cover image THE HUSBAND TEST


Betina Krahn, Author . Bantam $6.50 (400p) ISBN 978-0-553-58386-1

Funny and poignant by turns, this absorbing medieval-era romance will beguile readers with its unconventional tone and multifaceted protagonists. Unlike many historical romance heroines, Eloise of Argent isn't a healer, a country maiden or an aristocratic beauty. She's an overly headstrong novitiate at the Convent of the Brides of Virtue whose well-intentioned but disastrous plans to "improve" the abbey have made her the bane of the abbess's existence. When Peril, the impoverished Earl of Whitmore, arrives seeking a bride, the abbess hatches a plan that will rid her of both Eloise and the imposing earl. She decrees that Eloise should accompany Peril to Whitmore to determine if he is worthy of one of the convent's young women. After seeing the dilapidated condition of Peril's estate, Eloise determines that a few "improvements" are in order, but her every effort is met with resistance. She soon learns that the land is supposedly cursed, and only a bride of the highest virtue can set things to right. A charming romance develops between Eloise and Peril as they clash, come together and rebuild. It's been many years since Krahn (Sweet Talking Man, etc.) has written a medieval romance, and her fans will welcome her return. (On sale Nov. 27)