Jane Fitzsimmons is a most capable young woman who has been working in her fathers shipping business for years. But when her father banishes her from the office for a supposed indiscretion, she ends up in London with her friend Elizabeth, interviewing prospective bridegrooms.

Phillip Wessington, the Earl of Rosewood will lose his estate if he doesnt marry for money and quickly. Jane decides to visit Wessington unannounced and gets an eyeful of Phillip and his mistress.

Yet, it becomes clear there is no choice for Jane and Phillip, and she succumbs to his wooing and to a bad marriage. To find peace, Jane travels to his troubled Rosewood estate with his 12-year-old daughter, Emily, leaving Phillip in London.

Jane turns his estate into both a home and a money-making enterprise that earns her considerable respect from Phillip.

Yet the bumpy road to love takes more turns when old lovers, Emilys near-rape, and more misunderstanding separate the couple until they are brought together by the birth of a baby.

Arranged marriages have a way of working out, as Ms. Holt proves in this emotional debut romance. Jane couldnt have a better teacher in the art of love than Phillip and each learns to meet the emotional as well as physical needs of one another. SENSUAL (Jan., 379 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Evelyn Feiner