cover image Raven and the Rose

Raven and the Rose

Susan Wiggs, Author HarperPrism $4.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-104074-0

Wiggs ( The Lily and the Leopard ) heaps device upon device--murder attempts, blackmail, hidden identities, and cameo appearances by Napoleon and Josephine Bonaparte--to produce a disappointing historical romance that seems even longer than its 500 pages. Lorelei du Clerc, a skilled doctor raised by the fathers of the Hospice of Saint Bernard in the Swiss Alps, knows that she was a foundling. She does not suspect that she is the illegitimate daughter of the late King Louis XVI of France. When Daniel Severin is rescued from an avalanche and awakes at the hospice, he is delighted to find Lorelei caring for him: he has been sent by Josephine to murder her. Daniel, who feigns amnesia, soon realizes that some of the hospice's residents know Lorelei's true identity and possibly his own, a suspicion reinforced when two attempts are made on his life. As Daniel succumbs to his prey's innocent charms, he discovers that he cannot bear to see her killed. But he also knows that Josephine, who originally blackmailed Daniel into taking this mission, will retaliate for his failure to complete it and dispatch another assassin. (Nov.)