As Rosie Mulvehey sees a group of men about to be hung, she decides to save a life by following Kansas law and marrying a condemned prisoner. She chooses a tall ex-Cavalry officer, hoping he can help her save her failing farm.

Bowie Stone has been through hell and back when Rosie offers him a second chance. He accepts their "marriage," planning to stay for the harvest season and then return to his home in the East. Rosie is not the kind of woman Bowie would choose as a wife. A hard-drinking, tough hellion who hides a severely wounded heart, she dreams of only two things -making her farm a success and revenge against a dead man. However, the moment she lets Bowie into her life her goals change. She is falling in love with her husband.

Bowie finds Rosie an enigma and, though he doesn't approve of her behavior, he admires her courage and is drawn to her. But Bowie is hiding a secret. he already has a wife, Susan. Believing Bowie is dead and left destitute, Susan heads West to make a new life for herself and her son. Like Rosie, she too must learn what is important in life and how to use her inner strength to reclaim happiness.

Over the months with Rose, Bowie changes and when the time comes to confront his past he makes the most monumental decision of his life.

THE WIVES OF BOWIE STONE is a unique, wonderful and heart-wearming love story that only an author with Maggie Osbourne's knowledge of human nature could write. Ms. Osbourne has created full blown characters who will steal your heart away and a story that will leave you breathless. SENSUAL (Dec., 378 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: