cover image Son of the Morning

Son of the Morning

Linda Howard. Pocket Books, $7.99 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-671-79938-0

Bestselling author Howard (Shades of Twilight) offers a romantic time-travel thriller with a fascinating premise, some gripping passages and steamy sex, though offset by a heroine whose actions defy credibility and a story that goes nowhere for more than half the book. In the 14th century, Niall of Scotland, illegitimate half brother of Robert the Bruce and one of the few surviving Knights Templar, is made Guardian of the Treasure, a collection of powerful relics that includes the Holy Grail. In the present day, Grace St. John, a translator of ancient languages, finds herself in possession of a document that could reveal the treasure's location to the evil Foundation. When her husband and brother are murdered by the head of the Foundation, Grace believes the police will blame her and she becomes a fugitive. More than half the book is taken up by her efforts, recounted in mind-numbing detail, to flee the Foundation and to uncover facts the reader already knows. When she finally transports to the 14th century, Grace refuses to enlist Niall's aid in protecting the Treasure, even though she knows he is the Guardian. Whatever her intellectual wattage is supposed to be, Grace acts like a dim bulb. (Mar.)