Brenna Nelson has come home to give her parents emotional support during her mother's long illness. She's pleased to see how much the lumber town has grown in the intervening years and is content to be home until her pet wreaks havoc.

Jared Seger is in no mood for the little beast before he meets Brenna, the most beautiful woman he has ever met. His anger quickly turns to passion as he watches her depart for her parent's home.

Brenna finds her father busy building her mother's dream house, but with no lumber and little money, things become bleak. Brenna takes the last of her money and confronts the town's banker-a man who holds everyone in fear of his power. But by facing down Quentin Seger, she places herself in jeopardy of being shunned by the entire town.

Brenna makes the mistake of thinking Jared is like his father and misunderstandings ensue, until Jared decides he wants to marry the spirited Brenna. Both Brenna and Jared take to the game of courtship, she for the lumber and he for her luscious curves and quick temper.

Just as things appear to be under control, Mother Nature takes matters into her own hands and a disaster strikes the town. Suffering many injuries, Brenna and Jared must face loss with hope for the future.

Ms. Alsobrook has given us an Americana romance that explores terminal illness, small-town prejudices and the complexities of a relationship. However, this moderately-paced tale abundant with historical details, is peppered with modern clichs that may distract readers. SWEET (Apr., 349 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Anne Black