In this sequel to First Dawn, Jarena Harban's well-ordered life is turned upside down with the arrival of her aunt, Lilly Verdue. Lilly has a less than stellar past and leads a life not quite suitable for the quiet town of Nicodemus, Kan.

Jarena takes care of her father and sister Grace while anxiously awaiting the return of her love, soldier Thomas Grayson. Surprisingly, Aunt Lilly embarks on a path to respectability that affects the entire Harban family. But things get really complicated when Lilly decides handsome Moses Wyman should be interested in Jarena rather than her sister Truth -- much to Jarena's dismay.

An interesting subplot bolsters this moderately paced story. For the most part, the characters are likeable and the premise believable. Minor annoyances, such as Lilly's amazing recovery, are hardly worth mentioning. Miller's writing and portrayal of the era are flawless. (Mar., 384 pp., $12.99)
Reviewed by: 
Bev Huston