The bruised and battered Rachel Emmons runs away from her abusive husband by boarding a freighter and sailing south from Washington. A storm comes up and the superstitious second mate locks Rachel in her cabin. All of the crew abandon ship— and Rachel.

Ben Mitchell, an ex-Navy officer recovering from losing his career after the Civil War, mans a lighthouse along the rugged Carolina coast and rescues people from shipwrecks. To keep Rachel from dying of the cold, he sleeps with her in his arms. His attraction to her and his need to protect her never diminish.

As she recovers, Rachel feels more and more safe around Ben—partly because she's falling in love with him and partly because he is able to convince her that whoever she's hiding from won't find her on the island.

High action and even higher suspense balanced with the community setting contribute to the romantic tension for an especially good reading. (Jun., 304 pp., $5.50)
Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger