Sumptuous and seductive, lush and romantic?completely captivating? THE STARGAZER introduces us to doctor?s daughter Bianca Salva and Ian Foscari, the Compte d?Acosto, who meet over the body of a dead courtesan as Bianca holds the dagger which bears Ian?s family crest.

Each suspects that the other is the murderer and since he is more powerful, Ian takes Bianca to his palace where he plans to watch her. Ian claims they are engaged. His two uncles will act as chaperones. Not only will this save Bianca?s reputation, but it will calm his family who want him to wed.

Bianca insists she?s innocent and Ian gives her a week to prove it. Though Bianca finds Ian overbearing and arrogant, she can?t quench her desire for him and he is certainly not immune to Bianca?s beauty.

They form an uneasy partnership that fairly crackles with sexual tension and a sizzling battle of wills and wits that threatens to explode into a heated passion. Their investigation leads into interesting corners of Venetian society and danger. The real killer won?t rest until his revenge is complete. Neither realize that Bianca is the key.

Michelle Jaffe?s extraordinary debut novel combines the lush beauty and sensuality of the film ?Dangerous Beauty? and the witty repart?e and suspense of a mystery/romance by Amanda Quick. Be swept away by the intrigue and passion of Renaissance Venice. VERY SENSUAL (May, 399 pp., $5.99—Hardcover published August 1999)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin