A $1,200 debt isn't enormous by Yukon standards, but Dylan Harper has no desire to give more credit at his trading company to a man like Coy Logan, a shiftless drunk unwilling to work.

When Dylan calls in the debt, Coy offers as payment his wife, Melissa, and their baby daughter. The bruise on Melissa's face persuades Dylan to accept the trade and a rough Yukon arrangement transfers Melissa's marriage from a man she hates to one she doesn't know.

Melissa soon learns that Dylan expects a marriage in name only while he earns enough to return to Oregon and follow his dream of raising horses. After life with a shiftless and abusive father and husband, Melissa finds Dylan a complete surprise. Kind and gentle, he makes her wish their marriage were real.

Dylan's experience with women has been formed by the conniving woman who seduced him only to marry his brother. Melissa is as different as it's possible to be, but Dylan swears he won't allow her quiet beauty to tempt him to change his plans.

Alexis Harrington allows Dylan and Melissa to glimpse the joyous possibilities of life in spite of their fears. Trust is a difficult lesson, but love makes an amazing teacher-as Ms. Harrington proves in this lovely romance. SENSUAL (Oct., 346 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Cindy Royce