Tormented by guilt and visions of war, Louis de Lavarac finds little to live for until he meets an innocent beauty living in a dilapidated castle.

Sabine Bassange is all alone in the world, and though people call her deranged, Louis sees beyond her flights of fancy to the sweetness underneath. Like an errant knight, he rescues her from a lonely existence. She in turn rescues him from his stifling melancholy.

Time, love and tenderness bring peace to these two tortured lovers, but the nightmares are about to begin as Louis struggles to save Sabine from his own brotherwho wants to commit her to an asylum, from the greedy lawyer who is after her inheritance and from the mysterious stranger out to kill her. He must rescue her before Sabines madness overpowers her and she slips into a world he cannot enter.

Greed, treachery, conspiracies, murder and madnessMs. Haufs new novel has all the elements of a great romantic suspense. Her lyrical writing style is endearing, yet this reader found the plot convoluted, the romance too one-sided and dead servants serving dinner at the table too distracting. SENSUAL (Aug., 350 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Maria C. Ferrer