Inspired by a real medieval court case, Isolde Martyn has woven a mesmerizing tale of political intrigue, suspense, mystery, betrayal and love.

Lady Johanna FitzHenry is caught in a loveless marriage to a ruthless man. Her only hope for freedom comes when her mother devises a dangerous scheme. She helps Johanna claim she was betrothed to another before her marriage, thus rendering the marriage null and void.

All she has to do is convince the stranger seeking shelter in her home to go along with the charade. Gervase de Laval has his own reasons for agreeing to Johanna's plan, reasons that are best never discovered by Johanna. He will pretend to be a poor traveling scholar and her "betrothed" for the safety his new identity offers.

Neither has any idea of how strong the passion will blossom between them or the great danger they will face as they are pulled into the intrigues and dangers of the king's court. The secrets Gervase has tried to hide will come to haunt them, and their love will be tested by misunderstanding and betrayal.

The lush, richly textured historical backdrop as well as the finely drawn characters and political suspense are just what readers have been looking for when they say "give me more history with my romance." Readers will find everything they seek within the pages of this sweeping and highly romantic novel. Sit back and savor this banquet. SENSUAL (Feb., 452 pp., $14.00)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin