Miss Isabel Browning, governess in a household, loses her post when Darnien St. Lawrence, Earl of Saunders, insists to her employers that she is his missing wife. Little do they realize the Countess of Saunders is more than missing; she is presumed dead.

Although her body was never recovered from the lake and she has been gone for two years, Darnien believes she is still alive somewhere.

Isabella too has her painful past. She could never understand her fathers coldness toward her until after her mothers death when she discovered she was a bastard and the granddaughter of an earl, who was embarrassed by her existence.

Meanwhile, it doesnt take Darnien long to discover that Isabella is not his missing wife, especially once he kisses her. And after costing her her post, Darnien is persuaded to hire her as a governess for his own two children.

Once in his household, their already mutual attraction heats up considerably. Secrets from both of their pasts threaten them, however. Isabella has more in common with Darniens missing wife than a pair of unusual violet eyes.

Ms. Basso has written a stirring tale of love and deception that will keep the reader intrigued to the final page. SENSUAL (Aug., 350 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Michell Phifer