When her father dies, Henry Ann Henry inherits the farm and the caring for her half brother and sister. Tom Dolan, a neighbor, offers his help. Tom has a wife and young son, but Toms wife Emmajean is a tad strange.
Henry Ann notices a sadness and pain in Toms eyes. She also sees that he loves his son. When his wife abuses the boy, Henry Ann takes care of the lad.
Both know the feelings they have for one another are wrong, but they are falling in love. She is the one calming force in his miserable life. Toms home life is unbearable. His wife borders on the brink of insanity and her family will not help; they were relieved to get rid of Emmajean when Tom married her.
He must decide how to help her before she harms herself. But the decision is taken out of his hands when she is murdered. Henry Ann ignores the gossip surrounding them. She knows this loving man is not guilty of murder.
A master of the Western genre, Ms. Garlock now turns her talents to the 1930s; the era of the Great Depression, Roosevelt, the New Deal, gangsters, and also hope for a better future. SENSUAL (Sep., 439 pp., $6.99)