Writing erotic letters and stories for other people isn't Marlowe Wyatt's true calling. She's really an artist who hasn't been able to make a living at it. But she's a gifted writer who has an ever-growing clientele. Her own needs and urges, however, are well-sublimated. Once as uninhibited as her prose, Marlowe was used and betrayed by the man she loved.

Then she meets sculptor Gideon Brown. Writing stories for him to send to his lover somehow becomes a personal act, no matter how hard Marlowe tries to keep herself aloof. Getting involved with him can only bring pain to herself and the other woman -- but Marlowe's only human.

Rose generally excels at stripping away the outer shells of her characters and showing the workings of their minds and hearts, and that's certainly the case here. Powerfully sensual, this story also explores the intellectual and emotional consequences of not just passion but also intimacy. (Jun., 320 pp., $13.95)

Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer