision tells her a battle is coming and that she will save an enemy warrior. Iain of Islay leaves no man alive in battle. But when he is attacked and wounded, a beautiful woman nurses him back to health and he is smitten. Alana fears once Iain discovers her heritage and her gift, he will turn away, so she keeps both a secret. Torn between her love for Iain and her desire for her father’s acceptance, Alana walks a fine line. (HQN, Jul., 384 pp., $7.99)