cover image Surrender


Heather Graham. Topaz, $6.99 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-451-40690-3

Graham (Rebel; Captive) sets her latest McKenzie family saga in Civil War-era Florida, a refreshing, unique backdrop for that bloody struggle. Most of the action takes place at sea, where swashbuckling rebel captain Jerome McKenzie, skipper of the Lady Varina (after Jefferson Davis's wife), is big, bold, and has Seminole blood running in his veins. Beautiful, bold Risa Magee, a Union general's daughter who nurses the wounded, is his nemesis. Mutual hatred turns into turbulent love--but not before multiple misunderstandings threaten to tear the fragile relationship apart. It's a classic formula historical romance, but Graham does it better than anyone. Assured narratives, deft characterizations and fast-moving plots are givens. But this is also a classic bodice-ripper with chemises, bodices, pantalets and other delicate flimsies strewn throughout. It's not to everyone's taste, but Graham does it well. (Feb.)