Coming back to Trouble Creek was a mistake, and Desperado Jones is sure of that when hes challenged to a gunfight within moments of his return.

The last straw is when Chloe Sommers, his stepmothers daughter, offers him a job as a gunslinger on the family ranch and for the upcoming cattle drive. Angrily he accepts Calvin Talbots offer to spy on Chloe and help him acquire her ranch.

Chloe is joyous that Desperado will help her. His presence allows her to feel things she has buried since Talbots brother raped her.

While Desperado proves himself to the ranch hands and Chloe, he finds it difficult to turn a blind eye to Talbots doings. After Chloe barely escapes injury during a stampede, he returns Talbots money.

Passions rule. Chloe learns to not fear desire and lovemaking. But they must overcome Talbots anger, false murder charges, and the fact that Desperados father willed him, not Chloe, the ranch.

Ms. Mason has created memorable characters and a plot that made this reader rush to turn the pages. With a vivid portrayal of the Old West and the problems that arise in life, GUNSLINGER is an enduring story. SENSUAL (July, 391 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Evelyn Feiner