In the gaslight era of New York, when Tammany Hall politicians control the city, upper-class gentleman and adventurer Griffin Calverson is caught in a scheme to rescue a young woman from ruthless social climber Linder Kane.

Knowing her mulatto heritage makes marriage impossible, Araminta Woodhall throws herself into becoming an exceptional chef. Though Kane pays her well, she feels confined in his magnificent mansion, as does Kane's mistress, Olivia Smith.

Araminta and Griffin have a past, and she'd rather not ask him for help rescuing Olivia, until circumstances make it impossible for her to manage alone. Once they begin working to free Olivia and uncover the hold Kane has over her, they become lovers. But Araminta will be no man's mistress. Griffin discovers that undermining the brutal Kane is easier than convincing Araminta of his love—until it's almost too late.

With colorful images, engaging characters and a fine eye for detail, Rothwell recreates the era beautifully. Readers familiar with Griffin from Somebody Wonderful will delight in his return and cherish his attempt to win the beautiful, stubborn Araminta's heart.

Though the "mystery" is solved quickly, Rothwell keeps the sexual tension between her mature, intelligent characters flowing to the very end, nicely balancing the romance and suspense. SENSUAL (Nov., 320 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin