Sent to Cornwall to ferret out a plot to kill the Duke of Wellington, Prime Minister of England, Antony St. John rescues Miss Charlotte Tarrant and her cousin Lady Lettita Ophelia Deverille from a carriage accident. Tony conveys them to safety then goes along his way. Posing as Jean Matois, a Frenchman and smuggler, he has a job to do and that does not include a dalliance with a beautiful woman.

With the death of her parents and grandfather, Charlotte finds herself in a conundrum, dependent upon the new heir, her cousin Alfred Tarrant.

Charlie chafes at his male authority. Her independence, along with her temper and sharp tongue, gets her into one scrape after another. But things come to pass with the arrival of another heir, the foppish Sir Antony Foxearth Tarrant, sixth Earl of St. Merryn. Charlie finds herself in a proxy marriage that turns out to be real and starts wondering who the Shakespeare-spouting lord really is: Frenchman, smuggler or spy?

Together they must contrive a way to save Wellington's life.

In this 19th-century version of "Taming of the Shrew," a spin-off of Dangerous Games, Ms. Scott skillfully blends her flair for humor and characterization-another keeper from this memorable author. SENSUAL (Jan., 393 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Joan Hammond