Dr. Fiona Thornton, a scientist working in Kenya, clashes with businessman Rogan McCullough, who plans to save his failing air-tour service by conducting tours through Fiona's nature preserve. He doesn't think he'll have trouble charming the woman he pictures as "a mixture of his high school English teacher and his great-aunt Rose." When he meets her, her flame-colored hair and independent spirit force his business goals to take a backseat to his libido.
A unique setting, vividly drawn characters and escalating tensions keep the reader engrossed. I stumbled briefly in the middle, when social recluse Fiona enters Rogan's high-finance world to defend the elephants she studies. The sudden smoothness with which she mingles at a fancy party and pulls off a TV interview seems forced. However, this book earns a place on my shelf for classic romance in a superb setting. (Apr., 330 pp., $9.99)