Abandoned as a child and raised in a French nunnery, Chastity Somers marries to escape. Widowed, she arrives in England to claim her husband's family estate and establish a home for abandoned children. With no proof of her husband's claim, the estate will go to the solicitor's charity of choice in three months. Chastity has until then to accomplish her mission and prove her good morals.

Reed Gilbride, also abandoned as a hild, lays claim to the same estate but must find proof somewhere in the house before the three-month deadline. Chastity and Reed first meet in London when she illegally rescues four children from a workhouse. While Reed doesn't like children, he's attracted to Chastity, whom he believes to be a nun.

Blair achieves an innovative mix of family frolic and period gothic that moves quickly into fast-paced romance. There's plenty of believable sexual tension and a wonderful "Gift of the Magi"style ending. SENSUAL (Oct., $5.99 pp., 319)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger