The hardest part was stealing the fresh blood. With that intriguing first line, the story of Hannah Shelton begins. Hannah has plotted her escape from life as a divorcie, condemned by her husbands lie that she committed adultery. Shes lost everything and plans to stage her death and begin life anew as Mercy Wilder in the 1870s logging country of Wisconsin, as the mail order bride of John Aldman.

Johns widowed brother Daniel meets her at the dock and is convinced shes hiding something; such attractive women do not become mail order brides.

As drought threatens to set the local forests ablaze, the passion between Hannah and Daniel also smolders. Matters get worse when Hannahs ex-husband finds her, and attempts to drag her home to clear him of the suspicion of murdering her.

The Wisconsin setting is a vital component of Gwyneth Atlees gripping romance. Theres intense action and tragedy here, but an ultimate victory worth reading toward. SENSUAL (June, 350 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger