When the town's madam and her girls hire lawyer Claire Butler to defend Johnny Christmas against false accusations, they open a very unlikely Pandora's Box. Though Claire desperately needs to win her first case, she's unsure of taking on the defense of a rapist, especially the one known as Kid Christmas.

Johnny just doesn't seem the type of man who'd commit rape; handsome, sensual, funny, a man who loves to fight fires and rescue stray cats. Which is why Claire decides to become his lawyer.

When it looks as if he'll be the lynch mob's victim, Claire proposes Johnny kidnap her and they flee Brodie until it's safe for them to return. Their wild ride over the next few days turns into a journey of discovery for them both.

Claire has carried the burden of her father's tragic death at the hands of an unknown gunman for years. Johnny has his secrets, too. Thrust into a dangerous situation and on the run from a posse determined to hang him, Johnny is forced to reevaluate his life, and Claire forced to follow her heart.

Kathleen Sage blends the gritty atmosphere of a wild and wooly mining camp with the sweetness and humor of the finest Americana romances to bring readers a delightful character-study western. SENSUAL (June, 400 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin