A scholar specializing in ancient manuscripts, Grace St. John never imagined that a cache of fragile, old documents she discovered was the missing link to a lost Celtic treasure. But as soon as she deciphers the intriguing legend of the Knights of the Templar -- long fabled to hold the key to unlimited power -- Grace becomes the target of a ruthless killer bent on abusing the coveted force. Determined to stop him, Grace needs the help of a celebrated warrior bound by duty to uphold the Templar's secret for all eternity. But to find him -- and to save herself -- she must go back in time.
Summoning the magic of an arcane ritual, Grace steps back to the barren hills of 14th-century Scotland, enduring the perils of an untamed land to confront Black Niall, a fierce man of dark fury and raw, unbridled desire. Driven by a mix of fear and passion, Grace enlists this brazen knight to join her in a modern-day search for a killer. In their quest to protect a timeless secret, they uncover a love for all time -- and a deadly duel of honor that risks everything they have.
Bestselling author Howard (Shades of Twilight) offers a romantic time-travel thriller with a fascinating premise, some gripping passages and steamy sex, though offset by a heroine whose actions defy credibility and a story that goes nowhere for more than half the book. In the 14th century, Niall of Scotland, illegitimate half brother of Robert the Bruce and one of the few surviving Knights Templar, is made Guardian of the Treasure, a collection of powerful relics that includes the Holy Grail. In the present day, Grace St. John, a translator of ancient languages, finds herself in possession of a document that could reveal the treasure's location to the evil Foundation. When her husband and brother are murdered by the head of the Foundation, Grace believes the police will blame her and she becomes a fugitive. More than half the book is taken up by her efforts, recounted in mind-numbing detail, to flee the Foundation and to uncover facts the reader already knows. When she finally transports to the 14th century, Grace refuses to enlist Niall's aid in protecting the Treasure, even though she knows he is the Guardian. Whatever her intellectual wattage is supposed to be, Grace acts like a dim bulb. (Mar.)
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February 28, 1997
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