After the Civil War, Luke McCloud cannot return home; he's wanted for murder. He rides through Montello, Texas, near San Antonio, on his way to California. In spite of the need to go unnoticed, he rescues the half-Comanche Roth children, Jeddie and Honor, from town bullies.
Over the next four years, Luke works on the Roth ranch, saving enough to buy his own land. He's always careful not to encourage Honor's crush on him because his past threatens the present.
Now Honor is a young woman of courting age and Luke finds it increasingly difficult to remain aloof.
When Honor's father is shot while saving her from the violent advances of a neighboring rancher, he asks Luke to marry her, in name only, for Honor's protection and to save the ranch.
Luke agrees and Honor, aware of the limits placed on women, marries Luke just before her father dies.
Sara Orwig gathers diverse characters to range through her vivid early Texas history. COMANCHE TEMPTATION is a refreshing Western romance. SENSUAL (Sept., 400 pp., $4.99)