She is Vermilion, a trained courtesan who is to choose her first protector. But she prefers to think of herself as Lee Dumont, a free spirit riding her horses across the countryside. He is Caleb Tanner, secret agent in search of a traitor. Posing as a groom he hopes to stop information leaks coming from someone in Lee's aunt's household.
From the moment they meet, there is an immediate attraction. She is not the hardened woman Caleb imagined, and he is far more intriguing then any horse trainer Lee has known. Though they fight their attraction, the temptation is too much to resist.
Lee is honor bound to continue the Dumont women's legacy, and Caleb cannot allow love to get in the way of his mission. However, once the truth is revealed Caleb is free to make Lee his mistress, but is that enough, or do they both need more than a liaison?
A little bit "Gigi" and a bit "National Velvet," this is a well paced romance with a mystery edge that combines Martin's strong sense of suspense with passion. A great deal of detail about horses and horse racing adds a delightful dimension to the story. Readers will most definitely enjoy the twist and turns, hints and red herrings. SENSUAL (Apr., 400 pp., $6.99)