Returning from the Crusades, Bayard discovers his estates have been usurped by his relative. To regain his lands and fulfill his vow to his king, he must wed; to gain his bride, he must enter a tournament.

Esmeraude Ceinn-beithe is not so easily won. The headstrong maiden does not want to be a trophy bride. Thus she issues a challenge, in the form of a riddle, to all the knights who have gathered to win her hand. Then she flees, leaving only the bravest warriors to follow her clues.

In the latest of her Bride Quest series, Claire Delacroix presents readers with a charming, humorous, quick-paced story as Bayard cleverly manages to unravel Esmeraudes riddles and rescues the damsel in disguise from her own tricky web.

The trouble is that Bayard knows he has found Esmeraude, but she has no idea that the handsome stranger who woos her with the romantic story of Tristan and Isolde is a knight or that she has found the love of a lifetime. Humorous, clever and just plain fun, THE TEMPTRESS delights and captivates. Claire Delacroix has certainly found her niche with the Bride Quest series, and the latest addition is a fine example of her ability to write stories that entertain and lift our spirits. SENSUAL (Dec., 376 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin