Three years after the War Between the States, Jessamyn Whittaker travels to Wildwood Valley, Oregon, to work on her father's newspaper, although his death has changed the nature of the job. Ben Kearney, a former Southern army officer and now the local sheriff, expects her to be just as much trouble as her irascible father. She soon proves him right by following along to gather news for her first issue of the Wildwood Times as Ben tries to solve her father's murder.
Ben thinks he can discourage Jessamyn from following him to Black Eagle's camp because she'd have to ride a horse. But he underestimates her Yankee stubbornness, and the adventures of the city woman and the ex-Southern officer take a decidedly dangerous turn.
Lynna Banning's subtle humor adds high color, especially in scenes when Jessamyn determines to travel on horseback with only a day to learn how to ride. This gratifying romance has appealing characters and plot, but farm-country, timberland Oregon sounds too similar to West Texas cattle country. Sensual (July, 313 pp., $4.99)