Bernard debuts with an erotic romance that delivers not only a high degree of sensuality, but a strong plotline and a cast of memorable characters. She's sure to find a place alongside Robin Schone, Pam Rosenthal and Thea Devine.

Merriam Everett discovers the delicious dangers of a taste of passion when she experiments with desire and selects Drake Sotherton, the Duke of Sussex (the Deadly Duke) for a tryst. It's to be one night of love, but passion changes a woman.

A recluse since his unfaithful wife's murder and the rumors that he killed her, Drake reenters society at a masked ball where he encounters a most sensual "cat." He decides to play her erotic game, but is caught as desire pulls him into the secrets surrounding his mystery lover. He comes to believe she is connected to the man he suspects of being his wife's killer. Drake compels Merriam to be his mistress for a season and a pawn in his scheme for vengeance. But plans have a way of backfiring once love enters the game and the pieces are set up for a startling climax. (Pocket, Nov., 384 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin