Gypsy Baron

Written by Mary Daheim
Review by Xina Marie Uhl

A reprint of a 1992 Harlequin title, this novel features Stefan, a Bohemian gypsy baron with English ties, and Kat, a young lady at court who has vowed never to love again after the death of the man she expected to marry, Henry, Prince of Wales. Court intrigues are afoot left and right, and soon a devious plot has the two main characters fleeing Merry Old England for the Continent and further adventures.

Kat is an idealistic, innocent, and frequently outraged protagonist. Of course, she is virginal, which is practically required in a novel originally published in the ’90s. Likewise, Stefan is virile and roguish—what else would a gypsy be? The two leads bicker at first, but we readers know that they are destined to fall in love, and indeed they do.

Set in the 17th century, this novel’s plot overflows with danger and derring-do from a large and varied list of characters. The rich and interesting period descriptions make up for a lackluster amount of passion in what turns out to be more of a mainstream historical novel than a historical romance.