Lady Alicia Spencer has resigned herself to being on the shelf since her disgrace at her debut a few years ago. Content with her life, she finds joy in training horses and is known as a healer of animals.

Forced to honor an agreement her father makes with Dalton Warfield, the Duke of Waxton, the son of the woman who is partly responsible for her being discredited, Alicia reluctantly consents to heal the Dukes stallion, Bashshar.

Alicias beauty, strong will and skilled handling of his injured horse earns Daltons admiration. But when he proposes a marriage of convenience to her, Alicia is caught by surprise. She agrees and at first they seem happy enough. But through a misunderstanding, seeds of distrust threaten their tentative love.

Though a bit lacking in substance, Ms Manning writes an enjoyable read with a believable pair of characters. SENSUAL (May, 296 pp., $4.50)

Reviewed by: 
Joan Hammond