Indentured servant Hannah Forrester cares for the Webster children and when her widowed employer, Randolph Webster, decides to leave Philadelphia for a new start on the Ohio River, Hannah is ready for the adventure.
Three families will be making the move, including the family of Hugh Trask, whose leering interest makes Hannah uncomfortable. But the arrival of their guide gives Hannah a new worry.
Ethan Reed, a former member of Roger's Rangers, is vital and handsome and he is instantly aware of the lovely Hannah. Ethan's pursuit of her causes a spurt of jealousy in mild-mannered Randolph, who lets Hannah know he is interested in changing their relationship.
Hannah finds herself courted by Randolph, offering family and a future and by Ethan, who freely admits he's not a settling down kind of man, but who draws her like a magnet.
Antagonism and passion flare in the adventure of the journey and building the new settlement, but when Hugh Trask sells muskets to the Indians, the entire group falls into a danger they may not escape.
Ms. Seymour presents Hannah with the classic dilemma, choosing with her head or her heart. True romantics will be cheering for a choice that satisfies both. SENSUAL (May, 270 pp., $4.99)