THE DEVIL'S WALTZ
Christian Montcalm intends to marry the delectable and very wealthy Miss Hetty Chipple. Only her companion, the honorable Annalise Kempton, stands in his way. The starchy spinster won't allow Hetty near the fortune hunter, and Christian finds the "dragon" too much of a challenge to resist.
Though well past marriageable age, Annalise wonders what it would be like to be held in his arms. Though disreputable, Christian is not dishonorable. When he uncovers the secret of Hetty's father's business, he vows to protect Hetty. When it looks as if the lovers have eloped, Annalise goes after them. She arrives in time to rescue Christian, who is going mad from Hetty's childish chatter.
Christian and Annalise see that Hetty is wed to the young man she loves, leaving Annalise with Christian. Since her reputation is ruined, Annalise indulges in her fantasies to become Christian's lover. Still they must contend with Hetty's malicious father's vengeance.
A consummate mistress of the genre, Stuart crafts a sophisticated romance that mirrors the rigors of the era and adds her own punch of passion and adventure so that her characters can have the time of their lives. It is pure pleasure to indulge in this part-lighthearted, part-deeply emotional and all-glorious story. SENSUAL (Feb., 384 pp., $6.99)