Josie Hardwick and her sweet-but-slow twin, Petey, fear returning home to their abusive father, so she sneaks them onto a wagon train.

Taking the filthy, Tennessee-raised twins aboard is just the beginning of Caleb McCall's troubles. One of the train members has stolen the famous Chief Red Cloud's bride and infant.

The wagon train is attacked and the only hope of escape is to bring Red Cloud's son to him. Caleb and the twins are the only survivors of the massacre and since Caleb was raised by the Sioux, he leads Josie and Petey into the hills. But hes wounded and Josie must take them to her home.

Again, Red Cloud's enemies seek to kill the infant and this time Josie and Petey follow Caleb into Lakota territory. There, all three discover love and treachery and the agony of forgiveness before finding peace.

Using the backdrop of the Bozeman trail, Ms. Fox leads us into a harsh world lit only by the brilliance of those hardy souls who dared everything for a chance at love. Faultless in setting details, this story is gritty and may be unsuitable for gentle readers. SENSUAL (Oct., 348 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Anne Black