Holly Kimbel escapes her brutal kidnapper in Richmond, Virginia by stabbing him in the back. She runs through the night and gains passage on the first ship to England, her ticket paid for with one of the jewels shes sewn into her underskirts.

On the docks in London, shes rescued from ruffians by John St. John, Earl of Upton. His gambler father and now deceased spendthrift wife have utterly ruined him. He roams the docks mourning the loss of his ships, his fortune and most of his business.

The widower insists that Holly stay with him and his children in their townhouse so that he can ensure her safety. Holly finds herself attracted to the earl, but must balance her feelings, her duties toward the children, and the secret of her own past. She must not let them know that she has escaped from murder charges.

Although this is not a Regency, first-time romance author Constance Hall gives her story just enough of that genres flavor to enhance its post-Regency reality. Hollys hidden wealth and decidedly American ways, sexual tension, a mysterious stalker and non-stop action add to the vivid mix for a dashing good read. SENSUAL (Dec., 431 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger