A horrible scar mars her otherwise beautiful countenance, and Bridget has no illusions about her disfigurement. She never expects to marry, yet she is secretly thrilled about going to London as her cousin's companion.

Despite her disfigurement, Ewen, The Viscount Sinclair, is attracted to Bridget. A notorious rake, his sweet seduction overcomes Bridget's shyness. He falls in love with her and proposes. Believing in his love, Bridget risks her family's scorn and social ruin to run off and marry him by special license.

The honeymoon is heavenly, but his sudden departure leaves Bridget in a strange position. Servants and visitors alike treat her more as Ewen's mistress than his wife. It is clear that something is not right, but when Ewen's supposedly dead wife appears, Bridget believes she understands what has happened. Yet her courage compels her to make a stand, defend Ewen and wait until he reappears to learn if he truly is a cad.

Edith Layton not only understands the nuances of Regency culture, she also understand the deepest emotions that rule the heart. Her atypical and wonderfully real characters (flaws and all), a mystery, and love's faith combine to turn THE CAD into a real treasure. SENSUAL (Sep., 400 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin