Being a hero can be hard to live down. Balthazar Wycherley, seventh Earl of Braven, has gained distinction in the war. Even as a child he had shown heroic tendencies to alleviate the suffering of others. Hearing a scream in the night, he races to the river where he finds a young girl in trouble.

Rachel Ashton is in danger of drowning unless a miracle occurs. Suddenly a man appears in the clearing by the river. Recognizing him as her fathers best friends son, Brave, she knows she will be saved.

Rachel has grown into a beauty and Brave thinks it might be best not to dwell on the fact that she is no longer the child he knew, but a tempting woman. But a marriage in name only seems the answer to both of their problems. Rachel will be free from the horrible arranged marriage her stepfather set up and Brave can protect his broken heart. Of course, the best laid plans dont always work out

Fast reading, engaging, humorous and written with flair, Smiths somewhat-predictable romance is sure to satisfy. SENSUAL (Jan., 375 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gabrielle Pantera