Scotsman James Garrow is in London doing hard labor as a stonemason to support his financially troubled estate and tenants when he overhears a plot to murder Lord Eastonby. Eastonby's estates border his own and though James has witnessed Eastonby's people suffering from neglect, he warns Eastonby of the plot because it's the right thing to do.

In the course of the meeting, the earl enlists the Scot as a husband and protector for his feminist daughter, who needs rescue from scandal. James consents, as the wages are the solution to his struggles to keep his people from starving. Susanna agrees to the hasty marriage because she had wagered the freedom to choose her own future in a card game with her father—and lost. Now she's bound to honor her debt. It's marriage to the Scot or being sent to her cousin in York—and she believes she can manage James Garrow.

Lyn Stone crafts a delightful tale of a young woman determined to have freedom within her marriage, if not under the law. Susanna explores the uses of seduction in her efforts to live the principles of writer Mary Wollstonecraft, until she discovers that in love, power is least important. SENSUAL (Feb., 300 pp., $5.25)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger