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Where has she been? The rumors fly throughout the Scottish countryside about Lady Alanna, the beautiful and mysterious displaced mistress of Fionnaway Manor. And now she has emerged from hiding, only to find her beloved estate besieged by greedy relatives. . .and coveted by a darkly handsome Englishman.
Ian Fairchild knows that Fionnaway belongs to him alone. For years he yearned for the cherished place where he passed his childhood. He can secure his rights to the manor only through marriage with the enigmatic Alanna, but the exquisite hellion has warned him at knifepoint to leave her house.
Now with skill and charm, Ian must penetrate the lady's defenses, and boldly lay claim to her body and spirit. But first he must prove himself worthy, and he holds the power to enchant and delight, inflame and inspire. . .and to convince this lady her true home is in her lover's heart.
In the early 19th century, the tiny Scottish coastal enclave of Fionnaway is home to both selkies (seals with the ability to assume human form at will) and "leg walkers" (humans who coexist under an ancient pact). Ian Fairchild's mother was a selkie, his father a leg walker, but selkie clearly dominates: he's darkly attractive and possesses extraordinary powers. He brings on storms, burrows into the minds of others, and can read their thoughts. Heiress Lacy Alanna McLeod, who plays at being a witch, is no match for Ian. Dodd (A Well Pleasured Lady), a fine stylist who spins a wonderfully drawn-out love scene, is one of those rare writers willing to take chances. Here she has created a hero, whose slow magical seductions can turn unnecessarily predatory ("That's it. Don't make it easy. Make it a war, so I can win"). Like the selkie-ridden waters of Fionnaway, this fairy tale is deep and dark, and perhaps not for everyone.