Lord Martin Kestler is a diplomat and widower with a young daughter. Harriet MacLeod has been posing as a governess in his household for four years, but she is actually a spy sent to watch out for Martin on his diplomatic missions across Europe.

Though she loves Martin, when he finally asks her to marry him, she runs home, knowing she is not right for him.

Unfortunately, Martin agrees once he learns she is a spy. (Nice girls dont spy.) To punish her, he makes her become his mistress in exchange for his help on an assignment involving her brother.

Suffice it to say, Martin eventually overcomes his bitterness at being duped. However, since we only see Harriet performing spy-like duties toward the end of the book and because she seems to need a lot of help from her brother and lover, her spy persona does not really ring true. But the sparks between Martin and Harriet are real enough. SENSUAL (Jan., 384 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Michell Phifer