cover image Never Kiss a Stranger

Never Kiss a Stranger

Heather Grothaus, Kensington/Zebra, $6.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4201-1242-9

Grothaus (Taming the Beast) packs this medieval romance trilogy launch with humor and suspense. Lady Sibylla Foxe, the oldest of three sisters, betroths her youngest sister, Alys, to "simple, watery, whispery" Clement Cobb. Impulsive, spoiled Alys ventures out in the winter night to the Foxe Ring of standing stones, where legend says a man will join her under the full moon and become her husband. When Piers Mallory passes through the ring on his way to London, where he hopes to prove his birthright before the king, Alys is convinced they are married and joins him on the difficult journey. Piers and Alys's lighthearted banter evolves into enduring romance as they face numerous travails, and the fast-paced, well-crafted narrative hints at mysticism in enchanted forests. Grothaus's departure from the formulaic sensuality of many historicals makes this tale a delightful read. (Mar.)