In 1887, after her Modoc mother and her father are confronted, then murdered, on the streets of Canton City, Ohio, Serena Hull journeys to Oregon Territory. She hopes people either wont know of her tribal heritage, or will respond more positively to her and her sisters. In spite of her lack of experience and of funds, she plans to make a new home for herself and her two younger sisters on a thousand undeveloped acres her father left. Her fathers friend and former partner, Carleton Kearney, has been using the property called Lost Acres as part of his own cattle ranch. He doesnt believe Serena will stay, but feels compelled to help her try to establish a living on her own cattle ranch.

Carleton finds Serena attractive but he hesitates because hes so recently lost a beloved wife. Serena avoids contact with men because she was molested several years earlier.

Lynna Banning writes an appealing community story, somewhat similar to Sarah, Plain and Tall and vividly describes what ranching life must have been like for the women brave enough to choose it as their livelihood. SENSUAL (Nov.., 296 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger