The carefree life of Sebastian Grimsthorpe, Lord Wortham, changed the day his best friend betrayed him and an accident scarred him body and soul. Now he hides behind masks and lurks in the shadows, plotting his revenge on the man he once called a comrade.

Sarah Connolly escaped a harsh life in England by becoming Lady Merrill's companion. Accompanying her employer and her son to Venice seems like a dream come true, until Sarah realizes that even the aristocracy have secrets.

In the city of canals and masquerades, Sarah is unexpectedly swept into Sebastian's arms and his plans for revenge. As he conceals himself, watching and waiting, he rescues Sarah from an attacker. Little does she know that he will draw her into his devious scheme even as she begins to find the means to heal his ravaged heart.

Joyce spins a story that is a mesmerizing and fascinating. Like Venice itself, it's filled with twists and illusions. One can almost hear the music drifting over the canals as masked dancers swirl, schemes are hatched and love fills the gaping holes in the fabric of their lives. Dark, intense and with a surprising ending that will leave you breathless, her latest gothic makes its mark on the genre. SENSUAL (Nov., 297 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin