When they were children Jesse Wheller taught crippled Bet Goldman to ride his horse and then to walk. They were each other's first love. Time has passed; Jesse is engaged to the ideal woman to be a rancher's wife and Bet, the writer, is thought to be a young poet's mistress and the inspiration for his erotic poetry.

When Bet's poet disappears in the Klondike, she seeks Jesse's help in locating Zack and he surprises himself by going along on her madcap adventure.

Locked together in a steamship cabin, their old passions flare into a new desire and they become lovers. Yet there is much about Bet that Jesse does not know; fears that force her to push him away when all she needs is to have him near.

Loyalty and a sense of duty war with passion as Jesse and Bet reach the wilderness and the rugged mining camps of Alaska. Even when they find Zack, their love will not die. Still Bet does her best to put a wedge between herself and Jesse.

But Jesse has given Bet a wondrous gift and a chance to create a true masterpiece, her first novel. Now she must draw on her strength to survive the loss of Jesse's love, but with Zack's scheming and three gambling brothers' help, she and Jesse finally learn the truth and of the power of love.

Kathleen Sage demonstrates that she truly understands the soul of the artist and the heart of a woman in this warm and beautifully rendered romance. Bet's fears about pregnancy and her desire for a child are expressed with compassion and deep understanding with which many woman will empathize. The light touches of humor combined with the intense emotions create a tale that will play on your heartstrings. SENSUAL (Oct., 288 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin