All Annique knows is that she is an orphan who has been fortunate enough to be cared for by the nuns in a quiet French convent. She know nothing of her noble blood until the day she learns she has been betrothed to one of the Queen's guards, Phillipe, Duc de Corbay. As Phillipe's wife, she will become entangled in the intrigues, passions, conspiracies and dangers of the French court.

Disillusioned and embittered, Phillipe is angered by the marriage his father has planned. Just ending an affair with the Great Mademoiselle, Princess of France, has left him in a precarious position. However, when Phillipe meets his country-bred, bride-to-be, he is fascinated.

Though Annique is intelligent and well-educated, she soon falls prey to the Mademoiselle's jealous schemes and finds her heart shattered by Phillipe's supposed betrayal.

Plunged into the Mademoiselle's rebellion against the crown, wounded in battle and trapped by the secrets of both Phillipe and her own past, Annique will risk everything and anything to find love and happiness in a world gone mad with rebellion.

A beautiful, exciting romance as rich in historical detail as it is in passion, SHADOWS IN VELVET will not only enthrall you, it will enrapture you with its drama and pageantry. Reminiscent of Mallory Dorn Hart, Roberta Gellis and Sharon Kay Penman, Haywood Smith enters the historical stage with a bang. SENSUAL (July, 469 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin