Holy Fools by Joanne Harris Transworld $94 From the author of Chocolat, another gothic romance that has sold well in hardback but has had mixed reviews.The Guardian called it 'Mills & Boon for the chattering classes''. In a role tailor-made for actress Juliette Binoche, a travelling rope-dancer (the Renaissance equivalent of pole-dancing) in 17th-century France seeks refuge in a convent when she falls pregnant. The story comes to life with the gloriously evil and wildly handsome Guy LeMerle, who seduces her and every other woman he meets. Editors apparently tried to tone the character down, but Harris fought to keep him. 'LeMerle has already caused more controversy than any other character I have ever created,'' she said. 'I don't see him entirely as a villain. In fact, he is a kind of existential hero.''