Despite her hearing impairment and a sixth sense which frightens people, Doctor Hope has established a clinic and a home in remote Green County, Oregon. But her father's need for grandchildren and his assistant Trent Blockwell's dark intent to marry her pressure her to give up the life she wants. Relying on the moral indignation of Hope's traditional neighbors, Trent has started the rumor that she's pregnant with his child and will marry him. If she refuses, he'll say she chose abortion. Then her father sends notice that the property she's on will be sold, forcing a move, unless she marries Trent.

That night, Hope's dog leads her to Clayton Stater's discarded body. His attackers had dumped a bound, viciously beaten Clay in the wild country near the clinic. Hope senses an extra-sensory connection with him. When Clay asks Hope who he is, she tells him he's her lover, the father of her child. The lie is born of her desperate need to avoid marriage to Trent and while she doctors Clay, Hope struggles between her longing to keep his love and her need to tell him the truth. Clay struggles to recover his memory, not knowing what shattering effect the truth will have.

The peak intensity of Jill Sheldon's suspense is exceeded by the sexual intensity of these wounded lovers and their mystically healing love for each other. (Nov., 388 pp., $3.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger