One of the things keeping Captain Christopher Phelan alive in the Crimea are the letters he receives from blonde beauty Prudence Mercer. When Pru mentions Christopher’s letter about the regimental dog, Albert, Beatrix does the unthinkable. She offers to write to him using Pru’s name. His letters touch her and their correspondence leads to her falling hopelessly in love.
When Christopher returns home, he is wounded in body and soul, seeking peace and the love of the woman who wrote, “find me.” Believing it is Prudence, he ignores Beatrix. But soon it becomes obvious that Pru is too emptyheaded to have been the letters’ author. There is passion between them and desire, but even marriage cannot erase the horrors of war from Christopher’s mind; perhaps only love can redeem him. (ST. MARTIN'S, Jul., 400 pp., $7.99)