If Hollywood mogul Mark Damien's car hadn't broken down in the sleepy little town of Snyder, Texas, he would never have met shy Lucinda Blackburn and become to her both blessing and curse. After he rescues her from an abusive father, Mark is also to become a guiding—indeed, controlling—force in her life after their fateful encounter. With Lucinda under his control, he renames her Lacy Black and swiftly propels her to fame.

Mark's kindness seduces Lacy, and she marries him, not knowing of his philandering and abusive streak until it is too late. As their marriage flounders, Mark plots to rid himself of Lacy, but his plan fails when she does not get on the plane he sabotaged. However, Mark and the rest of the world believe Lacy is dead.

Lucinda resurrects herself as Mirage to begin a new life in New York, where she meets and marries Ben Lord. Then she discovers Ben is friends with Drew Mallory, a man she once loved. Still, she is faithful to Ben, even when she becomes a Broadway star in Drew's plays. Drew is in the background when Ben dies, leaving Lacy and their daughter in Drew's care.

Finally, she has a chance for happiness, but will a film about Lacy Black open up a Pandora's box and bring the pain of the past back to stalk her?

The elements for a sweeping mainstream story are all here—one woman, three men, a glamorous backdrop—but there is nothing fresh and new added, just standard movie-of-the-week fare. SENSUAL (Jun., 400 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin