When Damon arrives at the convent to claim his bride, he finds that she is the only survivor of the plague that decimated the area. He has no idea that his betrothed, Lady Lorabelle, has died and the woman wearing his ring is just a commoner named Aurelie.

Damon has escaped from a French dungeon after a year of captivity and has returned home to find his parents dead and his four sisters in need of a guardian. He is desperate for a woman to care for them and his castle, but hardened by his past, Damon has no intention of needing a woman for anything else. He will marry Lorabelle, but will not love her.

Aurelie realizes that to survive, she must become Lorabelle, marry Damon and care for his sisters. That she is attracted to Damon and he to her only complicates matters. When Aurelie is threatened by a villain from the past, she tells Damon the truth. To her surprise, he then shares with his own experiences in France with her. Its the start to a relationship that will become strong enough to enable them to vanquish their enemies.

This series author makes her historical debut with a well-crafted romance based on a tried-and-true plot. An engaging mystery and well- developed, insightful characters make this book an extra special read. SENSUAL (May, 331 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Evelyn Feiner