After a long absence, Quenton, Lord Stamford, returns to Cornwall upon his grandfathers death, bringing with him a young boy.
Olivia St. John has to escape London when her cousin attacks her. Her uncle agrees that it is best that she leave and take a position as governess with Lord Stamford.
There is something wrong at Blackthorne Hall and Lord Stamford is having trouble finding out just what it is. Meanwhile, Olivias presence starts to make changes at Blackthorne. Even Lord Stamfords younger brother, who is severely impaired, begins to show signs of improvement.
Quenton realizes that he is attracted to Olivia, but tries to keep it from her. King Charles IIs visit to Blackthorne forces Olivia and Quenton together and pushes them to reveal their feelings for one another.
When Olivias relatives arrive for the Kings ball, Olivia is frightened. Her cousins blackmail scheme, Quentons investigation, and a kidnapping, plunge them into grave danger.
BLACKTHORNE gives us a different and more personal view of Charles II. Ruth Langan has written a tender love story with strong characters and powerful Gothic overtones, even though there is little conflict and what there is resolves very quickly. SENSUAL (Nov., 350 pp., $4.99)