Laura Kinsale, a former geologist, is the New York Times bestselling author of Flowers from the Storm, The Prince of Midnight, and Seize the Fire. She and her husband divide their time between Santa Fe and Dallas.
Romance readers should be enchanted with Kinsale's ( Seize the Fire ) unlikely 18th-century duo: a staunchly unsentimental heroine and the has-been highwayman who joins her quest for vengeance. Leigh Strachan's parents and sisters are dead, and she's determined to murder the man responsible: The Right Reverend James Chilton. To this end, she tracks down S. T. Maitland, once the infamous robber called the Prince of Midnight but now a recluse--he can teach her how to handle a gun and a sword. But her ``prince'' is a disappointment: he's deaf in one ear, inclined to dizzy spells, a hopeless romantic starved for female company--and he fancies a wolf as a housepet. Just as Leigh concludes that S.T. is useless, he decides to become her champion. As they travel to Leigh's home to challenge Chilton, each emerges from a kind of cocoon: S.T. regains his skills, Leigh her capacity to feel affection. Unfortunately the unscrupulous reverend and his deluded followers are far less interesting than the bantering Leigh and S.T., and the prolonged confrontation seems more drab than dramatic. Major ad/promo. (Nov.)