The day Tess Meredith waved goodbye to her childhood friend Raven Following, she never dreamed that years later, after her fathers death, she would arrive in Chicago to meet him as Pinkerton detective Matt Davis.

Matt has kept his Native-American heritage a secret and risen through the ranks. He now operates his own detective agency. When Tess arrives as his cousin, he gets her a room at his boarding house, where he can watch over her.

But Tess doesnt want Matts protection. A modern young woman, she quickly becomes involved in the suffragette movement while putting in long hours as a nurses aid in a local hospital.

It seems to Matt that Tess is a magnet for trouble: she is wounded at a womens rights rally, gets involved with a woman whose husband is abusive and then finds herself caught in a murder investigation.

Meanwhile, the old attraction between Tess and Matt flares. Driven by the belief that his heritage is an impediment to a relationship, Matt tries to resist falling in love with Tess. But the temptation is too great, and as the danger mounts and her friend is accused of murder, Matt must help Tess any way he can.

Diana Palmer brings the turn of the century to life in a novel brimming over with colorful historical details, a spunky heroine and an intriguing hero. Yet it is her fascination with history that may detract some readers from the romance. Thus, THE SAVAGE HEART will satisfy those of us who like a novel steeped in history more than a pure romance. SWEET (Aug., 400 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin