When his cousin's intended, Fancy, Baroness Merrivale, arrives in the colonies, Chance Walker sees an opportunity for revenge. Always the outsider, the bastard, Chance blames Jonathan for his wife's death and now he plots to steal away the woman Jonathan loves.

Fancy sees the buckskin-clad Chance as a crude backwoodsman, yet when he rescues her and her sister from disaster she sees something more in his virile, sensual smile. Fancy is not the haughty, arrogant aristocrat Chance believes her to be, but a woman who must take care of herself and her beloved sister, and marrying the wealthy plantation owner is just what she needs to do. However, Jonathan is playing both ends against the middle, not knowing which sister he shall offer to wed. Selfish and ruthless Jonathan uses people and allows his hatred of Chance to simmer until it grows into a violent hatred when Chance compromises Fancy and they are wed.

Though Fancy is angry at being trapped into marriage, Chance taps her passions. Fearful of her desire, Fancy forces Chance to agree to a one month "marriage-in-name-only" until they know if they can truly love and respect one another. As their month draws to an end Fancy knows what love and desire mean, but the truth of Chance's parentage and Jonathan's brutal schemes propel them toward disaster.

One of the original "grande dames" of historical romance, Shirlee Busbee delivers a traditional, classic love story; a leisurely set up, rich, lush prose, a bold and sensual clash of wills, a sweet secondary romance along with danger and suspense. Readers can know that they are getting what Shirlee Busbee has always given them; a good, solid, familiar and entertaining read. If you are a Busbee fan then run, don't walk to buy A HEART FOR THE TAKING. SENSUAL (Sep., 406 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin