TAKEN BY THE LAIRD
Scotland in December can be a miserable place. After reading about the constant rain, icy winds and many inches of snow, readers will long to be snug in their homes in front of a blazing fire. Maguire's ability to paint pictures with words makes the story come alive. There's something for everyone in this book -- romance, sex, ghosts, adventure and mystery. But the plot bogs down in places, and the segue from one point of view to another is not always clear. The characters are well developed, though, and the rapid pace should keep readers involved to the very end.
Brianna Munro narrowly escapes marriage to a despicable nobleman by dressing as a boy and running away. Her plan is to join her aunt in Scotland until she reaches her majority in two month's time.
But when she gets to her aunt's farm, her beloved aunt is on her deathbed. Through her grief, Brianna must continue her trek to escape from her evil fiance. After traveling all day in the rain, she takes refuge in a dark, disreputable castle that looks uninhabited. To her dismay, the owner, Laird Glenloch, takes her for a thief. After learning of Brianna's plight (at least her version of it), the Laird invites her to spend the night. As her stay extends, Brianna is drawn into a situation full of intrigue, danger, mystery and a strong attraction to Laird Glenloch. (AVON, Oct., 321 pp., $6.99)