Debutante Sarah Ross Harris is forced to travel from Maryland to Oregon as her family begins a new life away from all she holds dear. Just when she's about to scream from boredom, a Sioux attack throws her into the care of naked, tortured Wesley Powell.

Wesley has had a life of agony at the hands of women and the last thing he needs is a spoiled, beautiful angel depending on him. But he will reunite her with her family before continuing to survey the vast open prairie for the government. Traveling at night, hunted by Wesley's enemy and by a roaming wolf that hovers in the shadows, they are captured by the Mandans, who want more than they are willing to give.

Another escape, this time with a wagon train of strait-laced missionaries, has Sarah giving up her ideals of wealth and power; she now dreams of living in peace with Wesley. Wesley, too, sees his career as a dry map of lonely years unless Sarah is beside him. But fate separates the lovers and it is years later when a changed Sarah returns to Maryland to set polite society on its ear and to get her man.

Filled with deep emotion, absorbing, and funny, Julie Tetel's riveting tale has courageous characters and a breathtaking backdrop. She weaves strands of honor, desire, survival, abiding love and spirituality into a more-than-one-time read. This novel is a special "keeper." SENSUAL (May, 289 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Anne Black