Karen Ranney, Author . Avon $5.99 (374p) ISBN 978-0-06-075737-3

This retelling of the Cyrano story begins promisingly with the return of Colonel Moncrief to Scotland from the French and Indian wars to apprise Catherine Dunnan of husband Harry's death in battle. Married only a few months, she'd truly fallen in love with Harry through the letters he'd sent faithfully from the New World. What she doesn't know is that the author of those letters was not the callow Harry but Moncrief, who has fallen in love with her. Determined to rescue Catherine from her grim surroundings, Moncrief marries her in haste—and then must decide how to reveal his secret. The story glides along evenly, offering glimpses of other mysteries at its core, but even the revelation that someone is trying to kill Catherine feels unexciting. The earnest, noble lovers have little external conflict to keep them apart, and after a while, readers get the sense that they're just marking time waiting for one of them to eject Harry's ghost from their marriage once and for all. Though Ranney (So in Love , etc.) is known for her darker, almost gothic stories, this outing lacks the heightened drama that would push it out of the drawing room and into the bedroom. Agent, Damaris Rowland at the Rowland and Axelrod Agency. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/04/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 384 pages - 978-0-06-137231-5
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-137233-9
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-137228-5
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-175412-8
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