First Shelly rescues colorless Annie Brown from the detective who has been observing her as she sings in a saloon. Then he agrees to protect her when they flee west from Colorado.
Annie is really Annabelle St. Clair, world renowned mezzo soprano opera singer and murder suspect.
A romantic bond develops, but Shelly is not looking to complicate his life so he leaves Annie with homesteaders headed for California. His conscience gets the best of him though, and he returns to the wagon train. He learns Annie has been taken by the Indians and he must fight to win her back.
The lovers enjoy a passion-filled interlude until they reach Virginia City where Annie discovers Shelly's true identity; he is a bounty hunter who has known all along who she really is. Angered by the secrets they keep from each other, the lovers part. It will take trust and love to eventually bring these stubborn characters back together.
WEST WIND is a light-hearted, pleasure evoking romp. Shelly, with his bawdy limericks, is totally irresistible. Readers will be adding Ms. Winstead to their list of authors to cherish. SENSUAL (June, 358 pp., $4.99)