Christine Feehan, Author . Leisure $6.99 (366p) ISBN 978-0-8439-5048-9

Best known for her vampire romances (Dark Guardian, etc.), Feehan adds a gothic twist to a classic fairy tale in this eerie and engrossing 19th-century romance. In a desperate attempt to save her brother, Lucca, from the evil clutches of the grasping lord who has imprisoned him, Isabella Vernaducci, a courageous but impoverished noblewoman, ventures into the Alps to search for the elusive and dangerous Don Nicolai DeMarco, believing him the only man powerful enough to save Lucca. To her surprise, Nicolai offers her a deal: he will aid her if she consents to be his bride. Isabella agrees before learning of the DeMarco curse—which condemns the DeMarco men to be seen as "the beast" and prophesies that Nicolai will "rip the heart" from the one he loves. Suspense simmers in the DeMarco keep, where chilling cries are heard long into the night and Nicolai's "pet" lions roam. Though the relationship between Nicolai and Isabella is overwrought at times—he frequently tries to save her from himself by attempting to send her away—they're a perfectly matched pair in terms of temperament, and their steamy sex scenes heat up the pages. With its guileless heroine, masterful hero and mystical overtones, Feehan's inspired retelling is likely to garner her the attention she deserves. (On sale Sept. 3)

Forecast:Dorchester reports that all of Feehan's current novels have gone back to press at least once. Expect the same for this title. Feehan's books frequently land on bestseller lists, and her vampire romances have garnered her a strong following.

Reviewed on: 08/19/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-213502-5
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-06-201649-2
Hardcover - 978-0-7862-4986-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages
Paperback - 404 pages - 978-0-7499-5845-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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