Portia Ashford's biological clock is ticking, so she vows to find a suitable prospect at the Glossup house party. On his way to the same party, Simon Cynster, the last unmarried Cynster male of his generation, ponders the idea of taking a wife, now that he's recently inherited a house.

Theirs could be a match made in heaven, but Portia and Simon have hated each other for years. As sparks fly, they suddenly begin to look at one another in new ways. Leave this relatively simple plot in Laurens' capable hands and you have another utterly delightfully, highly sensual romance that merges with a murder mystery, as a party guest and a gypsy gardener are found strangled.

The mystery escalates at the same rate as the passion, while Portia decides to let Simon teach her all she needs to know about love. Simon believes he is up to the dual challenges of tutoring her and helping unmask a killer.

This last Cynster novel will satisfy Laurens' devoted readers and bring some new ones into the fold. She beautifully depicts the era's etiquette, entertainments and social code, while maintaining a fast pace and then adding suspense to balance the romance. A delicious love story, perfect Regency and a mystery full of surprises. SENSUAL (Feb., 400 pp., $19.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin