Warner, Aug 2003, 6.99, 374 pp.
In 1371 Gawain Lammergeier offers for sale what his father stole years ago from its locale in Inverfyre, Scotland, the Titulus Croce. Lady Elspeth, near death, informs her daughter Evangeline that her father died over the theft and that the legendary icon will affirm her unborn grandson's rightful place and bring prosperity to the area. Evangeline vows to make it right.
Evangeline catches up to Gawain and seduces him, but when he awakens the next morning the Titulus Croce is gone. Angry that he was duped by sex, albeit the best he ever had, Gawain goes after the female scoundrel who stole his prize possession. Gawain catches up to her and so begins a contest of wits and some physical interplay between two obstinate individuals who fail to see that Aphrodite may have solved the issue of ownership as love has entered the battle.
Fans of fourteenth century Scottish romances will enjoy the battle of sexes due to the lead characters, both heroic and rogues in their own ways. The prime plot is clever and the war of words fun, however the rotating chapters first person narrative seems to slow down the action even as it enables the audience to better understand the principal protagonists. Claire Delacroix provides an engaging whimsical tale that an appreciative audience will cherish.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner