Clair Montague secretly writes dime novels and has a bad case of hero worship for her new employer, whom she has immortalized in her popular series. Tom Partington is vocal in his displeasure over the cursed dime novels.

Tom is intrigued by his housekeeper; he finds her reserved and majestic. And as he takes over the reins of his new inheritance, he finds himself relying more and more on Claire. Soon admiration turns to passion. The lovers are happy in their little world until rumors and gossip abound, and Clair's standing in the community is threatened. A marriage-shy Tom bites the bullet and is about to propose when he learns of Clair's deception. She runs away rather than face his contempt.

SECRET HEARTS is a sweet, lively comedy-of-errors romance, complete with a wacky and entertaining cast of characters. SENSUAL (Feb., 372 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Maria C. Ferrer