Arielle Douville, an Acadian widow, finds herself torn between her loyalty to her people and the handsome British officer appointed to force the Acadians from their homeland.
Byron Barclay is filled with grief over the deaths of his beloved brother and sister; so detached emotionally that he takes on the onerous task of ousting the Acadians from their villages and relocating them in America before they rebel against the English government. He never realized how one young woman could bring back his desire to live again.
While their men are imprisoned (among them Arielle's jealous suitor) the women of her village prepare to be resettled. Against her will Arielle is chosen to help Byron take a census. Though she despises the British, she is helpless against her desire for Byron and willingly becomes his lover and the target of the Acadians' hatred.
Arielle and Byron are on the first ship to leave Nova Scotia. Byron plans to take Arielle home to Virginia, but a mutiny, a horrifying journey up river, escape and even marriage cannot stop those who would tear the lovers apart.
Phoebe Conn tells an interesting story about a time and a people readers know little about. With her skill she brings to life little known historical facts with new insights. The tried and true plot and engaging characters in her latest saga will surely entertain her fans. SENSUAL (Aug., 420 pp., $5.99)