Berkley, Nov 2002, 6.99, 400 pp.
In England, the Earl of Bradwell, Cyrus Fleming breaks the pact his ancestors have had with the Fane by trespassing into the magical fairy forest. For punishment, the Forest Lord Hern demands that Cyrus hand over his beautiful teenage daughter Eden so he can sire an heir. Cyrus agrees, but demands that Hern appears as a mortal and courts Eden. Not long afterward Cornelius Fleming arrives, courts Eden and makes love to her, which leaves her pregnant. He plans to marry her, but she learns the truth about his heritage. She flees, marries someone else, while he goes into a deep sleep after learning that their child died.
Six years later and Hern awakens to learn that Eden has returned home and their son lives. Hern plans to abduct the lad he thought was dead from the widow who he feels betrayed him twice. Masquerading as a mortal servant, Hern soon realizes his foe did not know their child lived until she came home. He also finds he wants to put the lost smile back on Eden's face, but years of spousal abuse and betrayal by her father and Cornelius leaves her filled with distrust.
THE FOREST LORD is a pleasant Regency romantic fantasy that reads more like a second chance at love between two distrusting souls than a star crossed specie reverie. The audience will appreciate the lead characters, especially Hern, who occasionally displays otherworldly talents. Readers will desire more Fane tales that contain a wee bit more fairy dust especially a two decade into the future sequel starring the son Donal.
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner