cover image Captain's Bride

Captain's Bride

Kat Martin. Diamond/Charter, $3.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-55773-382-5

Start with a comely, courageous but none too bright heroine, add a hero whose machismo occasionally veers toward sadism, toss in sheer stupidity as a catalyst and you've got Martin's ( Dueling Hearts ) latest romance set in the 1840s. Master of a South Carolina plantation, Julian Summerfield has sent Nathan, his illegitimate son by one of his slaves, to be educated in the North. But when Julian dies suddenly, his embittered widow forces the young man into slavery. Glory, Julian's legitimate white daughter, decides to help her half-brother escape to the North, talking her way onto a merchant ship owned by her father's friend, Nicholas Blackwell. Shipwrecked during a storm, Glory and Nicholas are stranded alone on an island, and the captain, tired of her Southern belle ways, decides to trim her sails: ``He'd hate to bed her against her will, but . . . she deserved whatever she got.'' Unable to resist such charm, Glory finds herself seduced and abandoned; although eventually rescued from the island by Nicholas's crew, she is left to face life as an unwed mother and social outcast--until Nicholas learns the truth of her situation and realizes there's more to Glory than mere beauty. (Sept.)