THE HOSTAGE begins a trilogy set against the backdrop of the Great Chicago fire, where three young women learn of life and love amid the tragedy.

As the city burns, Deborah Sinclair contradicts her fathers wishes and refuses to marry the man he has chosen for her. As the flames come closer and closer, another danger rides through the burning areaTom Silver, a man with a gun and a vendetta against Arthur Sinclair.

These events converge and after saving her fathers life, Deborah is taken hostage by Silver for her fathers crime; the death of his ward on one of Sinclairs mines.

Tom brings Deborah to the Isle Royale, an island in the middle of Lake Superior, where she slowly becomes a part of the community, learning how the people of Isle Royale live and work and the dangers they face in the unsafe mines.

Once she understands the injustice Tom is fighting against, she begins to understand the man and being isolated together they begin a battle of wills that can only end in passion. Now Deborah will fight with Tom to see the wrongs righted and claim the love she has earned.

In THE HOSTAGE, Susan Wiggs masterfully combines real historical events with a powerful captive/captor romance and deep emotions. She draws readers in with her strong writing style and memorable characters. Once more, Ms. Wiggs demonstrates her ability to bring readers a story to savor that has them impatiently awaiting each new novel. SENSUAL (Apr., 400 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin