Kate Love is a newspaper reporter on a mission. She's out to expose the swindler who conned money from the elderly. She's even prepared to marry Rupert Samuels, the man she suspects as the thief, to get her hands on the evidence.

Her con-man father has other plans. He convinces Black-Seminole Marshall, Dix Wildhorse, to rescue Kate and marry her, saving her father from prison. Dix needs a wife and it appears Kate will suit. Kate has plenty to say about that. Though she's glad to be rescued from Rupert, she wonders if she's gone from the frying pan into the fire.

She wants a career and being a wife will put a stop to her work as one of the first Black newspaper women. So she strikes a bargain with Dix; theirs will be an arranged marriage. Unless he woos her into his bed she will be a free woman.

Their battle begins when Dix signs on as a scout for a wagon train comprised of women and continues when they arrive in Oklahoma. Kate struggles against her blossoming desire for Dix, the man with the legendary "slow hand." Dix has his own plans for melting Kate's resistance away. Even as Kate fights for her independence, Rupert and his henchmen are on their way to pay Kate back for ruining their scheme.

Beverly Jenkins has a knack for writing sexy, funny books that simply sparkle with energy and a refreshing way of merging humor with sensuality. Her characters are unforgettable, her plots unique and her storytelling superb. SENSUAL (Sep., 350 pp., $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin