Many pieces come together in this third book in the Shadow of the Bastille Trilogy, when school teacher Michelle DOrage travels to the congress with Russian Count Vatutin.

The count claims to need a governess, when in truth he wants a spy. Vatutin knows that Michelles mother was more than willing to work her wiles to gather information. Now he hopes to use her daughter for the same purposes.

Sheltered all her life, Michelle is unprepared for what the count wants and even more unprepared for the passion he ignites within her.

He tries to convince Michelle that she can be like her mother, the woman he once knew and idealized. He transfers almost everything about Michelles mother to her, but she is naive and unwilling to play his games.

Yet her innate sensuality comes to the fore as she attracts a powerful prince and seems to be just what the count desires. But there are more problems and complications as they navigate through the labyrinth of political intrigues and uncover truths about the past.

If you have read the other books in the series, then you will not want to miss this conclusion, which does not stand alone but requires the reader to have some knowledge of the DOrage family. Innocent Michelles compatibility with the arrogant Russian seems unlikely, as does the way he insists that she is like her mother, when it is obvious she is not. However, if you enjoy a good historical backdrop and the tangled threads of politics then you should enjoy Ms. Fergusons latest. SENSUAL (Dec., 350 pp., $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin