Sabina von Ziegler lost her father at an early age, and her stepfather, Baron Marcus von Ziegler, treats her as little more than a commodity that he can trade as necessary. The Baron has a secret, as does Wolf Behaim, a widowed printer with a young daughter. In exchange for Wolf’s silence, the Baron offers him Sabina’s hand in marriage—along with the impressive legacy that her late mother left for Sabina when she was a child. Sabina plans to use the money to build a home for escaped nuns, but Wolf has other plans. They both expected a marriage of convenience, but are shocked when their physical attraction quickly becomes a deep, meaningful romance.
Bennett’s 16th-century German setting is unusual for a romance novel, and all the drama of the Protestant Reformation, as well as the peasant riots of the era, provide a fascinating backdrop for this torrid love story. Sabina is a typically headstrong heroine who answers to no man, and Wolf is a wounded alpha male-type who never expected to fall in love again after his first wife died in childbirth. Pleasing secondary characters, including Wolf’s brother Peter and his daughter Gisel, round out the story. This is a solid historical romance from a promising debut author.