To save Emma Chambers from marrying his odious uncle, Spencer Keegan proposes that she marry him before he heads off to war. It's a good bargain: She gains freedom, and he gets someone to care for his crumbling estate.

Emma holds up her end of the arrangement, never hearing from her husband or receiving any help. Then Spencer is brought home, near death, after being defeated in a duel. Though furious with him, Emma nurses Spencer, who discovers that the shy girl he married has become a woman he could love. If only he can persuade her to give him another chance--and help uncover the reasons behind the accidents that have been occurring--they might have a shot at happiness.

Perkins takes a standard marriage-of-convenience plot and brilliantly turns it into an emotionally intense, utterly captivating story that will thrill readers to their core. SENSUAL (Oct., 380 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin