by Hannah Howell

May 2003
ISBN: 0-8217-7426-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Best-selling author Hannah Howell returns to visit the dynamic Murray family in this latest release in her Highland series. The handsome Sir Payton Murray is very well known at the court of young King James for his skill with a sword and within the bedroom. He is a lady’s perfect ideal of knighthood; he is a lover and a fighter. But it is his skill with a sword that Kirstie MacIye is really interested in.

Kirstie is on the run from the vengeful wrath of her brutal husband, who left her dead after an attempt on her life. She has vowed to expose the evil that rots inside him, for her husband, Sir Roderick MacIye, preys on the young and helpless. Kirstie is in need of a brave and willing champion to help her succeed on this crusade. Sir Payton is the man she seeks but she still must convince him of the validity of her cause and bring her powerful husband the justice he rightly deserves.

Luckily Sir Payton accepts the challenge presented to him. Of course, it goes without saying that one of the motivating forces behind his decision is the brave and enchantingly beautiful Kirstie. Although Sir Payton courts the anger of both of their clans he is unable to resist the powerful temptation Kirstie represents. Together they fight for their lives against a treacherous conniving foe bent on maintaining his secrets at costs.

Ms. Howell’s treatment of the grim subject of child predators and child abuse may be the focus of this novel but reader’s reactions are softened by the interaction between the young secondary characters. She draws an all too believable scenario that eerily mirrors our modern society (which may make it hard for sensitive readers to finish this book), but trust me on this it is well worth the emotional effort to read it.

Aside from the subject matter, if you are looking for a romance with a lot of heat look no further than any Hannah Howell book. She was writing sensual romance long before they became the 'in' thing. She was one of the first authors I picked up when I started reading romances and will always be a favorite of mine for her engaging characters and wonderfully sensual love scenes.

I would recommend that you turn up the A/C or throw open a window before you start reading this book. The heat can be intense. Enjoy!

Reviewed in May 2003 by Cynthia.

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