Raised by her explorer father in wild jungles and tropical forests, Lady Tess Collier has grown into a ravishing, but unconventional young woman. When her father dies in the Amazon jungle, Tess abides by his dying wish and returns to England to marry a suitable man.

Her guardian hires the adventurer Gryphon Meridon, captain of a blockade-running clipper ship, to bring Tess safely home and to see that she is protected from fortune hunters.

Perhaps an ordinary man would have found this a simple enough task, but for Gryf it is the most difficult job in the world-for he has already fallen in love with Tess.

Tess doesn't want to return to civilization; all she desires is to stay on Gryf's ship and be held in his passionate embrace. Stubborn pride and dark secrets from Gryf's past prevent him from revealing the depths of his love.

Only after Tess escapes from a disastrous marriage and sets out to find him again can Gryf break down the barriers. But still their happiness is threatened by treacherous villains, imprisonment and misunderstanding before the lovers are free to return to the untamed land where they first discovered rapture.

THE HIDDEN HEART is an exotic, adventure lover's delight. In her first romance, Ms. Kinsale creates one of the most wonderfully unconventional heroines and vulnerable heroes to captivate readers. She has set their tempestuous love story in some of the most romantic locales; London's ballrooms, the white sands of Tahiti, and the jungles of Brazil, with sensual interludes on secluded beaches that allow the reader's imagination to take full flight. No wonder it's a treasured "Oldie, but goodie." SENSUAL (Feb., 400 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin