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England's most notorious rake, Lord Sexton, discovers his days as the reigning "Lord of Sex" are going to end when the feisty red-headed Chloe Heart sets out to seduce him into marriage.

John has known Chloe since she was a child and he has always felt protective toward the impish girl. When Chloe proposes that she marry John so he can teach her all there is to know about lovemaking and then live the life of a libertine, John is stunned. His masculine pride a bit wounded and just a little jealous, he agrees to be her husband and her mentor.

Chloe gets what she has always wanted as John succumbs to his virginal bride's sweet passion and they are both lost in a sensual haze finding that when heart and sex blend together there is romance. Though the newlyweds would love to spend their honeymoon alone, they are no sooner wed when French emigres rescued from the guillotine begin arriving. First there is the Countess Zu-Zu and then the Cyn brothers (known as the sexy and Seven Deadly Cyns) with tales of the Black Rose, their savior, an ex-pirate who can ride like the devil and sail like the wind.

Soon John and Chloe are caught up in a plan to unmask the Black Rose, who they may be harboring under their own roof. Aside from the mystery there is the sizzling passion between John and Chloe, her schemes, his jealousy, a charming romance between Chloe's grandmother and her friend, Maurice and a delightful assortment of characters to round out the cast of players.

Dara Joy moves easily from contemporaries to deliver a delightful romp of a romance where old-fashioned sex can be fun. TONIGHT OR NEVER is destined to garner her more fans. VERY SENSUAL (Sep., 397 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin