Only desperation could compel Claire Lang to marry handsome banker John Hawthorn. Left penniless by her uncle's death and hoping to help John avoid the scandalous rumors about his liaisons with the bank owner's wife, Diana, Claire agrees to marry John in name only.

Soon a burning desire to possess his warm-hearted, intelligent and independent wife arouses John, and their marriage becomes very real, very passionate. Torn by his growing desire for Claire and his promise to Diana, John discovers he is caught in a banker's nightmare.

Accused of embezzlement, John must trust Claire to help him clear his name. Not knowing that she has been designing dresses under the name of the mysterious designer "Magnolia" and that she has been secretly visiting his parents, John trusts Claire to help him clear his name.

Using Claire's automobile, they race against time to catch the real thief and discover a love that defies all odds.

The passion sizzles on the page, the mystery and adventure heightens tension and the backdrop is beautifully crafted, but MAGNOLIA lacks the real emotion and intensity that Ms. Palmer puts into her contemporary romances. SENSUAL (Jan., 380 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin