THE GOLDEN LEOPARD
After Lord Hugh Duran broke her heart, Lady Jessica Carville wants nothing to do with love. She has found her passion working as an expert in antiquities for Christie's Auctions.
Hugh's sudden arrival from India stuns Jessica as feelings she thought long buried reemerge. Hugh is desperate for her help in locating a priceless artifact, a golden, jewel-encrusted leopard that is the talisman for an Indian principality. It is rumored the leopard is hidden somewhere in England.
Jessica is tempted by the offer and by Hugh. She agrees to help him on his quest, not knowing they will have to marry to protect her reputation or that they will fall in love again. Their hunt takes them through the country, and as the time grows short, High and Jessica's passion heats up.
Set an Indiana Jonesstyle treasure hunt in staid old England and you have an interesting twist on the typical action-adventure romance. Lynn Kerstan beautifully renders the historical period and then adds dollops of excitement with a quest, an assassin, and a few surprising twists that kept me turning the pages with eagerness. Her bold characters are well drawn, their dialogue sharp and their motivations intelligent. This is a must read from a marvelous talent. SENSUAL (Oct., 400 pp., $6.99)