Warner, Jan 2003, 5.99, 352 pp.
In 1330 Scotland, widow Lady Caterine Keith struggles to keep her strategically located Dunlaidir Castle safe from the odious Sassunach like malevolent Sir Hugh de la Hogue who insists she marry him. Her best friend Lady Rhona sends a message to Caterine's sister Linnet, married to Duneen Mackenzie, for help. Linnet obtains a pledge from loyal knight and friend Sir Marmaduke Strongbow to keep her sibling safe.
Marmaduke arrives at the castle, but is rejected by Caterine not because of his scarred visage, but because he is English. In spite of his tainted blood, Caterine believes her sibling would only send someone she trusts. Caterine offers a pretend marriage, but the honorable Marmaduke insists on a real wedding. She agrees, not understanding that Marmaduke wants her not the estate.
A sequel, BRIDE OF THE BEAST, is a delightful fourteenth century Scottish romance that brings back characters from DEVIL IN A KILT to include Marmaduke. The story line is typical of the sub-genre, but what makes it stand out is the lead couple especially the male protagonist. His honor, loyalty, and compassion make him a hero for any age while Caterine is an intrepid lady who is the perfect complement to the male champion. Historical readers will enjoy Sue-Ellen Welfonder's wonderful writing that shows she is one of the top knights of the era.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner