At the end of the Civil War, three friends leave a Confederate prison ready to go home, when their riverboat, the Sultana, explodes.

Blacksmith Jacob Miller has survived the bloody battlefields and prison, only to find himself clinging to life in the middle of the Mississippi. When he and his fellow soldiers are rescued by renegade Rebel raiders, hes not sure what to expect.

Philadelphia heiress Rebecca Marston went against her fathers wishes when she joined the Union armys nursing corps. Shes seen too much tragedy and is ready to go home when she is abducted by rebels who are holding her hostage because of her fathers illicit dealings with the Confederacy.

Asked to tend the wounded Yankees, Rebecca finds herself looking for a hero, and it is Jacob who reluctantly becomes her champion.

In a time between the end of the war and the beginning of reconstruction, turbulence and anarchy reign. Only Jacobs courage keeps the small band of Yankees safe. But with her fathers apparent betrayal, Rebecca fears for their lives, unless she and Jacob can find a way to freedom.

Gwyneth Atlee has taken an often-overlooked period in American history and brought it to life, creating fascinating stories that delve into the psychology of the era. She finds a way to showcase the good underneath the gritty violence that surrounds her characters. History buffs and romance readers alike will savor TRUST TO CHANCE. SENSUAL (Dec., 380 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin