The latest tale of the Penny sisters, who own Penny House, a gambling favorite of the ton, concerns Bethany, who handles the cooking and feeds the poor who come to the back door.

William Callaway returns from Spain a broken man. He comes to Penny House to find Bethany, whom he suspects of poisoning former members of his regiment. After getting to know her, though, he realizes that she's innocent.

When Bethany joins him in his investigation, their relationships blossoms. But William has secrets that he's afraid to share with her -- secrets that will turn Bethany against him. William is determined to prove his love to her -- even if it costs him his own life.

This is a lighthearted story with a touch of mystery. Bethany is a strong heroine, and William is slightly tortured and healed by her belief in his goodness. SENSUAL (Dec., 300 pp., $5.50)
Reviewed by: 
Jill Brager