Once Upon A Knight
Zebra, Oct 2009, $5.99
In 1457 in the Highlands Sybil Eschoncan runs the castle for her stepmother ever since her father died. Thus when her odious stepmother informs her she will marry Sir Ian, the healing herbalist is taken aback as she believes her intended is an evil shrimp only after her alleged treasure and cannot be the man her sister Kendran wished upon her.
His cousin arranges for Vincent Danzel to escape from prison with the stipulation he ruin Sybil; not physically as the odious relative plans to do this. Instead without laying one finger on Sybil, he plans to makes her fall in love with him and leave. Vincent assumes this should prove easy especially after he meets the mouse, but she stuns him with ordering him to take a bath. Soon the cocky confident charmer finds he is losing every encounter to Sybil who has Vincent convinced she has drugged his food or drink as he is falling in love. She persuades him to make love with her so she does not have to wed Ian. However, he wants more and struggles to convince his Sybil to marry him although she seems to be the one in control of their relationship.
This is an interesting mid fifteenth century gender war in which neither Sybil or Vincent understand the rules of the seduction game because the third party rule-maker has his own agenda. Although overly complicated with too many side subplots that in fairness bring out time and place, fans will enjoy the Highlander romance between the herbalist protected by Waif the wolf and the escaped convict, an expendable discard sent to seduce Sybil by her cousin.