When her drunken father gambles one of his children away in a game of dice, Rowena takes matters into her own hands. She allows Gareth, the Dark Lord of Caerlton, to take her instead. During her father's long absences, Rowena has been the one to provide food for their table, see to her family's needs and find the means to survive. Gareth has no idea that beneath her beauty lies a strong warrior's heart and a hunter's skills.

Haunted by his step-mother's mysterious death, Gareth is seeking to avenge her death and his reputation. He hopes that by holding Rowena captive he will be punishing the real murderer.

While most of England fears Gareth and whispers about his dark deeds, Rowena finds herself falling in love with the gentleness she glimpses. Though she tries to escape and manages to return to her home, Rowena is plagued by her strong feeling for Gareth. She realizes that she and she alone can help to free him from his past, but she will have to fight for her own chance to be free and win her freedom in a bout with him.

One of Theresa Medeiros' first novels, SHADOWS AND LACE heralded the making of a strong voice in the genre. The novel starts out with great energy and ends with a rousing scene that will have readers cheering. Ms. Medeiros paints a good portrait of the era and holds readers with both romance and the suspense of a murder mystery. SENSUAL (Reissue, Jan., 352 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin