Dale Winters promised his mother that he would always take care of his baby brother, Joel. He was 5 at the time. When Joel was killed during the Great War, Dale took another vow: He would give up riding the horses that were so much a part of their lives. He returns from the war an empty shell and finds Emily Castle, a stranger, claiming half a stake in his sheep station.

Emily throws down the gauntlet and waits patiently for Dale to pick it up. Although she claims small victories, she cannot persuade him to mount the horse Jezebel, even though she can see the longing in his eyes. In a fit of pique, Emily wagers her half of the station and her hand in marriage on a horse race. But a few days before the race, she can't participate. Will Dale ride to save Emily?

The characters in this glorious saga are complex, fascinating and often reflect the desolate backdrop of the surrounding territory. Jones' story of love, loyalty and honor is nicely sprinkled with humor. SENSUAL (Mar., 300 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Donna M. Brown