In this sequel, Carolyn Davidson turns her considerable skills to one of the most noteworthy underlying themes of romance novelslove is like a river; it can surround you, but you still have to swim.

Adopted from an abusive father by Gabe and Rosemary Tanner, Wesley left home to discover the world and his own identity. Now hes back in Edgewood, Texas, working as sheriff and not about to be taken in by Angelena, the new singer at the Golden Slipper saloon.

Angel cant remember anything except her first name and her music. Shes the talk of the town, oddly because shes a real lady rather than one suited to the place where she must sing to live. Most who meet her feel protective, not judgmental.

By the time his mother and her friend reveal that the fragile singer will become a mother, Wes has become more protective than anyone in town. He decides to marry Angel, although he isnt positive she doesnt remember her past. He simply decides her future is more important, which is the same decision he made about his own past.

Angelenas story flows into the present for the reader as it does for the characters. With her depiction of western town life with strongly developed secondary characters, some familiar, Carolyn Davidson leaves the reader thankful for the power of love. SENSUAL (May, 320 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger