As a child Colin Wescott, the Earl of Haverwood, learns that his natural father was a notorious criminal. At that moment, he decides to become the DragonSlayer, dedicated to ridding the world of evil. But even the DragonSlayer must marry.

Wealthy heiress Sarah Banks is secretly searching for a man with sherry-colored eyes, but none of her fortune hunter suitors fit her ideal, until she happens to meet Colin. Colin is intrigued by Miss Banks, and his butler sees the business woman as a comradejust the person to help Colin evade the avaricious Catherine Lambert.

Thus the game begins. Sarah and Colin are thrust together time and again, and the sexual tension between them escalates. Yet Colin fears that his true nature, a penchant for violence inherited from his natural father, will come to the fore and that he will somehow hurt those he loves. It is up to Sarah to prove him wrong, even at some risk to herself and their newfound love.

Still true to the heart of a Regency (the dry wit, the rules of the ton, the marriage scheming), TOUCHED BY FIRE also rises to the full-length historical romance because Ms. OReilly works on a broader canvas and the tenderness inherent in her characters carry the tale above the ordinary. SENSUAL (Jan., 294 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin