Since her father's death at the hands of a ruthless nobleman, Mackenna Hughes has put the safety of her village before everything else. So when King Edward's man, Thomas Montclaire, arrives as the new Lord of Fellhaven, Mackenna is wary.

Thomas knows nothing about the village, but he realizes that Mackenna is trouble and takes her hostage to ensure her cooperation. Her fear and suspicion of nobility is pervasive but Thomas works hard to overcome her trickery and win her confidence.

With Mackenna in close proximity, it is difficult for Thomas to ignore his feelings for the courageous woman. She stirs his heart and his loins.

Mackenna finds herself attracted to Thomas and admire the way he metes out justice to her villagers. Though she doesn't fully trust him, Mackenna knows she cannot live without his tenderness and love, and agrees to marry him. The passion that has been below the surface bursts forth, but their idyll is short lived when her nemesis returns.

Linda Needham has written a wonderful love story made more special because it is a love based on evolving trust. Humor, sadness and laughter are intricately woven into the plot and the three-dimensional characters will steal your heart. SENSUAL (Feb., 400 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Evelyn Feiner