James is brilliant! She writes about people whose wit and intelligence capture your attention. She places them in an era where being naughty is de rigeur -- and if you're a desperate duchess, it's expected. But she also writes about claiming a marriage, building trust, kindling love and igniting passion with such power that readers will believe that with love, anything is possible.

As a child, Lady Isidore was wed by proxy to Simeon Jermyn, the Duke of Cosway. Since then he's been in the Middle East, searching for personal peace. Desperate to be a wife, Isidore writes him, asking him to return and take on the duties of duke and husband.

Simeon's stunned to find his wife surrounded by many men who admire her beauty and wit. He's trained his mind and body to be free of physical needs, yet the duke finds it hard to ignore his overwhelming desire for his wife. The struggle between his mind and body explodes as jealousy strikes and the couple begins to learn about one another and what it means to be given the gift of love. (Avon, Dec., 380 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin