cover image Lion's Bride

Lion's Bride

Iris Johansen. Bantam, $7.99 (480pp) ISBN 978-0-553-56990-2

Johansen (Dark Rider) writes to her strength in a medieval romance filled with action, sex and the lively working-out of 12th-century gender differences. Indentured to a silk merchant, Thea of Dimas steals a basket of wriggling worms and sets out for Damascus to start her own embroidery-design studio and then effect the escape of her little sister, Selene. After her caravan is destroyed, Thea is rescued by blustery knight Lord Ware and carried (pressed up against his hard, unyielding armor) to his desert fortress, Dundragon. Ware, hunted by the Knights Templar because he's discovered the secret of their Lion Throne, must protect Thea from the deadly consequences to anyone who gets close to him. Thea, an ambitious career woman, must stop Ware from running roughshod over her big plans. Together the feisty lovers battle crusaders, Muslims and their own misguided agendas before settling down in the Scottish Highlands to breed lusty little bairns. (Feb.)