The death of her father leaves Johanna Patterson to care for the family farm alone, which her father had been about to lose. Tate Montgomery arrives with his three children looking for help caring for his family and place to buy. The local reverend suggests a marriage of convenience would solve the problems of both.

Johanna's meager experience with love left her determined never to marry, but the boys immediately appeal to her. Tate Montgomery pays her debts and takes over the farm chores for half ownership, while Johanna takes care of the boys and the household chores. In addition, she will behave as if happily married in public and he agrees never to demand they actually be husband and wife in private.

Each bears a secret pain from past relationships and Ms. Davidson explores the necessity for trust being part of the new relationship. This is a lucid and graceful romance, new pleasure for readers who loved Sarah, Plain and Tall. Sensual (Oct., 296 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger