April Asbury is rescued during a rainstorm on her way to the town of Fertile to work for Doctor Forbes. The doctor told April about the Jones family and so she feels comfortable with her rescuer, Joe Jones. As the story progresses, she's less comfortable with her growing attraction to him. Easygoing Joe is smitten, but can he ever be seriously in love?

Welcome to Garlock's "heart of America" hometown. The characters and everyday events are created in stirring detail, as always. There's also a strong suspense subplot featuring the embittered, vengeful widow of a womanizer and a secondary love story that reveals the difficulties mixed-race romances suffered in small towns before the Civil Rights movement. As the poem at the beginning says: "passions rising, river rising"—this is top-quality reading about an interesting America era. SENSUAL (Jun., 388 pp., $12.95)
Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger