by Heather Grothaus

April 2007
ISBN: 978-0-8217-8007-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

September, 1077

London, England

Lady Simone DuRoche sees dead people, well at least one, her younger brother Didier who died in a tragic fire that also claimed the life of their mother. Unable to convince people, especially her cruel father, that she really does hear, see and speak with the ghost of Didier, Simone tries to keep this quiet. But people at court believe Simone is a bit touched in the head, as she seems to be speaking to herself. The domineering Armand DuRoche has only one card to play in his effort to get his daughter married off, her beauty, and he has all but sealed the deal with an elderly lord who is willing to pay Armand the bride price he is demanding for Simone. That is until Simone is caught in a compromising position with a handsome and roguish baron, Nicholas FitzTodd. Armand just found a bigger fish in the ocean to catch for his daughter.

Spurned by his childhood love, Nicholas FitzTodd knows it is a matter of time before King William demands his trusted Baron of Crane take a wife. Nick’s little tryst with the lovely Lady Simone DuRoche has produced an unwanted consequence, Simone is quickly married off to the-none-too-happy-about-it Nick. Still even though he believes Simone plotted the whole thing, Nick is willing to make a go of the marriage and on his wedding night sets about seducing his already more then willing bride that is until her “spirited” brother makes his presence known. Convincing the skeptical baron of her brother’s existence is not an easy undertaking for Simone to prove, but she does, and Nick vows he will help Simone bring Didier closure and find his murderer. This will allow Didier to “move on” from this world to the next, and give Nick his much needed alone time with his new wife.

Things go from bad to worse for the newlyweds as they journey from the King’s court in London back to Nick’s demesne on the border of Wales. The Welsh have been attacking, and Nick must protect his lands at any and all cost. Can The Champion save his family and his people while protecting his new and fragile love with Simone?

The Champion by newcomer author Heather Grothaus completely blew me away! The ghostly persona of the impish Didier will have you in stitches, and Simone is a strong and brave heroine to match her equally courageous and dedicated husband/hero Nicholas. Throw in some villains and lots of exceptional plot twists to keep you guessing and this is one heckava thrill ride, don’t miss it!

Reviewed in January 2008 by Bonnie.

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