A hardcover debut by a writer well known in paperback romance klatches confronts the question of the place of women in 13th- century England and Scotland--i.e., where they stand in God's love, and whether their husbands should beat them. Heroine Lady Johanna--an abused and battered wife, wed to Baron Raulf, a vassal of King John of England--is pleased when the news comes that her husband's dead. But her troubles haven't ended, since the king suspects she knows he murdered his nephew in order to consolidate his place on the throne. So Johanna's brother takes her off to the Scottish Highlands for safekeeping--and effectively gives her to Gabriel MacBain, the laird to two squalling clans, the MacBain and the Maclaurin. It's cold, dank, and uncomfortable up there among the crags, and at first MacBain seems an uncouth bear of a man. Still, Johanna survives--he's not only handsome but great in bed. What's more, he doesn't hit her. In fact, he turns out to be downright progressive where women are concerned--one part MacBeth, three parts Iron John. There's a little will testing between these two, of course, lots of time between the sheets, and a shake of eleventh-hour dramatics having to do with the return of Baron Raulf. But, in the end, all turns out well, and women are redeemed, respected, equal to men--in the domain of the MacBain circa 1200, if not now. Anachronistic? Good heavens, yes. But the characters are warm, gushy, highly hormonal--and thus likely to please Garwood's paperback fans.