Womens rights activist Temperance ONeil works with single mothers in New York City tenements. But her career is threatened by her new stepfather, Angus, who insists she go to his home in Edinburgh and behave properly.
After she makes Angus life a living hell, he proposes a way out. If Temperance poses as his nephew James McCairns housekeeper and finds James a wife, she can return to America.
This task is harder then Temperance ever imagined it would bemore like taming a wounded beast then a man. Still, she finds it impossible not to fall in love with James herself. But will he tolerate a wife as modern and willful as Temperance?
Jude Deveraux has a winner with this storys engaging that blends Beauty and the Beast with The Taming of the Shrew. The wonderful backdrop of the early womens rights movement, centering on the outdated laws against womens freedoms and their place in society, are brought to the fore, but not at the expense of the wonderful, utterly engaging and entertaining love story. This novel is a fine example of the reason why we read and love the genre. SENSUAL (May, 360 pp., $7.99—Hardcover published October 2000)