Reeve Garrett, illegitimate son of wealthy Bryon Glendower, fought for the Union during the Civil War while the rest of his neighbors fought for the Confederacy. When he returns home, his neighbors' hatred is highly visible. With his son dead, Bryon Glendower names Reeve heir to his estate, and the townsfolk become violent.

Reeve's one reluctant ally is Patrice Sinclair, his half-brother's fiance and the woman who always loved him.

Reeve tries hard to win back his neighbors' respect and gain Patrice's love though she holds Reeve responsible for his half-brother's death. He even brings on old army buddy to the county to reopen the bank.

Patrice's brother Deacon would like everyone to borrow money from the head of the KKK rather than from a northerner. Things come to a head one night in a confrontation with the Klan. Many secrets are revealed that evening, and Patrice comes to realize she must stand by Reeve's side to help rebuild Pride's Country in the aftermath of war.

THE OUTCAST is a marvelous beginning to a new series by the highly talented Ms. West. You will feel as if you are living side by side with Reeve and Patrice as they fight against hatred to find a way to help their community. SENSUAL (Feb., 384 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Marilyn Dickmann