When her mother married into a strange religious community, Anna Langtry's life changed immensely. At 17, she was given in marriage to a much older man who had two other wives. Knowing this isn't what she wants for her life, Anna manages to run away on her wedding night.

Fifteen years later, Anna works in Denver as a probation officer. She's created a good life for herself, believes in her work and is content. That is, until Joe Mackenzie walks into her office.

Joe spent four years in jail for embezzlement. Although he's always claimed his innocence, it is only by admitting guilt that he is released. Having been optimistic and hopeful for the future before his jail term, upon his release he is hardened and doesn't to trust the system. Anna is part of that system. Though Joe is determined to prove his innocence, he is equally determined not to accept Anna's concern and help.

Danger finds Joe in the outside world when it becomes obvious there is someone who doesn't want the past reexamined. He finds himself on the wrong side of the law, and the only person he can lean on is Anna. To help Joe, Anna risks all that she's built and must face up to a past she has worked hard to forget.

Ms. Cresswell is a master of romantic suspense, and as always, the characters, plot and romance are strong and well developed. This story is enticing, though some may feel that it doesn't move at a fast enough pace to be truly compelling. (Sep., 400 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed by: 
Debbie Richardson