When Thomas McCabe runs into Katherine Bardshaw's carriage on the way to find a doctor for his ailing sister, Celia, every idea Katherine had about life changes.

Going to their aid, Katherine is compromised by spending the night in Daniel McCabe's cabin. To make matters worse, Daniel's spiteful ex-mother-in-law arrives the next morning and he tells her that he and Katherine are engaged.

A custody battle ensues and Daniel is about to lose his children. To save Thomas and Celia and herself, Katherine agrees to marry Daniel. In truth she has already fallen under the spell of his sensual Irish blarney.

The family flee to a farm Daniel inherited from an old friend. Together, they try to create a family, but obstacles stand in their way. Katherine is a city-bred girl, Daniel is used to leaving his family while he works in the logging camps and Katherine discovers that Celia is deaf.

Daniel and Katherine learn to love and trust one other, adapt to their new farm life and the townsfolk. What they have together becomes a rich and loving life that ultimately defeats his unscrupulous mother-in-law.

This debut novel is written with finesse, good characterization and a sensitive portrayal of family life. The plot is laced with humor, delightful secondary characters and a sweetly growing romance that will make you feel warm all over. SENSUAL (Apr., 294 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Evelyn Feiner