Mercenary Severin Brigante Harnoncourt has come to join forces with the Duke of Burgundy. Severin hopes to prove his worth to his father's family by securing the fortress of Mercier.

Alix Ducci Montaldo de Mercier, the young wife of the lord of the castle, loves her husband but he gave his heart to his mistress. When her husband and his lover are killed by invading forces, Alix vows to care for his illegitimate infant son and to give him a descent burial.

She makes a pact with Severin: she'll teach him to read if he'll secure her the right to bury her husband. But there is more to their relationship than lessons.

Now, surrounded by treachery, they will discover the great love they have dreamed of. Yet their newfound happiness is threatened by secrets from Alix's family's past and the power of the Maltese Star she wears on her neck-a powerful family heirloom that ties Alix to the secret society of Templars.

Deborah Johns draws her readers into a lush historical era, shedding light on times and places often ignored. By breathing fresh life into history, she gifts readers with new understanding and a deep appreciation for the 16th century. Her novels are like carefully woven tapestries, depicting the excitement, drama and passion that is precisely why I read historical romance. Enrich yourself and delve into this feast for the heart and mind! SENSUAL (Feb., 400 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin