Growing up, Bowie Becket, the son of a plantation overseer, had a wild crush on the owner's daughter, Maria. Now grown, he runs a blockade to get Southern cotton to market and help finance the war. Some called him a coward, including his father, but he feels he contributes as much to the cause as those who fight in the battles—and his job is no less dangerous.

Maria Taylor has gone from pampered plantation princess to field hand and bookkeeper, doing whatever it takes to keep the plantation running. She and Bowie love each other from afar until Lance Webster, Confederate Cotton official, drugs Maria for nefarious purposes.

Bowie rescues her, and they are off on an adventure that includes surviving an attack by bandits, out-running Yankees and overcoming their different backgrounds to forge a new and modern love.

Grant pens a compelling Civil War page-turner with characters that are believable and likable. Well-done research blends delightfully into the story. SENSUAL (Jul., 352 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Deborah Brent