When country vicar's daughter Cassia Penny and her sisters inherit a London gaming hall, they decide to turn it into an exclusive gentlemen's club and donate a portion of the winnings to charity. Soon their club is a ton favorite.
The self-made Richard Barkley craves respectability and, after winning a country estate, he asks Cassia to decorate it. But Cassia refuses to help a rogue who insults her, kisses her and arouses her passionsuntil he wagers his stake for her talents. They may seem ill-matched, but Cassia and Richard fall in love, even as a brute plots their destruction.
Inherently a romp brimming with Regency style, Jarrett's latest cleverly
adds a dollop of poignancy by throwing Richard's long-lost son into the mix. The just-right pace and likable characters deliver a quick enjoyable read. SENSUAL (Feb., 350 pp., $5.50)