Like last year's No Angel, Something Dangerous is an epic story stretching from the last days of the frantic 1920s through the harrowing years of World War II as twins Adele and Venetia Lytton, daughters of famous publishers, embark on life's journeys.

The girls come of age as Hitler rises to power, and they experience all the horrors of war. All the wealth and privilege in the world cannot satisfy or protect them. As a single mother, Adele attempts to hold her family together in Paris while Venetia struggles with an iffy marriage in London.

It's the Lyttons' adopted daughter, Barty Miller, who appears to break the chain when she moves to the States to work in the Lyttons' New York office. It's there that she meets Lawrence Elliot and sets in motion the means to rescue the floundering British branch of the company.

Vincenzi never allows the authentic historical backdrop to dwarf her characters; the Lytton family is so well drawn that you understand all their deepest emotions, experience their darkest hours and share their triumphs. This is the best of saga writing, and Vincenzi knows what her readers desire. Don't start this at night, or you'll be up until dawn. SENSUAL (Oct., 710 pp., $26.95)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin