Told with humor and wit, this is an entertaining tale of romance rekindled against a backdrop of danger and intrigue. Author Karen Hawkins is a budding Julia Quinn, master of the mad romp.

The last person fiercely independent Arabella Hadley expected to find injured lying in the road was Lucien Devereaux, Duke of Wexford, the man who jilted her after making love to her 10 years before.

The question is what should she do with him? Taking him home to be cared for by her wacky widowed aunts presents many dangers. How will she maintain the family secret but still keep her distance?

Lucien feels remorse for having abandoned the feisty beauty but cant resist renewing his pursuit, especially since she may be involved in the mystery of smuggled gems and espionage he is investigating.

The antics of the lovable aunts provide humor to the book, although the lead characters take themselves a bit too seriouslya bit too single-minded on the sexual tension. But, the sheep tonic! We wont spoil it by saying more. Hawkins story is not tight enough and the plot resolution is too perfect. She is someone to watch. SENSUAL (Jan., 374 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gabriella Pantera