Newly returned to England from the war, Captain Jack Carrington is pressed into attending a fencing lesson. He admires the expertise of a young swordsman, then realizes the lad is none other than the most beautiful female he has ever seen -- and, according to gossip, the most notorious.

She is known as Lady Belle, a courtesan who was under the protection of Lord Bellington until his recent death. Sought out by many men, Belle only wants her freedom -- until Jack gets in the way of her fencing foil, resulting in his injury. Guilty over the mishap, Belle takes over the care of Jack.

Neither can ignore the spark that sizzles between them. Though Belle is skilled in the art of giving pleasure, it is Jack who shows her the joy of receiving it. He also gives her what she has never had: respect and the promise that he will never ask of her anything more than she is willing to give.

Will their newfound love for one another be destroyed by a dangerous man determined at any cost to have Belle for himself?

With its intelligent, compelling characters, this is a very well-written, emotional and intensely charged read. VERY SENSUAL (Dec., 384 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Joan Hammond