Ronda Thompson redeems some over-the-top plotting with a touch of humorous mischief in this story of Violet Dalton, aka Violet Mallory, who's been recently living a lie in St. Louis society under the protection of her uncle.

Raised by her uncle and abandoned by her outlaw parents, the rage Violet feels towards her biological father fuels her desire to exact a swift revenge. By framing him for a series of bank robberies she commits on her way back to the infamous Coffeyville, Missouri, she'll do just that.

Her uncle, Miles Traften, sends handsome rogue Gregory Kline to find Violet and bring her back, unharmed and virginal. Gregory, a shady character but never really an outlaw, is quickly a fugitive thanks to Violet's need for revenge.

The nicely formed plotline travels the fugitive trail, mixing passion with rescue for Gregory, and a catastrophic past with transforming love for Violet. The outlaw high jinx and redemptive journey skillfully prove the superiority of healing love over revenge. This is a frolicsome, engrossing novel for a summer's day. SENSUAL (Jul., 351 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger