1774 Williamsburg is rife with feelings of independence. Christian Barclay is a rebel, while his bitter enemy (and the man he believes is his father), Ian Scott, is a true Tory. Liana Scott is furious with Christian when he informs her that her father is his father as well.
Christian learns that while Ian was married to his mother Melissa Barclay, his biological father is a Seneca Indian. After discovering the truth, Ian abandoned Melissa. Liana is now forbidden to associate with the Barclays.
Christian begins printing pamphlets urging rebellion. His cartoons and clever words inflame the Tories and help the cause of liberty.
One night, Christian is wounded and climbs into Liana's bedroom. She not only cares for his wounds but the two become lovers. When her father discovers their tryst, he disowns Liana, leaving her at the Barclay's door. Christian comforts her with love and tenderness and they marry.
The seeds of liberty are being sown while Ian sets a trap for the Barclays. Ian is thrown off track, for when the colonists go into the wilderness to fight renegade, more pamphlets appear. Now, no one knows who is printing them.
As the indian war progresses and Christian becomes involved in more causes (even saving Ian's life), he and Liana fight. But their arguments lead to greater understanding, and eventually they learn to share their fears, give and take, love, laugh and begin a new life.
Ms. Conn has crafted a wonderful love story whose characters cry out to readers. One can only hope she will give the many memorable secondary characters their own stories. Christian and Liana's tale is filled with every nuance of growing love and trust; the importance of family is written against the turbulent backdrop of colonial America. SENSUAL (July, 400 pp., $5.99)