In the seventh novel of her White series, Susan Edwards crafts a moving, believable Indian romance. Young and lovely Emily Ambrose innocently tempts a priest and brings on the wrath of her deranged man-of-God father. After a brutal attack, her parents ride off, abandoning Emily alone in the wilderness. They aren't even out of her sight before savages attack and kill them.
Emily is truly alone. Her wandering takes her into greater danger and interrupts the spirit quest of the Sioux chief Swift-Foot. He rescues Emily and begins the journey to return her to her own people. Their love story is a gentle contrast to their wild surroundings and just as destined not to last. Swift-Foot knows he cannot take a white woman as wife and be chief of his people. In an unusual plot twist, he abandons Emily, where she'll be found by lonely trapper, and returns to his tribe. His spirit quest is complete, but two hearts are broken.
John has dreamed of a woman to share his life, but isn't sure Emily can love him. And before she can, Emily must learn to live with people again, first John's fellow trappers then her own extended family, and she must learn to trust that love doesn't mean abandonment. SENSUAL (May, 250 pp., $4.99)