Laura has loved Fletcher for as long as she can remember. It was Fletcher's family who took her in as a child when her parents were killed by renegades, and Fletcher who filled her dreams with love. Laura always hoped he would return her devotion, and in one night of searing passion her dreams come true.
But with the sunrise Fletcher announces he is going North to set up a trading post, leaving Laura behind. When she discovers she is pregnant, Laura turns for help to Fletcher's father, Taylor, who insists that the only solution is for them to wed. Thus Laura finds herself married, in name only, to the father and deeply in love with the son.
When Fletcher returns a year later he is positive Laura's fragile, blonde daughter is neither his nor his father's, yet he still craves Laura's touch.
Only the power of Laura's love and determination enable her to strike out on her own in dangerous territory, compelling Fletcher to look into his soul and come to an important decision.
As always, Norah Hess depicts the American West with all its harsh realities, yet with compassion and sensitivity. Readers will find WINTER LOVE earthy, powerful and historically accurate, and though rugged and rough, true to the time and its inhabitants. SENSUAL (Nov., 400 pp., $5.99)