It seems like forever since Olivia fell in love with Spencer Williamson and he married her sister instead. Now, Kirsten and their two children are dead, victims of scarlet fever, and Olivia is Spencer's bride. She longs to be the perfect wife and someday the mother to his children.

Never wanting to feel the pain of loss again, Spencer has locked his heart away. He may have married Olivia, but he will never truly be her husband, and even if they consummate the marriage he vows they will never have children.

After three long years, Olivia can wait no longer for a family, so she brings two orphans into their home, hoping to melt Spencer's icy heart. For the first time Spencer truly looks at Olivia and begins to see her for the wonderful loving woman she is.

However, Olivia has learned the truth about their sham of a marriage and though she promised to teach Spencer to love again, she believes she has failed. It will take a near tragic accident and separation for Spencer to try to win her love, this time forever.

Stephanie Mittman creates warm, true-to-life characters who work their way into your heart. Reminiscent of Linda Howard's classic, Sarah's Child, THE MARRIAGE BED reveals Stephanie Mittman deserving of a place on your list of favorite American romance authors. SENSUAL (May, 390 pp., $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin