Bertrice Small lives on the North Fork of the eastern end of Long Island, where she writes her novels in a light-filled studio surrounded by her cover paintings and many mementos of the romance genre. Married for thirty-three years to her husband, George, she is the mother of Thomas, a radio sportscaster and writer; mother-in-law of Megan; and grandmother of Chandler David and Cora Alexandra. Longtime readers will be happy to know that Nicky, the charming cockatiel, Checquers, the fat black-and-white cat with the pink ears, and Sebastian, the tiny greige-and-white cat, remain her dearest companions.
Predictability, contrivance and flat dialogue abound in this historical romance by acclaimed author Small. In 1461 war-torn England, Alix Givet is forced to marry a baron's cruel son in order to find refuge for her dying father. When her husband commits suicide, Alix's relief soon turns to horror as her father-in-law announces that he intends to marry her. On foot, Alix runs across the border to Scotland, where she's rescued from a wintry storm by Malcolm Scott, a gruff laird who vowed never to marry again after his first wife betrayed him. A few graphic sex scenes later, the two have fallen in love and married; the rest of the novel they spend dealing with the English baron-cum-raving madman who is convinced that Alix is rightfully his. Two-dimensional characters--either without flaw or completely unredeemable--and hastily dispatched political/historical background sink the story, but Small's included enough steamy scenes that fans should find what they're looking for. (Oct.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.