When bounty hunter Lucas Reeves arrives at the home of Contessa (Tess) Harper, she has a sense of foreboding. Lucas announces that he killed her husband. Now she is without protection and must raise her son alone.

Tess views this as an opportunity to strike out on her own and with the deed to Harper Hall, sets out for Colorado. Luke must continue his investigation for the Denver Stock Exchange and he believes Tess is at the bottom of it.

Luke insists on accompanying her and three-year-old Tommie, whose physical impairments tug at Luke's heart. Going through life with a scarred face, Luke grew up to become a hard man and he finds Tess' compassion and caring a complication to his work.

On the trip West, Tommie grows close to Luke and as each dangerous situation comes into their path, Tess begins to trust and care for Luke. When they give in to their passion, Luke is filled with emotions for Tess, but torn by his duty to complete his mission.

As the adventures continue, including visiting Wichita and a cattle drive, Tess tries to understand the enigmatic man she has come to love.

A con game, a jealous suitor, a played-out mine, past secrets and a child's matchmaking turn THE BEHOLDING into a sweet and emotionally moving tale of wounded characters who learn to trust and love. This romance is able to lift your heart and heal your soul. SENSUAL (Nov., 364 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Evelyn Feiner