Miss Cathleen's father, an Irish horsetrader, has been mysteriously shot and killed. Though she is convinced that he was murdered, she has been sent against her will to live with her only remaining relative, Lord Charlwood.
In London Cathleen is prepared for the Season according to her uncle's plan. Unfortunately, all "Kate" wants in life is not a husband, but a magnificent horse.
Her conniving uncle convinces Adrian, Earl of Greystone, that he knows the whereabouts of a historical Saxon sword, and persuades Kate to accompany Adrian to the home of the sword's owner.
Along the way their carriage is damaged and the two seek shelter at an inn. Lord Charlwood somehow learns of their mishap and forces Adrian to marry an already "compromised" Kate.
Horrified by his luck, Adrian sends Kate to one of his smaller estates where she is left to live with only servants. Kate, who never wanted to marry, likes the situation well enough. However, Adrian, deciding that honor is more important than pride, arrives to collect his bride. Finally, the two overcome their mutual mistrust and fall in love.
Joan Wolf returns to the Regency scene to spin a tale of love with only a few knots. The mystery surrounding Kate's father's death adds suspense and intrigue to an already mesmerizing story. With touches of humor and passion, Ms. Wolf helps Kate and Adrian discover that love is not easy, but is well worth the task. SENSUAL (Nov., 342 pp., $5.99)