Amanda Graham's husband was killed with the opening shots at the battle of Manassas in 1861. Since then, she has been making ends meet by smuggling medical supplies for the Confederacy and Lieutenant Will Jackson.

Amanda is drawn to Will's bad-boy reputation, but she has several complications in her life. She is raising the daughter of an old family friend, Sam Prescott, whose wife died in childbirth just before the war. Sam formerly served with Amanda's husband under Will in the Mexican-American War, but now he is a Union soldier.

The two men are fighting more than a war for the Union of the States. They are fighting for Amanda's love.

In this debut novel, Murphy tells a riveting, well-researched story of promises, love and honor. The characters and situations are believable. Although this story takes place during the Civil War, there is no glorification of war. It is realistic without the obscene details of death and destruction. This is the first book in a trilogy, and I will definitely seek out the next installments. (Mar., 260 pp., $14.95)

Reviewed by: 
Deborah Brent