Zahariah is following the orders of her father, king of the assassins, when she steals into Richard the Lionhearted's camp to kill him. She hopes to drive the Crusaders from her homeland, but her plan is thwarted by Sebastian of Montborne, the Black Lion.

Later, Sebastian rescues a young woman from harm, and brings her into his home. He doesn't recognize her as the "boy" he stopped from killing Richard.

Zahariah knows she's playing a dangerous game. Being close to Sebastian gives her another opportunity to strike, but opens the door to falling in love with the enemy. She's torn between loyalty to the cult of assassins and her newfound passion.

At the end of this novel, Tina St. John explains that she conceived the idea for the cult of assassin's plot long before the 9/11 tragedy. What it illustrates is that enmity from fanatics began long before the 20th or 21st century, and those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. Ms. St. John's passionate adventure romance is an action-packed love story with a strong conflict, well-detailed historical backdrop and memorable characters. SENSUAL (May, 350 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin