During Alexandra Merritt's return to her ailing father, a storm washes away her stagecoach, as well as the life of a young mother. Alex has a long history with saving orphans. Now she's just helped to birth a child, but without even a mule, she's stranded. When she begins to pray, a shadowy figure appears on the ridge.

Jake Malone is on the run from his past—and his future. Certain he's being sought for murder, the last thing he needs is to help a stranger with the voice of an angel. But aid her he does, and all too soon he's wrapped in the love and faith of her family. Under their guidance, Jake finally becomes a man who can stand on his own, but before he can accept Alex's love, he must return to make amends with the woman and child he left behind.

With its strong aura of faith, readers might see Bylin's debut novel as an inspirational romance. Her deft handling makes the well-tarnished Jake a man to admire, though the issue of fathers who abandon their children is a sensitive one. SWEET (Jul., 297 pp., $5.25)

Reviewed by: 
Anne Black