It should have been a clear-cut case of self defense, but when school teacher Maddie Rutledge is convicted of the murder of a rapist and killer by a corrupt judge and hostile jury, she is resigned to spending 20 years in prison.

When U.S. Marshall Rivlin Kilpatrick escorts her to testify at the trial of a crooked judge, hes surprised that Maddie does not try to escape or convince him of her innocence. She also earns his respect; he too has a past of his own hed rather forget.

Yet, when their lives are threatened by an unknown assassin, they form a powerful bond and try to understand how their pasts threaten the present. Like an intricate jigsaw puzzle, the pieces of the plot and character fit together to form a colorful, adventurous and powerful story whose twists and turns will enthrall readers. Leslie LaFoy takes risks by writing a unique story, an atypical western where the characters, their emotional baggage and their relationship are paramount. This enables her to expand the boundaries of the genre and wins this readers admiration. SENSUAL (Sep., 406 pp., $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin