All Zephir Mfume wanted was to purchase a piece of the Toussaint land adjoining his property. Then he gets a glimpse of raven-haired beauty Phaedra Toussaint and changes his mind—he wants them both. But when her cousins practically offer her up on a silver platter, Zephir knows he has to put a stop to it, even if it means kidnapping and compromising her.

Since she stands to inherit the vast majority of her family's Dominican plantation, Phaedra is convinced that Zephir is after her land. Zephir doesn't deny his interest, but the bounty that he's after just may be what she least expects—her heart.

Wild Ravens has a fairy-tale appeal, with its kidnapping-and-rescue story. As historicals go, though, it lacks authenticity. It needs more detail besides the lush description of various locales. The dialogue doesn't fit the historical period or Caribbean locale. Scene transitions are not very smooth and may cause some confusion.

And it's not very romantic when the hero disappears during the middle of the story and is M.I.A. for almost a quarter of the novel. Plus, Washington's plot is not especially unique, although she gives the novel her own complicated appeal. Raging hormones and conflicting wills between Zephir and Phaedra make for quite a few interesting scenes. VERY SENSUAL (Jul., 342 pp., $9.95)
Reviewed by: 
T.L. Burton