Damsel in Distress

Shannon Drake, Author Avon Books $6.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-380-76352-8

Drake ( Princess of Fire ) takes her own clever premise--a hero and heroine who are cousins of Robin Hood (one on his mother's side, one on his father's) and who pk both have secret identities--and reduces it to a run-of-the-mill affair. Countess Katherine ``Kat'' de Montrain (who occasionally runs with Robin's band as Lady Greensleeves) is a spoiled woman who, Drake implies, needs a good spanking (from the right man) to set her straight. She meets her match in Damian Montjoy, Count Clifford, sent home from the Crusades by King Richard to marry her and oppose Prince John's bid for power. Damian, disguised as the Silver Sword, arrives just in time to steal Kat away from the prince, who is scheming to marry her off to an evil crony. Not recognizing her captor and hoping to avoid marrying Damian, whom she had once unpleasantly encountered, Kat offers to sleep with the Silver Sword if he'll let her run away. He accepts but later denies the deal and leaves her to explain to an outraged Damian why she's not a virgin. But it is only a matter of time until their respective secret identities are revealed and Kat realizes she's been duped. (Mar.)
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