Jan Murra, Author, JoAnn DeSnyder Rolfe, Illustrator . New Horizon $6.50 (311p) ISBN 978-0-88282-209-9

Hunter's fresh, singular voice and firm grasp of history set this lively 14th-century romance apart from the slew of mediocre historical romances. Lady Reyna, the daring Scottish widow of Robert of Kelso, becomes the pawn in a high-stakes game involving land, wealth and power when Ian Guilford, a notorious English mercenary allied with Morvan Fitzwaryn (the hero from Hunter's The Protector), lays siege to her keep. In a misguided attempt to save her people, Reyna visits Ian dressed as a courtesan, intending to seduce and kill him. Instead, she unwittingly aids him in overtaking her holding. Ian, known as much for his conquests in the bedroom as for on the battlefield, is intrigued by Reyna's feisty nature, but he soon discovers that her past is shrouded in mystery. What was the nature of Reyna's marriage to the much older Robert? Did she poison him, as many in the castle suspect, or was he murdered by someone else? And why does her childhood contain barely repressed memories of terror? The mystery unfolds with surprising twists and turns as characters from Hunter's previous novels join the action and Reyna discovers why she's suddenly become so valuable to her callous clan. An electrifying blend of history, romance and intrigue, this fast-paced tale is a testament to Hunter's considerable narrative prowess. (Dec. 4)

Forecast:Hunter already has brand-name recognition, which is impressive since this is only her fourth title. Her latest will likely top the wish lists of many historical romance readers this holiday season.

Reviewed on: 11/19/2001
Release date: 11/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
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