After a futile search for his father, Whit Hawk returns to the orphanage where he and his siblings grew up to find it burned to the ground. His sisters are presumed dead, and his brother, Drew, has gone looking for him.
While searching for Drew, Whit ends up on Jackie Douglas' ranch with a lame horse. After tending to his horse, Whit stays on. The longer he is there, the more his attraction for Jackie grows.
Whit heads to town to continue his search. While there, he hears that Jackie's ranch is to be auctioned and decides to
win the money in a card game and buy
it for her. When Jackie sees him at the auction, her anger flares -- until Whit gives her half the ranch. Jackie finally admits she loves him, but will they be able to find happiness when Whit still hasn't found Drew?
In this first book of a series, O'Banyon spends a great deal of time setting up
the background and not enough on the romance. Though there's no conflict other than pride and misunderstanding, this is a good, solid read with appealing characters. Once hooked on Whit's story, readers will be eager to find out what's happened to Drew and his sisters in the next books. SENSUAL (Jul., 336 pp., $6.99)