Little did Connor MacEowan, Laird of Glenarrin, dream that when he made the wager with his friends he'd end up hopelessly in love with Gemma Baird. Connor has never lost one of his friends' outrageous bets. This time he is to seduce and win the heart of a young heiress while disguised as an ugly, malodorous, roving peasant. If Connor fails, he forfeits his castle.

Connor's mission begins more easily than he anticipates. When he is caught in a compromising situation with Gemma, her uncle insists that she wed the lowly beggar. Archibald Baird recognizes Connor despite his disguise and is satisfied that his spirited niece has at long last met her match.

Thus Gemma's nightmare begins. Wed to the loathsome fortune hunter Gemma plots her escape, to no avail. After an arduous journey through the Highlands, she finds herself ensconced in a run-down crofter's hut, living the life of a poverty-stricken peasant. Eventually Gemma's hatred and resentment flower into love and Connor comes to realize he has found the greatest treasure on earth. But will Gemma ever forgive him his deceit?

Ellen Tanner Marsh has penned an enchanting tale brimming with true-to-life characters and emotions that will have you eagerly turning the pages. As you follow Gemma and Connor along the often shadowed path of discovery into the brilliance of a new dawn, you'll laugh out loud at their antics. Gemma discovers that ancient, magical secret of love-sometimes when you kiss a frog he does turn into an enchanted prince. SENSUAL (June, 443 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Lizabelle Cox