cover image Rebel


Heather Graham. Topaz, $6.99 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-451-40689-7

Against the backdrop of 19th-century Florida, Graham continues her McKenzie-family saga (Captive), this time during the Civil War. Graham, who has been reproducing the same successful sensuous romance with the same sensuous couple, give or take a little Seminole blood and some variation in hair coloring, happily gives her fans what they seem to want: the tempestuous relationship of a sexually experienced but highly principled hero who marries a spirited virgin against her will and beds her until she learns to like it -which usually doesn't take too long. Modern readers might confuse this with marital rape if Graham did not wield such a deftly sexy and convincing pen. There's some easy-to-digest Civil War history. She's a Southern spy named Alaina McMann, aka the Moccasin; he is Union major Ian McKenzie, aka the Panther, as in ""She broke off with a shriek, for she found herself lifted and thrown down on her bed. Before she could draw breath, he had pounced upon her like a jungle cat."" Well, it beats the battle of Fort Sumter. (Mar.)