St. Louis society belle Melissa Sheffield is to join her fianci in Santa Fe when her caravan is attacked by Apaches. Taken captive, she will do anything to gain her freedom, except be given to a man named Cougar.
Clay Brodie is an Apache in every way but birth. He knows that he has been given the white woman by his brothers as a test of his loyalty. He will not harm Melissa, but he must teach her how to survive when he leaves on his trapping expedition.
Both wary, they strike a bargain. Melissa will teach Clay to read and she will learn the skills to live. They make their peace and Melissa earns some standing in the tribe because of her healing abilities.
When Melissa is framed for a heinous crime, then kidnapped, Clay must track her down to face Apache justice. But can he turn her over to a brutal fate?
The love Melissa finds in Clays arms, a race against time, hidden truths and a lost diary are all pieces of a tale filled with fascinating details of Apache life. The lovers struggle is set against gritty conflict and humming tension. Though the book holds no surprises, COUGARS WOMAN is entertaining. SENSUAL (June, 350 pp., $4.99)