LAND OF DREAMS
Thea Coulton had given up dreams of a family of her own until she took a poor frightened child into her home. Believing Zoe to be an orphan, Thea opens her heart to the crippled, mute girl never knowing that her uncle, Booker Hayes, would soon arrive to claim his niece and rebuild the farm next to her family's homestead.
Guilt had driven Booker to do everything in his power to locate his niece. Though he sees how Thea adores Zoe, Booker is determined to take her to his soddy. But the task of building a home, starting a farm and caring for a small child proves too much for him, and Booker must ask for Thea's help.
With no delusions of love, Thea agrees to be Booker's "housekeeper" and when Thea's reputation appears to be compromised they marry to keep the child they both love. Yet self-doubts assail both Thea and Booker until Booker is charged with a horrible crime. Only Thea's faith and Zoe's surprise can save Booker and their newfound love.
This exquisitely tender and beautiful love story, reminiscent of Candace Camp's classic The Rainbow Season, is destined to become a beloved favorite of Americana readers. With its cast of believable and three-dimensional characters, LAND OF DREAMS is Cheryl St. John at the top of her form. SENSUAL (Apr., 400 pp., $4.50)