Henley (A Woman of Passion, 1999, etc.) is an old hand at spicy romances, and this time out she sets her scene in the borderlands between England and Scotland. We follow the adventures of young Raven Carleton, the proud and headstrong daughter of wealthy English landowners. Out riding one day by herself, she encounters the fierce Scots bandit Heath Kennedy. A “borderer,” Heath is a member of an ancient clan that has been dispossessed of its lands, and he makes a living through smuggling, cattle-raiding, and kidnapping. Raven becomes his latest conquest, in more senses than one. Although proud, contemptuous of Scots, and engaged, she finds herself more and more attracted to her captor, until she finds herself hopelessly in love. Heath returns her affections, but this simply puts them in another, worse, quandary: Where can they possibly live happily ever after? The course of true love is seldom smooth, but in the middle of a blood feud there is hardly a safe step in any direction.
Colorful scenery compensates a bit for the predictable story and breathy prose (“When her liquid tremors caused his white-hot seed to erupt, he was sheathed so deeply that they merged and became one”).