The instant attraction between Evelyn Reid and Rafael de Aguirre does not bode well for either of them. She is married to Army Captain Westley Reid and Rafael is his good friend and the schoolteacher working to make the town grow for all peoplethe Indians, Americans, Mexicans and Chinese.
When Westley is killed, Evelyn believes the man known as the Renegade is responsible. So when the Renegade rides to the rescue of a captured man, Evelyn unmasks himonly to find that the mild-mannered schoolteacher is the Renegade. While being transported for trial, Rafe is rescued by his students and Evelyn is taken hostage.
As the group travels to Sante Fe, Evelyn believes the Renegade is innocent and that the passion she feels for him is real. Duty prevents the masked hero from acting on his feelings for Evelyn, yet in an ancient Anazazi village they come together with longing and love. Somehow they must find a way to clear his name and make the dream of a community come to life.
Ms. Piel has written a love story filled with excellent characters and several subplots to hold the readers interest. The clash of cultures between Native American, Chinese, Mexicans and Americans gives this tale a modern meaning. We can all learn from Rafe and Evie that it is the person who is important, not his or her heritage. The hot, hot, hot love scenes add just the right amount of spice to a wonderful read! SENSUAL (Feb., 390 pp., $5.99)