To retain control of their ancestral estates, Melissande d'Amossy and Quinn de Sayerne agree to marry. Melissande believes that Quinn is a barbarian knight, much like his ruthless father.

However, Quinn, having escaped his father's cruelty when he went to fight in the Middle East, is not barbarian. His deepest love is for his estate, Sayerne, now a ruin of its former beauty and in desperate need of rebuilding.

Melissande, heartbroken that the vow she made to another must be broken at her overlord's command, only consents to marry to save her lands and not for love. Her wedding night is a sensual dream come true. In the light of day Melissande is embarrassed by her passion and flees.

Quinn follows just in time to save Melissande's lands from being annexed by her ex-betrothed.

Ms. Delacroix writes a sensuous, vividly historical tale. Readers will warm to the reluctant lovers and enjoy the supporting cast of characters and the colorful backdrop. SENSUAL. (July, 226 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Cyndie Dennis-Greer