Zebra, Nov 2008, $6.99
In 1500 in Scotland, Aimil and her brother Leith are riding the moors when the ferocious MacGuin clan captures them. Their leader Black Parlan holds the siblings for ransom as he expects her betrothed and her family to pay a fortune, and plans to make her horse Elfking his. Aimil is frightened of the Laird because of the rumors of his dining on babies. However, except for his desire to steal her steed, she quickly finds her warden is a caring leader; nothing at all like his reputation claims.
Aimil refuses to give him her beloved horse as he demands. He understands the love of a good horse so he offers her an alternative choice; she replaces her horse as his ride. As they battle to love, her fiancé plots to kidnap her and his former lover unites with Aimil’s former intended.
This is a reprint of an early 1990s novel (called ELFKING’S LADY) that showcases Hannah Howell’s talent before she became the Queen of Highland historicals. The lead couple is a fun entry ad their gender war over her horse is amusing but turns warm when they kiss. Although the villains should have known better than to try an abduction with Parlan’s reputation; fans of the author will enjoy one of her fine earlier tales.