The bastard son of a nobleman, Kenneth MacKenzie is raised to the status of keeper of Cuidrach Castle. He arrives at the isolated fortress by the sea ready to live in peace and solitude, only to spy a naked woman in the window.

Mariota Macnicol fled her home after being framed for murder and found sanctuary in the abandoned keep. Kenneth is none to pleased to find a "wife" in residence, and a lively battle of wills and words ensues as they attempt to live together.

They are unaware that those hunting Mariota and a fabled golden lute will bring trouble to Cuidrach, and they risk all to save their land, their people and their newfound love from those who could destroy their happiness.

Blending legend, history and a bit of magic, Welfonder sweeps us away to a rugged castle on the Highland shores and into her character-driven story. Though slower in pace than her other novels, this one resonates with her deep love of Scotland and transports readers to a world they'll be loath to leave. SENSUAL (Jul., 335 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin