James Marbury, the Earl of Denham, enjoys Emma Van Court's company more than he cares to admit, so when she reveals she is marrying his cousin Stuart, James is furious. The couple move to Scotland when Stuart gets a job as a curate there.

When he finds out that Stuart was killed by an angry parishioner, James worries what will happen to Emma and travels to her side. Emma is content with her life as a schoolteacher, but her peace is broken by a constant stream of unwanted suitors, attracted by the promise of an inheritance from her husband's death upon her remarriage.

Emma's been staving off the would-be grooms, but James's arrival disrupts everything. To James, Emma is as lovely as ever and he knows he is still attracted to her, but how can he win her with all those other men sniffing after her inheritance. Through a strange twist of fate, James and Emma marry, a convenience designed to let her claim the inheritance. But secretly James hopes to gain Emma's love.

This sweet, sometimes funny, often tender love story, with a dark edge (what really happened to Stuart?) is perfect for an evening's entertainment. Though not as deep, emotionally powerful or humorous as some previous Cabot novels, the strong characters will appeal to readers. SENSUAL (May, 300 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin