From the moment she arrives in Key West and falls into the water, judges daughter Nora Seabrook starts to make waves. First when shes rescued by the notorious Captain Jacob Proctor, then by starting a school for free blacks and finally by playing a dangerous cat-and-mouse game with the most dangerous man on the island.

Jacob is a successful salvager, he finds wrecked ships and sells their cargo at the infamous Key West auctions. Hes managed to stay away from good women and the law, but now hes in danger because of his powerful attraction to Nora.

Though there are rumors that Jacob may be responsible for wrecking ships by luring them into the reefs, Nora will not believe them. She sees him as more hero than villain and is determined to prove his innocence, even if it means sneaking aboard his ship to investigate. However, Noras snooping gets her kidnapped when Jacob sets sail.

Jacob has no choice but to bring her to his island home, where dark family secrets and bitter hatreds are revealed. Noras pure love frees Jacob from the past, but when they return to Key West he finds himself imprisoned as a thief and once more Nora must find a way to rescue the man she loves.

Though the plot line is not new and some aspects of the story are predictable, the unique backdrop sets WINDSWEPT apart from many historical romances. Readers will also find Ms. Thomasons characters as appealing as the lush setting and enjoy the pleasant warm climate during the cold days of winter. SENSUAL (Jan., 346 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin